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…


Staff members can save on income tax with some employee benefits. For example, with cycle-to-work and childcare voucher schemes, any deductions are taken from gross salary, which reduces the amount of income tax an employee pays.


A wide-ranging benefits package will support a productive workforce and help to attract and retain employees, which will ultimately reduce recruitment and training costs. “If an employee can make their net earnings go 2-3% further in purchasing power then this is a win for the employer,” says Marcus Underhill, director of engagement and insights at Staffcare.


Kids’ Pass offers staff discounts to child-friendly entertainment during the school holidays. Membership supplies access to more than 5,000 attractions, including 1,600 family friendly restaurants, 450 cinema locations and a wide range of family holiday discounts with companies such as Eurocamp, Cottages.com, Butlin’s and Hoseasons.


Life assurance is a type of insurance contract that offers a lump sum to your dependants should you die while under contract of employment. Many companies will allow increased levels on a voluntary basis and deduct the cost from gross monthly salary. This can be an  extremely valuable benefit, particularly where there is a young family or if an income is lost.