Many years ago, before I had children and was employed, I wanted two things from my job. 1. A chance to learn and develop and 2. Cash for it.
Three children and a pandemic later, I completely understand why many now seek more from their employers, such as to be family-friendly, flexible, considerate and accommodating.
I set up Mayflower Accountancy in part to give myself flexibility, and whilst I admire every single person who sets up a business, I don’t think you should need to do that in this day and age just to achieve flexibility in your life. If anything, in those early days of a new business, you’re working longer hours than ever before.
However, what I will say is this: I have a fantastic team of people who represent us well, who support our journey and add quality, value and enthusiasm into everything we do.
And most of our team joined us (and consequently left their previous employers) because we want to be accommodating, considerate and supportive.
It’s an easy thing to offer, but it can make you stand above the crowd.
What sort of benefits can I offer?
We all know there are common benefits to offer employees such as a company car or the chance to buy and sell holiday days, but there are many more you may not have considered.
Family care can be a very attractive option for your staff, and help you retain employees at the same time. If you have the facilities, you can look into on-site childcare for families who may not have access to childminders. You can also look into additional leave periods such as bereavement leave, adoption leave or perhaps even extend parental leave.
Flexible working patterns may also be a possibility. Especially since COVID-19, there has been a shift to more flexible working situations where employees can choose to work from a home office. Even though it’s now not mandatory, you can give your staff the option depending on whether it is sustainable for the company’s workload.
Even something as simple as an early finish on Fridays can do wonders for staff morale and give you some bonus points as an employer.
Mental health perks are becoming increasingly popular. With the fallout of lockdown having a major effect on the way people deal with stress, offering counselling sessions or wellbeing webinars is a surefire way to take care of your staff and help them not feel overwhelmed if they’re struggling.
Social benefits can be a good way to help your staff bond and make some great memories. Having a monthly budget for a meal out, or maybe a few cheeky drinks here and there, can really boost morale and give everyone the stress-relief they need after a hard day’s work.
How benefits can be tax-efficient
While giving your employees a selection of benefits can be emotionally rewarding, it can also be a good way of claiming back some money from HMRC.
If you provide company cars for your employees, why not consider switching to electric cars? Eco-friendly cars and vans have a lower benefit-in-kind tax rate. As of 6 April 2020, HMRC is now calculating the company car taxable benefit based on the electric range of the vehicle and the level of CO2 emissions from the car.
When providing a car for your employee, it comes out of their salary as a salary sacrifice. This lowers both your and your employees National Insurance contributions (NICs) from their pay.
Your annual Christmas party or summer barbecue is also tax-exempt under certain circumstances. HMRC states a party or social function can be tax-exempt if it is:
- Open to all of your employees
- Be an annual occasion (like the aforementioned Christmas party)
- Cost £150 or less per person
There are many good reasons to explore benefits for your employees. If not just for the tax breaks, for the knowledge you are cultivating a friendly work environment and retaining the staff who work hard for you and your business.
Get in touch about benefits today.