Employee benefits hold the key to workplace happiness

A study has shown that employee benefits are one of the best ways to keep your workplace happyWith a new study revealing that 30 per cent of UK workers surveyed reported they were unhappy at work, getting employee satisfaction nailed is a big issue, so offering employee benefits could be the answer. Losing employees can have a very detrimental effect on a business – from loss of recruitment fees and investment in training that member of staff through to costs in having to recruit again and invest in training of the replacement employee. That’s without even considering the disruption to the business and the potential to lower morale of other employees.

The research unveiled those in the East Midlands to be happiest at work – with 80 per cent claiming they are happy – but short of moving to the East Midlands, what employee benefits could help boost employee satisfaction?

Well, with the study highlighting that 69 per cent of employees rate company benefits and perks as important to their overall satisfaction, and 26 per cent citing lack of recognition and reward for good work as a contributory factor to their happiness at work, it’s a topic not to be overlooked.

Tax Implications

Get advice on employee benefits and tax implications – of course, company vehicles, salary rises, vouchers or anything with a resale value is a taxable benefit – so it is worth considering the impact on the employee’s tax burden when considering these types of rewards and benefits. Your accountant will be able to offer advice around each and advise on the best approach or solution.

Non-Taxable Benefits

Consider non-taxable benefits – there are ways to remunerate staff which doesn’t necessarily involve a huge investment or added tax liability for them. Whilst auto-enrolment is now making workplace pensions statutory, employers can still make additional payments into the scheme for employees by way of reward, which would not be taxable. Social events can boost morale of the whole staff base, and these can be provided without any tax implications provided the yearly cost does not exceed £150 per head. Workplace nursery provision and refreshments or meals can also be provided at work without incurring tax, and can be an excellent way of recruiting and retaining staff. Workplace car parking is also a non-taxable perk.

Offer opportunities for participation in voluntary work – staff morale can be positively affected by allowing them to use work time to get involved in a good cause or project which will make them feel they’ve made a contribution without giving up their valuable time. This doesn’t have to be a very regular occurrence and doesn’t have to involve every member of staff, but perhaps could be a way of rewarding an ‘employee of the month’ who can then choose a cause that is important to them to support in some way in work time.

Employee benefits can be an extremely complex area and it is always best to get advice from your accountant to ensure you are meeting the tax duties of such activities. Anyone wanting further advice on this – whether around reviewing existing remuneration packages or helping to set them up, can get in touch on 01827 54944.