11 steps to create great employee benefits

Written by
Chris Morgan

13 Oct 2016

13 Oct 2016 • by Chris Morgan

Have you ever considered the health and wellbeing of your workforce, in the long-term? 

Providing financial benefits such as group life insurance, disability insurance and critical illness cover to employees can add value to your business, and to your employees' family lives too.

So why invest?

1. Attract and keep your best people

A business can’t survive without its people. When applying for a job, prospective employees will be looking beyond what the job itself has to offer, they’ll also take into account the benefits package.

Purchasing financial benefits for a group of people will often be cheaper than if your employee was to purchase their own policy from the high street. Prospective employees will see you have purchased this product and feel you have made a substantial investment. Therefore, the product will be more valuable to them and as a result can help to make you that little bit more attractive over another company.

2. Be interested in the wellbeing of your workforce

If one of your people should become seriously ill or even die, you’ll want to be able to support that employee and their family as best you can and these financial benefits can help you to do that. Doing the right thing really matters, as how you react in that situation will also impact the way other employees think and feel about you as an employer.

Employees will appreciate you looking out for their financial wellbeing and helping them to take care of their family.

3. A financially well employee, helps make a happy and focused employee

Providing financial benefits helps to mitigate worries about money. A focused and engaged workforce, free from personal distraction, is essential for any business to thrive, as employees focus on the job in hand.

4. Financial protection complements pension saving, especially in the early years

Life insurance is a natural complement to a workplace pension and indeed an essential protection for employees in the early years of their pension saving, by providing a meaningful benefit for their family when their pension pot is still small and they are likely to have more debts than savings. With many employees being auto-enrolled and saving for the first time, this is an ideal starter benefit.

5. Protect your peoples health and benefit your business

Investing in disability insurance with inclusive early intervention and rehabilitation services can help care for your people when they fall sick and have to take time off from work.

Case management provided by appropriate healthcare professionals will support your people through following a structured and tailored return to work plan. Having this support in place means that there is a better chance your people will be able to return to work sooner. Not only will this help you mitigate the costs of absence, such as hiring and training temporary staff, you’ll also be able to grow your business effectively with your best people fit and ready to take the business forward. 

6. You dont need to pay for everything

Every employee in your business is a person with different circumstances. In a flexible benefits scheme you can give your employees the option to choose how much cover they may want, usually on top of a set amount provided by the employer, and pay for the extra themselves. 

7. Shout about it!

Your people will not be aware that they have financial benefits available to them if you do not communicate with them clearly. We recommend sending regular email reminders to your people so they are aware of the benefits available to them and are up to date with relevant paperwork.

We would also recommend retelling your employees of the direct value of financial benefits. For example, reminding them that group life insurance will ensure their family is able to keep a roof over their head and that critical illness cover and disability insurance can provide financial support during periods of illness and injury.

As well as sending regular emails, sharing these messages via your intranet will provide another avenue for you to ensure your people are knowledgeable of the benefits available to them and what they are.

8. Cover for two or more people

At Ellipse, there only needs to be two people in a business for us to be able to produce a quote, so there’s no need to think that you might be too small to implement these benefits. 

9. Some benefits can be tax efficient

For benefits, such as group life, usually costs of the policy can be offset against income as a business expense (subject to HMRC terms and approval). Further to this if the benefits you offer work on a salary sacrifice basis, you’ll pay less National Insurance contributions helping to offset the costs of the benefits programme. 

10. Think of the freebies

It’s not just the insurance that you and your people can benefit from. Side products such as employee assistance programmes, rehabilitation services and bereavement support enhances the value your people and therefore your business can extract from financial benefits.

At Ellipse, we include access to TeamSeer on our disability product, an online absence and holiday management tool. This isn’t only handy for you and your employees to keep track of holiday easily, but provides you with the data to notice absence patterns.

Furthermore, as the product is linked with our system, we’ll know when your employee is off sick and can become involved early enough to get them back to work as soon as possible.

11. Last but not least, its not as expensive as you think

You may think it’s expensive to cover your employees’ lives, but it’s not.

Let’s take group life as an example. For a business with 10 employees who are working in the legal sector, who have an average age of 40 and an average benefit of £120,000, the cost to the employer per year is roughly £1000 in total.