In our recent training course, we explored why people do and do not attend work. As expected, money came out as the most important factor, but was closely followed by factors such as job satisfaction, social interaction, ambition, sense of purpose, identity – self worth, structure/ routine and being valued. These are the things which make a job worth doing, and doing well.

Peter Stanway, our BackupHR™ legal expert comments:

Employee benefits can have a tangible benefit to the business, but they are also about showing your staff that they are valued and trusted.

In April 2020, all new contracts of employment, which will have to be issued on or before their first day at work, will also have to say something about employee benefits. This is in addition to the really important benefits, i.e. holidays, sick pay and pensions – all of which have statutory minimum requirements. As we go deeper in the increasing skills shortage, those employers who only offer statutory minimum benefits and nothing else may find it far more difficult to recruit good workers, as they will prefer to work for those employers that offer a more attractive benefits package.

Providing good benefits is about investing in the work force rather than seeing it just as a cost; it is saying that “our employees are important to us, so we provide…..”. If your employees are engaging with your benefits package, they are more likely to stay with you and show their loyalty in tangible ways, and encourage others to apply for work with you. If you can reduce the cost of recruiting, inducting and training, then many benefits will pay for themselves. Paying for people to have private medical care can be expensive, but so is having them waiting a long time for treatment, especially if they are off sick whilst waiting. BackupHR™ have just switched healthcare provider and achieved a considerable saving for some improvement in benefits, and a reduced individual tax liability, so shopping around can produce a win, win for all! Providing death in service payments, i.e. life insurance, can usually be tacked on to your pensions package for minimal cost, thus providing reassurance to staff and certainly makes visiting the bereaved relatives of deceased employees a lot less uncomfortable.

Many benefits cost very little, particularly in the area of wellbeing. The CIPD reports a growing body of evidence that positively links the introduction of wellbeing programmes at work, with improved employee engagement and business performance. The FSB talk about ‘the art of the possible’, and their guides include a range of little or no cost wellbeing interventions that help bring wellbeing programmes within the reach of all small employers. Low-cost interventions, like cycle to work schemes and healthy eating options, can have a significant impact, and for employers wanting to do more, the help is available. Wellbeing programmes need not be seen as a diversion of valuable resources.

Small organisations will always struggle to keep up with the comprehensive wellbeing programmes and benefits packages available to large employers, but big does not have to mean best.

Providing employees benefits will benefit you in the form of:

  • a happier, more productive workforce
  • reduced absences from work
  • better retention rates
  • maybe even improving your own wellbeing

BackupHR™ can undertake pay and benefits surveys – if you would like to know more, contact Jackie Bolton on 01480 677981. We can also recommend a medical cover provider – again, if interested, please contact Jackie.