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.
Sarah Byrne, HR practice editor
HR and legal information and guidance relating to voluntary benefits.