Voluntary benefits have changed rapidly over the past 15 years, as benefits that employees would have traditionally bought for themselves are now readily available through their workplaces. Kimberley Dondo reports


There has been a change in what is included in workplace benefits, and also how they are offered.

The traditional offerings may still be there, but the real growth has been in a different type of proposition – the voluntary benefit. These fall into two broad categories – extra benefits in a package that the employee may contribute towards, and a discount set-up where the individual receives some form of reward as a result of making a purchase.

The huge advantages of this type of benefit is that it offers massive choice for the staff member at a minimal cost to their employer.

We are rounding up what’s on the market in our six-part A – Z…


By April 2018, parents will no longer be able to register for childcare vouchers following the full introduction of the government’s new tax-free childcare system. However, parents registering before the cut-off date can continue to receive childcare vouchers until their children are 15, delivering an annual family saving of up to £1,866 – or the best part of £28,000 over 15 years.


Mental health is a growing area of focus by many employers, who can address their duty of care by giving staff access to benefits ranging from providing fruit and other healthy snacks in the office to weekly 30-minute massages.


As most contracts with benefits providers can start from one to three years, feel free to ask them what else they can provide, or negotiate better discounts over the term of agreement.


It is important to review the benefits staff have most engaged with. It is also important to ask your workforce which benefits they used and which ones they feel are missing from what you provide.


With employees living fast-paced, high-stress lives, a lack of sleep can be a issue. Some employers have installed sleep pods or have a comfortable couch in a room so staff can take a quick nap. A study by the American Academy of Sleep Medicine found that well-rested workers are more productive, miss fewer days due to illness and could save a business up to $4,261 per employee.