Fringe Benefits

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Health Assured team

21 December 2021

As an employer, you’re likely to have struggled to find ways to attract and retain the best talent in your workforce. Finding loyal, hard-working, and efficient employees is a difficult task. But there are ways to overcome this issue.

Rewarding employees for their efforts shows you recognise the contributions employees are making. Employees subsequently feel valued, and the quality of their work-life improves.

When we think about rewarding employees, the first thing that comes to mind is salaries and pay rises. But employee benefits don’t always have to be financial.

This guide will take an employer’s perspective on fringe benefits. We’ll look at what fringe benefits are and provide a list of fringe benefits you might consider offering to employees.

What are fringe benefits?

Fringe benefits are extra benefits that you provide to employees on top of their wages or salary. Sometimes these benefits are legally required. But employers can also grant them to employees in their terms of employment.

Salary and fringe benefits are both ways that employers can compensate staff for their efforts at the organisation. The purpose of fringe benefits is to attract and retain the best employees.

Depending on the type of fringe benefits you offer, they can support employees’ mental, physical, and financial wellbeing.

We’ll go further into the different fringe benefits you can offer below.

Fringe benefits examples

Staff fringe benefits can fall into a range of categories. From health to travel and financial support to retirement plans.

As an employer, you have a duty of care to protect and look after your staff. So, the wider the breadth of benefits you can offer, the better. Below we’ve listed some common fringe benefits employers in the UK use:

  • Flexible hours or flexi-time.
  • Sabbatical leave.
  • Medical or dental treatment and insurance.
  • Cycle to work schemes.
  • Gym memberships.
  • Company cars and fuel.
  • Mental health support and counselling.
  • Childcare support.
  • Pension schemes.
  • Life insurance.
  • Holidays.
  • Clothing.

How are fringe benefits taxed?

Employees will pay for most fringe benefits, like company cars for example.

But because most fringe benefits get deducted from employees’ salaries before tax, they can get more for their money. If they were paying for these benefits after-tax, they would have less to spend. Employers may still need to contribute towards fringe benefits in some cases.

How to calculate fringe benefits tax

You must report the fringe benefits you provide to HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC). Employers may also need to pay tax and National Insurance on them in some cases.

How much you pay and how much your employees pay will vary depending on the type of benefit you offer. The government website provides an expenses and benefits: A to Z, which shows the details of the taxable fringe benefits and how much you’ll need to pay.

At the end of the year, you’ll need to submit a P11D form to HMRC for the employees you’ve provided benefits too. You'll also need to submit a P11D(b) form if:

  • HMRC have asked you to.
  • You’ve paid employees' benefits via your payroll.
  • You’ve submitted a P11D.

You can also deduct tax on employee expenses through payroll if you’re registered with HMRC before the start of the tax year. You won’t need to provide a P11D in these cases, but you will need to provide a P11D(b) form.

The impact of fringe benefits on businesses

The benefits of fringe benefits to employees are huge. Fringe benefits help employees access services that they may not be able to otherwise, including medical insurance or counselling.

These benefits support employees parenting, help them with transportation and improve their general wellbeing. This contributes to a greater culture and a sense of improved work-life satisfaction.

Fringe benefits help to retain and recruit the best employees. When two jobs on the market offer the same salaries, fringe benefits can make the difference between which organisation a candidate applies for. They signal the culture of an organisation and highlight how organisations treat their employees.

In addition to this, there’s an interesting shift and return on investment that comes from supporting your employees. Workplace stress, anxiety levels and absenteeism rates reduce. As a result, productivity, engagement, and morale improve.

These small shifts can help to improve team communication, achieve business goals, and boost performance.

Promoting your fringe benefits to employees

It's all well and good providing fringe benefits to your staff. But if employees are unaware of these benefits, the uptake will likely be low.

To feel the full effect of the fringe benefits you provide to employees, make sure you’re signposting the services or savings available to them.

It could be in your email communications, via posters in the office or through line managers. Employees might otherwise forget the support they can access.

Get help from Health Assured with Fringe Benefits

Fringe benefits can have a dramatic impact on the way your employees feel about their life at work. When you invest in your employees, they feel valued, and their performance at work improves.

One of the fringe benefits you can offer employees is an Employee Assistance Programme (EAP). Health Assured’s EAP helps you look after your employees when they are experiencing difficulties.

We offer a 24/7, 365 helpline with trained counsellors, as well as legal, financial, and medical professionals. Employees can access this service anytime, anywhere.

When you support employees in this way, their mental health and performance at work will improve.

We also offer a support line for managers to guide them in dealing with workplace issues quickly and correctly.

Our wellbeing experts can offer guidance and support on keeping your employees motivated and happy. Get in touch today on 0844 891 0352

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