Editor's message: Voluntary benefits plans allow employees to purchase goods and services at a discount organised by the employer. Your organisation may choose to use a third-party supplier, which will often involve a fee for employee access to the system. The alternative is for the organisation to administer the scheme itself, although this may be more resource intensive as you will need to arrange discounts with local or national suppliers, and keep the scheme up to date.
Employers that are unable to offer a wide range of benefits or have a limited budget are likely to find voluntary benefits an attractive option - they are a useful way to enhance the benefits package, often at little or no cost to the organisation. For the workforce, being able to access discounts on high-street prices can significantly increase the perceived value of working for the organisation.
Sheila Attwood, managing editor, pay and HR practice
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In a time of low pay awards, employers can really enhance their reward offering through the benefits package they offer. Our research investigates the use of around 40 different benefits.
Giving employees a choice of benefits, and delivering them in the most cost-efficient manner, are key themes emerging from this year's survey of employers' benefits and allowances packages.
Definition from the XpertHR glossary.
Practical guidance on setting up a voluntary benefits scheme as part of the organisation's reward strategy.
HR and legal information and guidance relating to voluntary benefits.