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Fringe Benefits Definition, Types & Examples

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Last editedJul 20212 min read

Your business is more than just a logo, a catchy slogan and the promises you make on your website. It’s also more than the products and services you offer to your clientele. As much as your unique vision, experience and passion have shaped your business, other people make your business what it is today. 

Your brand identity is built on the interactions that your team members have with your customers, the ideas they bring to the table, and the passion that greases the wheels of productivity. However, in an increasingly competitive job market, it’s getting harder and harder to recruit and retain top-tier talent. Offering attractive fringe benefits can make the idea of working for your company more appealing to the right people. 

What are fringe benefits?

A competitive wage is essential in attracting the right people to your business. Clever, dynamic and accomplished people who will be an asset to your team and help you take your business to the next level. 

But remuneration isn’t the only thing that matters to these employees. Your ability to attract and retain them will also depend on the fringe benefits you offer them. 

Fringe benefits are perks that businesses offer to their employees outside of compensation (salary). Some of these are mandatory requirements, while others are offered at the company’s discretion. 

Why is it important to offer fringe benefits?

In the post-pandemic era, you may be wary of additional spending. You go to great lengths to ensure that your team is well paid. Nonetheless, the value of fringe benefits outweighs their cost. They are integral to assuring employee wellbeing, and can help them achieve a good work / life balance. They can be tailored to the needs and priorities of the people you want to attract to your company. They make for a happy, healthy and highly motivated workforce. They also allow your job listings to stand apart from those posted by your competitors, so you can recruit and retain the best of the best at your competitors’ expense. 

Different types of fringe benefits

Fringe benefits in the UK broadly fall into two categories. Some are mandatory, while others are discretional. For instance, businesses in the UK are required, by law, to provide for these benefits for their employees: 

  • At least 5.6 week’s holiday allowance per year

  • Access to a workplace pension 

  • Statutory sick pay

  • Income protection

Other fringe benefits, however, are offered at the employer’s discretion. 

Examples of fringe benefits

Discretionary fringe benefits are your opportunity to stand out among your competitors and show them how much you care about your team. These can attract and retain employees, but they can also be earned and accrued to motivate your team. 

Some common examples of discretionary benefits include:

  • Subsidised membership to gyms or wellness programmes

  • Company vehicles 

  • Flexitime / working from home

  • Employee discounts

  • High street vouchers

  • An on-site creche or childcare vouchers

  • Free meals

  • Life insurance policies

  • Paid overtime 

  • Additional paid holidays

  • Dental care plans

  • Travel subsidies

  • Employee referral bonuses

Designing your fringe benefits package

Whatever benefits you offer your employees, it’s important to package them so that they stand out both to prospective employees and existing team members. Here are some tips to help you design your benefits package:

  • Make it relevant to their needs, concerns and pain points

  • Make sure employees know what fringe benefits are offered and how to claim them at the point of onboarding

  • Allow your team to have a say in what fringe benefits are offered 

  • Ensure that the benefits you offer are aligned with your company’s goals and culture 

We can help

If you’re interested in finding out more about fringe benefits and how they can be used to recruit, motivate or retain your staff, then get in touch with our financial experts. Find out how GoCardless can help you with ad hoc payments or recurring payments.

Over 85,000 businesses use GoCardless to get paid on time. Learn more about how you can improve payment processing at your business today.

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