A guide to a cost-effective employee benefits set-up

After a difficult 2020 and with businesses everywhere looking to cut costs, employee benefits might be considered by some an expense rather than an investment.

In actual fact, not only should employee benefits be seen as an investment, but they can also be incredibly cost-effective.

While some employee benefits can actually be ‘cost-neutral’, for example where the cost of implementing and running a scheme can be offset by savings made through National Insurance (NI) with a good level of uptake, a cost-effective employee benefits set-up is less about offsetting costs directly but having a genuine, overall financial benefit taking into consideration reduced employee turnover for example.

So, how do you make your employee benefits set-up cost effective?

Needs analysis and surveys

It seems straight forward but finding out the wants and needs of your staff is an important starting point. However, it shouldn’t be the only thing that informs your decisions when it comes to introducing or optimizing your employee benefits.

There may be benefit schemes out there that your staff have never heard of, so its up to you to put together a benefits package your employees will love.

When carrying out surveys or conducting a needs analysis, rather than finding out what benefits employees want to see as part of their benefits package, ask questions like “do you feel your employer supports you financially?” or “are you happy with your health and well-being offering?”

While it is important to ask questions like “would you like to see an EAP introduced?” to get an idea of which benefits your employees might take to, it’s also important to get a broader picture of how your employee benefits set-up can solve wider problems your employees face.

Cost-effective employee benefit schemes

We’ve picked out our favorite cost-effective employee benefit schemes that we and our clients love. We’ve seen companies of all shapes and sizes implement these schemes with great success. Here’s how they can benefit you.

Car Benefit Scheme

With increased support from the Government for electric vehicle use, the car scheme is an employee benefit that will only become more and more popular.

From 2020, benefit-in-kind on electric vehicles has reduced to 0% with tax rates reduced too, making the car scheme the most affordable way to drive an Ultra-Low Emission Vehicle (ULEV).

With demand ever-increasing for electric cars, with more charge points popping up across the country and more ULEVs on the market at more affordable prices, offering employees a way to afford ULEVs through the Car Scheme is a no-brainer.

Not to mention, it isn’t just ULEVs that the Car Scheme is great for and as it’s a salary sacrifice scheme, employees will typically pay less than they would on the high street.

The Car Scheme is cost-effective not only because of it’s increasing popularity among employees across the UK, but because the low cost of running and administering the scheme can be offset depending on how the scheme is set up.

For more information on this, take a look at our Car Scheme page.

Bike to Work Scheme

In 2020 cycling has seen a huge increase in popularity and with the government pledging significant investment in helping make cycling safer and more accessible, the Bike to Work scheme is now more popular than ever.

The Bike to Work scheme offers an opportunity for those put off cycling by the high initial cost of getting a new bike and accessories to get into cycling by providing a way to not only save but to spread the cost too.

The Bike to Work scheme is cost-effective because not only is it low-cost to run but employers can save on National Insurance (NI), typically 13.8% on the salary sacrifice value.

A good scheme take-up can help offset the cost of running and implementing the scheme through NI savings making it one of the most cost-effective benefit schemes available.

With other benefits of the scheme considered such as a boost in staff retention and overall employee satisfaction, the Bike to Work scheme is a huge part of any cost-effective employee benefits set-up.

Holiday Trading Scheme

Much like the Bike to Work scheme, the Holiday Trading scheme, which allows staff to sell and buy annual leave to and from their employer, can also save costs in NI as well as salary costs too.

The low-cost of running the scheme can again be offset by good uptake and good employee engagement, as well as having similar benefits to the Bike to Work scheme such as improving staff retention and employee satisfaction.

The Holiday Trading scheme is incredibly versatile and has been used by a number of companies up and down the country in recent times to manage workload and costs during a difficult 2020.

The scheme is highly configurable for employers meaning they can adapt it to suit their needs and the needs of their staff which is great for uptake and even better for making it cost effective.

It’s also worth considering the positive impact on mental well-being that more options in terms of work life balance affords the employee.

More options to take time off gives parents more time to spend with their children, for example, in a world where work-life balance is becoming increasingly more important.

Instant Discounts

Depending on your employee benefits provider, Instant Discounts can be low-cost to implement with different packages available to suit your budget.

Discounts are one of the most popular employee benefits and give staff ways to make their pay cheque go even further. One example is how discounts help staff save on their weekly or monthly shop which can really add up across the year.

How your staff will use your employee discounts will vary throughout the year depending on seasons and sales for example. However, by hosting your discounts through an online employee benefits platform, you may be able to increase uptake on other benefits hosted on that platform depending on how your platform is set up.

Cost-effective benefits are one thing, a cost-effective set-up is another

While each of these benefits are cost-effective, ultimately the goal is to have a whole employee benefits set-up that is cost-effective.

In order to achieve this, your benefits set-up must suit your staff down to the ground. This is why it’s also important to conduct a thorough needs analysis as mentioned.

Work with your benefits provider to put together a benefits package that suits you

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One of the best ways to put together a cost-effective benefits package is to work with a benefits provider to find the right solution. Benefits providers have worked with companies of all shapes, sizes, sectors and industries and will know exactly what will work for you.

Get a free, full review of your current benefits set-up or a free in-depth proposal for a cost-effective employee benefits package to suit your budget from Caboodle by getting in touch here, or to view our wide range of employee benefits click here.