Building a winning team: Remuneration and flexible benefits


Childcare vouchers through salary exchange are among the most popular flexible benefit options available. The first £55 per week is free of income tax and national insurance contributions (NICs), which represents a substantial saving each year.


Trading holidays is also a widely used benefit, allowing employees to sell back unwanted time for additional cash or to buy extra days. It is also possible to incorporate pension contributions in a salary exchange system as the saving in NICs can increase the contributions paid.


Looking at wider options


As well as these three most common benefits, other options include private medical insurance (individual or family basis), dental plan, health screening, life insurance, critical illness insurance, income protection insurance, an option to purchase bicycles, season ticket travel loans, and discounted retail vouchers.


Building a flexible benefits strategy


It is important that any flexible benefit package retains a ‘core benefit’ that cannot be changed (such as minimum salary and holiday entitlement). However, you can design a package that reflects your company ethos and appeals not only to your existing employees, but also to new recruits.


The first step is to decide on what options to offer so it’s advisable to get your employees involved at an early stage. Also, rather than providing a lot of new benefits at once, I suggest adding two or three options to start with and building on this.