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Employee Benefits News

Latest News
22 Jan 2013

It Is Not Just About The Salary

An attractive job offer is about more than the size of the basic salary. At a time of upheaval to the UK’s pensions regime, the accompanying benefits package is also crucial.  Iain Fox, director of Bath employee benefits firm Fidelius, explains why offering the right benefits to staff can boost a company’s bottom line as well as staff well-being.

Throwing in a family car on top of an employee’s salary used to sum up some companies’ approach to employees benefits. The situation is a touch more sophisticated now. From pensions and private medical insurance to health screening and critical illness insurance, there has never been a greater array of benefits open to employers. The question for companies and their HR departments is: which ones should we offer?

The question isn’t academic or optional – your answer could determine whether you retain or lose your best employees.  Companies that spend time thinking carefully about giving their staff the right benefits will have the best chance of recruiting them and then hanging on to them.

One package of benefits won’t fit every sector or every company. Benefits need to be bespoke. Get the package right, and employee morale will be strong. And if staff morale is high, then invariably productivity will be too. The key lesson we have learnt through years of advising companies on employees benefits is, if employees feel valued then that tends to generate value for the business, percolating down to the bottom line.

Your business’s approach to employee benefits can colour external impressions of the company as well as internal ones. If you are recognised for your intelligent approach to employee benefits then your name will be on the radar of those seeking to move job. As a recruitment tool, the right benefits package can be a potent one.

When your company recruits, it is crucial that benefits are not considered in isolation from the salary you offer. If each member of staff is to receive the most attractive pay and benefits package that you are able to put on the table, then you need to invest time in researching the best bespoke deal for an employee.

A common feature of many successful benefits packages is ‘salary sacrifice’. This procedure enables employees to potentially reduce their tax liabilities through making pension contributions or a contribution toward other eligible benefits such as child care vouchers. At Fidelius, we call this method SMART – Save More and Reduce Tax. By doing this, both employee and employer can reduce National Insurance contributions and employees can also potentially benefit from income tax savings. If your company takes the right advice on this issue, then that will ensure such a SMART approach satisfies HM Revenue & Customs.

The right use of benefits can also improve productivity by ensuring that the health of your staff is well catered for. The use of insured risk products such as Group Income Protection or private medical insurance can lead to an unwell employee either being able to return to work quicker, or go through a managed process to aid their recovery.

One part of the benefits jigsaw that mustn’t be neglected is communication. Your company can have the smartest benefits package going, but if the full implications and perks of that package are not communicated to staff then both your employees and the business itself are missing out. This is where an established and reliable employee benefits firm is important, helping your business to piece together the right package with the right spend, and then implementing and articulating the benefits to staff with the minimum amount of fuss. 

To receive the latest from the panel register here at www.bath-business.net get the latest news about businesses in Bath. 

John Calvert-Jones

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