What's Inside?

    Remote Team

    30 Popular Employee Benefits: An Employer’s Complete Guide

    July 09, 2024

    Hiring the right candidates is difficult given the competitive job market. Highly skilled remote workers are getting offers left and right. It’s a challenge for employers and hiring managers to find good-quality candidates.

    While hiring the first candidates you encounter can be a solution, it could end up costing you an arm and a leg. The cost of a poor hiring decision averages at about USD 17,000.

    Instead of looking for shortcuts to attract qualified candidates for your industry, consider honing your talent acquisition strategy. One way to do that is by refining your employee benefits package.

    If you’re a hiring manager or employer looking to enhance your recruitment approach, read on. Discover common employee benefits and effective strategies for crafting competitive packages here.

    What are Employee Benefits?

    Employee benefits are additional compensation to employees outside of their usual assigned wages. They are often given to employees to ensure retainment or to attract potential candidates.

    You can categorize employee benefits into two:

    • Law Mandated: These are benefits that employers are legally bound to provide their employees.
    • Discretionary Benefits: These benefits aren’t legally mandated. However, you can give them to employees should you wish.

    Some discretionary benefits while not legally mandated are an industry standard. That means that a majority of companies in the industry often give them anyway. Thus, there can be an unspoken expectation that companies in the same industry offer them.

    Other discretionary benefits are neither mandatory nor an industry standard. However, offering them gives you a competitive edge that attracts more top talents.
    Related: Discover how you can overcome common talent acquisition challenges here.

    What are the Mandatory Benefits of an employee?

    What counts as statutory or legally mandated benefits for an employee differs per jurisdiction.

    For example, 13th-month pay is a mandatory benefit in the Philippines and Latin America. It’s an additional compensation given usually at the end of the work year outside of the employee salary. However, it’s uncommon in the UK, AU, and the US.

    Mandatory benefits even differ within each country. For example, there are employee benefits in California where employers provide reimbursement for remote workers’ job-related expenses. It’s a benefit that doesn’t apply to all the states.

    Given the different mandatory benefits per jurisdiction, you need the expertise of someone who knows local labor laws.

    If you have offshore employees, a reliable offshore company should know their local labor laws. They’ll advise you on the mandatory benefits that your employees need. It should be included in the overall cost for each offshore employee.

    Why should companies offer Employee Benefits?

    If you want to build a highly skilled offshore team, attracting top talent is vital. By having an appealing benefits package, you can stand out from other companies who want to hire these individuals.

    Aside from attracting skilled candidates, a great benefits package also works well with retaining employees. That’s because a personalized benefits package goes a long way in maintaining employee loyalty.

    With better employee retention rates, you prevent additional recruitment costs. You also improve the productivity of your employees.

    Therefore, strategically planning your benefits package is key to both attracting and retaining your employees.

    30 Examples of Employee Benefits Your Company Can Adopt

    Do you want ideas on which benefits you should offer to your employees? Here are 30 examples of workers’ benefits. This allows you to discover different benefits to enhance your company’s benefits package that best fits your resources.

    Health Benefits

    These benefits provide healthcare for your employees. Here are some examples:

    Disability Insurance

    Disability insurance is provided in case an employee is disabled. You can categorize it into two:

    • Temporary Disability Insurance: This insurance covers the employee in the event of a sudden onset of serious illness or injury. This usually covers three to 12 months.
    • Long-Term Disability Insurance: Should the illness or injury take longer than the short-term disability coverage, it would be under long-term disability insurance. The coverage can span two to six years, depending on the provider.

    Industries that require physical labor usually provide these as mandatory benefits. 

    How You Can Apply This: If disability insurance isn’t a standard in your industry, offer it as a voluntary benefit. You will initiate the payment for the insurance. A small amount of the employee’s pay will then go to the rest of the insurance premium.

    Employee Wellness Programs

    Employee wellness programs are a series of initiatives that promote healthier lifestyles for your employees. Some examples include:

    • Smoking cessation programs
    • Free gym memberships
    • Private fitness classes
    • Personal wellness assessments

    Some companies offer these programs not only to employees but also to their dependents.

    How You Can Apply This: Peter Cappelli mentions that employee wellness programs are more impactful when employees have access to a primary-care doctor. Thus, if you have limited resources, it’s best to prioritize medical insurance first.

    Once you have that, remember to incorporate nutrition and not just fitness in your employee wellness programs.

    Medical, Dental, and Vision Insurance

    Health insurance of different kinds is still a desirable employee benefit for many companies. For example, one of the most desired employee benefits in Singapore is dental insurance.

    Some countries have public health insurance available that employers are mandated to give to employees.

    How You Can Apply This: If there’s any employee benefit worth investing in, it would be health insurance. Dental and vision insurance can be optional. Look into small business health insurance programs. These will make it easier to provide affordable health insurance for your employees, even as a startup.

    Mental Healthcare Benefits

    David Duckworth, co-founder and COO of an employee benefits platform, discusses the increased popularity of neurodiverse-friendly work policies.

    Given the rise of mental health awareness, offering benefits that service these can be great.

    You can do that by setting up an employee assistance program or EAP. EAPs offer confidential and professional counseling for employees who need help resolving personal issues.

    How You Can Apply This: Offering EAPs is a great employee benefit for companies that want to attract a younger workforce.

    Sick Leaves

    Sick leave is one of the most common employee benefits provided by companies worldwide. It can be mandated or discretionary.

    In some jurisdictions, sick leaves don’t count as paid days off. In others, it is.

    Some employers ask for a medical certificate or a doctor’s note to indicate that an employee is sick. Thus, they will then be eligible for sick leave.

    How You Can Apply This: Companies can have a physician available for teleconsultations. This arrangement can streamline sick leave approval for your sick employees.
    Table 1: Five Examples of Healthcare-Related Employee Benefits

    5 Examples of Healthcare-Related Employee Benefits
    Disability Insurance
    Employee Wellness Programs
    Medical, Dental and Vision Insurance
    Mental Healthcare Benefits
    Sick Leaves

    Healthy employees can make for a productive and highly efficient workforce. Thus, incorporating health-related benefits is a necessity.

    Financial Benefits

    These benefits provide financial aid, protection, or enhancement to your employees. An employee’s financial situation has a huge effect on their performance. By providing financial employee benefits, employers directly address one of the biggest issues hampering work performance. Here are examples of such benefits:

    Employee Discounts

    One of the more approachable benefits smaller businesses can give employees is employee discounts.

    Aside from providing discounts on your products, give employees discounts on products and services they need. For example, you can give them discounts from grocery stores, cafes, restaurants, and even automotive services.

    How You Can Apply This: Are your employees working in the office or doing hybrid work? Partner with local businesses and vendors in your area for your employee discount program. Remote workers can also be granted discounts in stores that offer essentials like groceries and wellness products like vitamins and medicines.

    Pension and Retirement Planning

    Another common employee benefit that employers give is retirement plans or pension plans. This benefit involves part of the employee’s wages going toward their retirement funds. It’s commonly mandated by law, but rules still differ per jurisdiction.

    Retirement plans are usually more flexible than pension plans. They also move with you per employer.

    Pension plans have a set lock-in period. They also hinge on the tenure and salary of an employee.

    How You Can Apply This: Consult with a professional if you want to offer employees a retirement or pension plan. Taxation and rules regarding pension and retirement plans can be complex. Thus, professional assistance can help you understand the different approaches in this benefit.

    Employee Stock Ownership Plan

    If you want to encourage employees to be interested in the company’s growth, you can offer an employee stock ownership plan or ESOP. Other terms for this would be employee trust or employee benefits trust.

    An ESOP is provided to employees with the option to buy a share in their company. This benefit is better suited for organizations with proven track record on profitability. They must also be able to afford the costs of setup. Thus, ESOPs aren’t generally recommended to a small business’s employee benefits package.

    Instead of ESOPs, small businesses can offer performance-based bonuses. It’s easier to implement. It also reengages employees to care more about organizational growth.

    How You Can Apply This: Provide diverse employee benefits to address their varied needs. For example, remote work allowances and performance packages can make your benefits package more well-rounded. This could be inspired by the ESOP framework to make it appealing to highly skilled employees.

    Performance-Based Bonuses

    A simpler way to encourage employee motivation outside of an ESOP is through performance-based bonuses. These are often discretionary, so employers are not obliged to give them.

    These end-of-year bonuses are like a pat on the back for your employees’ efforts in their work. These can come in the form of cash bonuses or gift cards.

    How You Can Apply This: Pre-determining goals and objectives can determine a fair basis for performance-based bonuses. This ensures that your employees are motivated with a tangible benefit especially during crunch times.

    13th-Month Pay

    An employee benefit commonly mandated in the Philippines and most of Latin America is the 13th-month pay. Other parts of the world offer it as a discretionary benefit.

    The 13th month’s pay is not the same as the holiday pay. However, different countries have independent rules for it.

    For example, in the Philippines, the 13th month’s pay is an additional compensation given at the end of the year. It costs the same as the employee’s monthly salary. On the other hand, in Greece, they have both 13th and 14th-month pay. They also have holiday pay aside from that.

    13th-month pay is a great motivator for employees. It’s usually given at the end of the work year, during a festive season. By giving a 13th month pay, employers can end the year on a rewarding note. It also reduces the risk of employee resignations which is most common during January.

    How You Can Apply This: A reliable offshore company can account for the 13th month’s pay as part of your offshore employees’ full compensation.

    Night Differential Benefits

    Some industries with night shift work, like BPOs, offer night shift differential benefits. This pay scheme has a different compensation for employees working the night shift. It is also different from overtime pay.

    Those in customer service, the food industry, or security often have people working the night shift.

    How You Can Apply This: Remote workers can also work the night shift. An example of that would be offshore employees working in the BPO industry. They work the graveyard shift so their working hours better align with yours.

    If you have offshore employees who work the night shift, consider offering night differential benefits. It can be a practical addition to your offshore employee’s benefits package. To make this more appealing and still fall within budget, compare it with your direct and indirect competitors. This will enable you to find a win-win package for your targets and your employees.

    Overtime Pay

    Overtime pay is additional compensation given to employees who continue working outside of designated working hours. It’s different from night shift pay. It can be added on top of night shift pay.

    The rules on how much overtime pay is will be based on local labor laws. Usually, it counts as overtime pay if it exceeds the designated 40 working hours per week.

    How You Can Apply This: Computing overtime pay can be complicated when you have remote employees. You can solve that issue by having a more measurable barometer for overtime pay using time-tracking software. That way, you know which remote workers are eligible for overtime pay.

    Workers’ Compensation Coverage

    Workers’ compensation coverage is insurance paid to workers who are injured or ill directly because of their jobs.

    It is different from disability insurance in that workers’ compensation is given only for job-related illnesses or injuries. Disability insurance doesn’t have to be related to the employee’s job. 

    How You Can Apply This: Workers’ compensation safeguards your employees. It also shields employers from bearing direct financial liabilities. Thus, it can be a worthwhile investment, even for small businesses.
    Table 2: Eight Examples of Financial Benefits for Employees

    8 Examples of Financial Benefits for Employees
    Employee Discounts
    Pension and Retirement Planning
    Employee Stock Ownership Plan
    Performance-Based Bonuses
    13th-Month Pay
    Night Shift Pay
    Overtime Pay
    Workers’ Compensation Coverage

    Financial stability is an ever-present concern for employees. That’s why providing financial benefits can be a worthwhile perk for any modern worker.

    Holistic Well-Being Benefits

    Some employee benefits provide support to an employee’s work-life balance. By investing in their work-life balance, you create a more efficient and productive workforce. Here are examples of such benefits that support that goal:

    Bereavement Leave

    Bereavement leave gives employees paid days off for the grieving of a loss in the family. Usually, it applies only to immediate family members. However, rules differ per company and district.

    The length of bereavement leave also differs per company. The average would be around three to five days.

    Dave Crenshaw, CEO of Invaluable Inc., encourages employers to discuss reasonable bereavement plans with employees. Leading with compassion is a good barometer in this trying time for your employees.

    How You Can Apply This: If you’re a small business with on bootstrap stage, you can offer longer days for unpaid bereavement leaves. Another option would be offering partial pay for bereavement leaves.

    Childcare Benefits

    The rising childcare cost are why childcare benefits are a compelling offer for many top candidates.

    Some examples of childcare benefits you can provide your employees would be:

    • On-site childcare facilities
    • Discounts on childcare facilities and services
    • Family stipends
    • Backup childcare support

    These family-friendly employee benefits can increase your employee’s satisfaction. At the same time, it may help lessen your employee turnover rate. That’s because you’re making it easier for your employees to be parents and professionals simultaneously.

    How You Can Apply This: On-site childcare facilities can be costlier for smaller businesses. A better alternative is to partner with a childcare provider. You can then give your employees dedicated backup childcare support allowances.

    Paid Time Off (PTOs) or Holiday Pay

    Paid time off is an umbrella term covering all instances of paid days away from work. 

    Holiday pay is an example of a PTO. It’s compensation given to employees who are on holiday leave. Some examples of countries with paid vacation days are Iran, Monaco, and San Marino.

    PTOs and holiday pay can attract many skilled employees, especially those prioritizing work-life balance.

    How You Can Apply This: Are you building a multinational workforce? An offshore company makes it easier to adapt to differing holiday pay schemes per locality.

    Related: Working with a Philippine remote team? Here are tips on managing Philippine holidays for your Filipino offshore employees.

    Life Insurance

    Life insurance is another example of a common employee benefit that many companies provide. It is one of the most common non-mandatory Australian employee benefits given.

    This insurance compensates the employee’s indicated dependents in the event of their passing. Some life insurance policies expire when the employee quits. Other policies can be transferred or converted.

    How You Can Apply This: For employers, you can get group life insurance coverage for your employees. These plans are more affordable per person than if you took an insurance policy individually. It’s also a chance to get a cheaper rate for your life insurance.

    Parental Leave

    Parental leave gives parents paid or unpaid leave. They can use these leaves to care for a sick child, recover after a pregnancy, or support their partners after a pregnancy.

    It encourages new parents to adjust to their new life. It also makes them feel supported by the company they work for.

    How You Can Apply This: Providing parental support for both parents equally encourages a culture of inclusivity in the workplace. Employers can do so by offering flexible leave policies. They can also give equitable access to childcare assistance programs.

    Scholarship Program

    Do you have employees who stopped schooling but are interested in returning to it? Consider adopting a scholarship program to support them.

    You can offer this program to nontraditional students. You can also give it to employees looking to upgrade their skills for their career development.

    How You Can Apply This: Employer-sponsored scholarships can be eligible for tax exemptions, depending on your location.
    Table 3: Six Examples of Holistic Benefits for Employees

    6 Examples of Holistic Benefits for Employees
    Bereavement Leave
    Childcare Benefits
    Paid Time Off (PTOs) or Holiday Pay
    Life Insurance
    Parental Leave
    Scholarship Program

    These benefits ensure that your employees have a better work-life balance. Thus, they can come back to work energized. When they’re energized, they provide better quality work outputs and are more efficient workers overall.

    Career/Work Benefits

    These are benefits that make work easier or more appealing to your employees. Here are some examples:

    Access to Coworking Spaces

    Some employers with remote workers or offshore employees give their employees access to coworking spaces. They either offer discounts or free stays in specific coworking spaces.

    This is perfect for remote workers who want a different work environment outside of their home.

    How You Can Apply This: Coworking spaces can foster a sense of community even with a predominantly remote workforce.

    See Also: Discover how remote work affects your business and maximize profit here.

    Commuter Benefits and Cycle-to-Work Schemes

    Some remote employees still work in a physical office. For example, the hospitality, retail, and finance industries have job-specific tasks that require them to work in an office. This also applies to companies that have an offshore team or work with BPOs. 

    There are also hybrid employees who occasionally work inside the office. Thus, having in-office employee benefits like commuter benefits is a great perk for them.

    Examples of commuter-friendly benefits that you can provide are:

    • Cycle-to-work incentives, like bike gift vouchers or cafe discounts
    • Increased bicycle parking spaces
    • Ride-sharing funds/allowances
    • Gas stipends
    • Free transit passes
    • Employer-run carpools or vanpools

    These commuter benefits encourage sustainable travel choices. It can support your corporate social responsibility programs focus on eco-friendliness.

    How You Can Apply This: Consider providing commuter benefits if your office isn’t in a convenient location, especially for public transportation.

    Company Equipment and Transportation

    Another popular discretionary benefit that companies provide would be company equipment and transportation.

    Some companies provide laptops, desktops, and other office equipment to employees. If an employee’s work requires frequent traveling, you can offer company cars for their use.

    Usually, employees have access to company equipment during their employment only.

    How You Can Apply This: Set up a formal employee equipment agreement to safeguard your company assets. At the same time, it ensures IT compliance. If you want to give your employees company equipment for them to keep, offer equipment stipends instead.

    Work-From-Home Stipends

    Work-from-home stipends are allowances employers give to their remote workers. Examples of how these stipends can manifest would be:

    • One-time allowances for office equipment (e.g. desks, office chairs, headphones, etc.)
    • Monthly allowances (e.g. Internet or phone bills, work-related software subscriptions, etc.)
    • Occasional meal stipends

    These allowances can keep remote employees engaged. You’re also helping them create a work set-up at home so they can more efficiently do their jobs at home.

    How You Can Apply This: Looking for an employee benefit that isn’t a recurring expense? Then, these one-time work-from-home stipends are an affordable addition to your employee benefits package.

    Flexible Working Arrangements

    Flexible work arrangements aren’t something we’re leaving behind even post-pandemic. It remains as one of the most in-demand employee benefits in the UK and worldwide. You can also offer hybrid work, where employees can work in-office on set days of the week.

    How You Can Apply This: For in-office employees, you can also offer flexible work arrangements by offering async work hours.

    Four-Day Workweek

    A four-day workweek is gaining momentum in the modern workforce. It’s when companies only have four days of work per week.

    Many studies have shown that a four-day workweek benefits both employees and employers. It led to lower absenteeism and improved productivity.

    How You Can Apply This: The four-day workweek is more applicable for tech or white-collar jobs. Analyze your industry’s constraints before enacting a four-day workweek to ensure it’s right for you.

    Free Food and Snacks

    One more approachable and common perks at work is the free meals and office snacks available. While simple, it’s still one of the most enjoyed employee benefits. It’s also one of the simplest benefits you can give. Its affordability is great for startups or small businesses.

    How You Can Apply This: Offer healthy snacks in communal spaces in your office. Examples of healthy snacks would be nuts, yogurt, and so on. Check with employees to ensure they’re not allergic to any office snacks.

    Mentorship Opportunities

    If you want to foster employee retention, investing in your employee’s career development is crucial. You can do that by creating a mentorship program in your business.

    Companies can work with mentorship platforms to assign mentors outside of the company. However, you can also connect workplace leaders with junior personnel instead.

    How You Can Apply This: Informal mentorship is common. However, create a plan for your mentorship program. That program makes the program streamlined for both the mentor and mentee.

    Skills Training and Development

    Giving access to training programs is another way to provide upward mobility in your employee’s careers.

    You can give employees a free subscription to online learning platforms like Skillshare or Coursera.

    According to Nicolas Bivero, Penbrothers’ CEO and Founder, you can also use AI to upskill your offshore employees’ digital skills.

    How You Can Apply This: Conduct a skill gap analysis. These will identify which skills your company needs that your company currently lacks. That way, you know which training programs to provide your employees.

    Pet-Friendly Offices

    Another way to make in-office work more appealing is by making it pet-friendly. Pets are great for providing stress relief. It’s also a perk to attract potential job applicants.

    Remember to create a pet policy. That way, you can have a smoothly functioning office environment without disruptions from their presence.

    How You Can Apply This: A pet-friendly office requires some set-up if you want it to succeed. According to Tina Leone, CEO of Ballston BID, your office should be pet-proofed before it welcomes pets. That means keeping chewable equipment and food away from the pets.

    Work Social Events

    Another fringe employee benefit that you can provide would be work social events. These are when employers organize events that don’t involve working.

    These could be travel excursions, parties, picnics (better for smaller businesses), and so on. It encourages community-building in your company. The stronger the sense of community is, the less likely employee burnout can occur.

    How You Can Apply This: Virtual team-building activities are a great alternative to face-to-face employee social events. It works well for remote employees or businesses with limited means.
    Table 4: 11 Examples of Work-Related Employee Benefits

    11 Examples of Work-Related Employee Benefits
    Access to Coworking Spaces
    Commuter Benefits and Cycle-to-Work Schemes
    Company Equipment and Transportation
    Work-From-Home Stipends
    Flexible Working Arrangements
    Four-Day Workweek
    Free Food and Snacks
    Mentorship Opportunities
    Skills Training and Development
    Pet-Friendly Offices
    Work Social Events

    These work or career-related benefits foster better productivity in your employees. Whether remote or in-office, providing an employee benefit to support career development is essential.

    3 Tips for Building Employee Benefits Packages for Small Businesses

    One challenge of building an employee benefits package is the cost. It’s especially costly for small businesses that already have scant resources.

    Nonetheless, offering workers perks while being a startup is entirely possible. Here are some tips on how to cost-efficiently provide your employees’ benefits.

    Focus on Essential Benefits First

    With limited resources, it’s best to start by being able to provide all legally required employee benefits.

    Lisa Novak, owner and founder of an HR and Leadership Advisory firm, encourages employers to focus on “cornerstone benefits” first.

    After accounting for mandatory benefits, you can start looking into which fringe benefits can still fit your budget.

    Personalize Benefits Packages Based on Employee Feedback

    Another way to be smarter with resource management is by personalizing your benefits packages. This approach best applies when you’re looking for discretionary benefits to include.

    Many employee benefits are recurring costs. Thus, you want to ensure that these expenses are going towards something useful to your employees.

    You can send out surveys or employee feedback forms regarding employee benefits. There you’ll know which fringe benefits to keep or replace entirely.

    Research Industry-Standard Benefits

    Industry-standard benefits are another great reference to know which benefits to give. However, if you work with offshore employees, it’s harder to know what benefits are standard in their locality.

    To circumvent that, you can partner with an offshore company. They have insider knowledge of which perks are legally required. They also know which ones aren’t mandated but are an industry standard nonetheless.

    Refine Your Global Team’s Employee Benefits with Expert Advice from a Trusted Offshore Firm

    Attracting and securing top talent remains a formidable challenge in this competitive job market. A personalized employee benefits package can help you overcome that.

    However, even resourcefully building a benefits package becomes complicated when managing a global workforce. Localizing your employee benefits based on varied local labor laws can be confusing. 
    To refine your offshore employee’s benefits, working with a reliable offshore company is a solution. They can provide a comprehensive and localized benefits package for you. With that employee benefits package, you can elevate your appeal as an employer. You’re also cultivating a loyal and motivated workforce.

    Want to know how we roll?

    Want to discover how we help businesses like yours?

    Check out our success stories and find out how our clients grew and scaled through offshore staffing!