Getting employees back on track
Key to getting business back on track
There are a number of ways in which employers can provide a range of benefits to employees in order to incentivise staff and focus minds on rebuilding the business during these difficult times. Importantly these don’t have to cost the business lots, or in some cases, any cash. Here we look at some of the ways in which this can be achieved.
Salary exchange schemes
Under salary exchange (also known as salary sacrifice) the employee gives up an amount of salary in return for an employer provided benefit. Tax and national insurance savings result from the benefit being exempt from, or incurring, a lower charge than the amount of salary given up.
Whilst these schemes, only cover a very limited number of benefits, for most employers the pension contributions and low emission cars are likely to be the most attractive salary exchange benefits to offer to their workforce. The reason being is that they represent no cost to the business and in fact it saves national insurance, and in the case of electric cars, business mileage costs too. For more information on the salary exchange schemes, how they work and the tax benefits available, download our brochure.
Long term staff incentives
Increasing share ownership is proven to help retain and motivate staff and there can also be some potentially substantial tax savings available – although there are a number of challenges and ways to structure share participation. Read more on share schemes here
Martin Brown, a director in our employer solutions team, has produced a short video on how share plans and in particular EMI plans can help small and mid-sized companies say thank you to your key members of staff in a way that doesn’t cost the business precious cash and focuses on rebuilding after this current crisis is over.
Other employee benefits
The main and arguably most valuable benefits from an employee perspective include:
- A pension scheme with a matching employer contribution (which can also benefit from a salary exchange scheme as described above)
- Life assurance as a multiple of salary
- Critical illness cover either as a multiple of salary or fixed lump sum
- Income Protection insurance to provide a replacement income in the event of being unable to work due to accident or illness
- Private Health Insurance usually for your senior staff to ensure they can receive prompt private treatment and return to work as soon as possible in the event of a health issue
- Healthcare Cashplan for your less senior employees, offering a range of financial assistance for items such as dental treatment, eye tests and chiropractor treatments
- Childcare Vouchers to assist your employees who need day care for their children whilst they are working
For more information on employee benefits visit our webpage.
Health & wellbeing strategy – keeping on track
Strategies such as mental health and communication may now not be up to the task. It is important to continually review this and understand what you are trying to achieve before deciding on the best solution to take forward. Some areas to consider could be:
- Delayed medical treatment, such as cancer scans, could impact the health of the workforce which in turn could extend into absenteeism
- Access to GPs will be vital and virtual appointments can help ease the anxiety going out and getting an appointment at a suitable time
- Access to prescriptions could be limited with the increased demand for certain drugs which, before Coronavirus, was already an issue and is still ongoing with Brexit negotiations
- With arguably a depressed economy, access to support services such as online cognitive behaviour therapy or psychologist sessions will be vital
- Communication strategies may have been centred on the intranet or email. Furloughed employees may not have been able to access vital information on support services or may even be unaware of their benefits
- Without effective communication, for example during furlough, employer culture can slip by leaving employees feeling lost. This could lead to considerations for their career
How we can help
None of the schemes mentioned should be considered in isolation. At PKF Francis Clark, our employer solutions and financial planning teams can help you design and implement a benefits package that suits you, your business objectives, your budget and your staff.