Benefits – are they really so great?

Why not let people make their own choices, within a range that works for the employer? For example, you could set basic annual leave entitlements, and let workers take salary sacrifices as a trade off for enhanced leave.  Perhaps some people would rather have a discount on their gym membership than medical insurance? 

Our idea of equality has become an idea of uniformity.   But there are ways to be equal that do not involve standardisation of everything.  Small organisations tend to work on the basis of a salary without any benefits.  Many organisations have changed company cars into car allowances. If we extend that idea, we could convert all our packages to ‘cash’, and then allow grown-up individuals to make choices about what benefits they want.  Then we can show pay transparency across a spectrum of options, without having to work out whether a medical insurance scheme is or is not equivalent to a small car loan scheme.

Unless your staff are working across a variety of jurisdictions and tax bases, why not keep it simple?

Annabel Kaye is Managing Director of Irenicon Ltd, a specialist employment law consultancy.   Tel: 08452 303050  Fax: 08452 303060  Website :  You can follow Annabel on twitter –

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