Don’t sacrifice salary sacrifice benefits

If 2018 marks the launch or review of your employee benefits scheme, getting the right line-up of benefits and discounts is likely to be high on your list of priorities. There’s more choice than ever before so what makes it into your scheme and how do you decide what to offer?

Asking your staff what benefits they want, competitor benchmarking, and aligning benefits with your workforce demographics are easy ways to narrow the list down. Proactive employee benefits providers will help you draw on their experience of benefits that have proved successful with particular employee demographics, and even offer a defined set of benefits you can build your scheme around. Desk research is great for inspiration, drawing from what others are doing in your industry and beyond. Search for popular employee benefits online and there are numerous articles, listing creative ways to stand out from the crowd. However, delve a little deeper and there are useful trends you can draw real insight from. Several reputable sources have polled their audience or reference in-depth research on what makes a successful employee benefits scheme.

The one thing that stands out? The most popular benefits include things like healthcare, childcare, and holiday buy and sell. All salary sacrifice benefits that mostly help your employees to make their wages go further. The proliferation of easy access discounts get the limelight, especially when it comes to high street brands we recognise, and they are of course very relevant. However, some are vastly more cost effective than others and competition from different sources is eroding the value of some discounts. In financial services, current accounts often come with mobile phone or travel insurance for instance, so a scheme relying on discounts may find their staff already have the discounts on offer. The value of discounts can be short lived; you get a % off a purchase and then move on whereas, employees see the value of salary sacrifice benefits each month in their wage packet.

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The answer if course is to offer both salary sacrifice and discounts and not rely solely on one of the other. It’s easy to buy this way and create or migrate to a technology platform with benefits and discounts in one place. You can often create a ‘full service’ scheme with salary sacrifice for the same price as a discounts only option.

If you intend to get your employee benefits scheme into shape in early 2018, get in touch and we will show you what similar businesses are doing and how you could be up and running before the financial year end.