Employment benefits

New Year, new job? Things to be mindful of…

January is the month employees are most likely to think about changing jobs, with almost one in five (18%) citing this as the most popular month to make a move, according to a survey by Glassdoor.

The top reason employees left a job was low salary, chosen by more than one in three (35%) respondents. Needing a new challenge was cited by 23%, and 22% stated their work was too boring to consider staying.

But what about employee perks?

Recently news broke that Apple and Facebook are offering to freeze eggs for US female employees in an effort to attract more women on to their staff. That sounds great though most of us are familiar and might enjoy the benefits of more traditional employee package in our current job.

Smaller employers tend to offer fewer components in the employee benefits package – and sometimes, no benefits at all. But, the majority of large companies and virtually all public sector government employers provide an extensive employee benefits package.

So what sort of things are classed as employee benefits?

There are a variety of benefits out there but in principle they tend to cover the following:

  • Benefits that provide for old age such as pensions
  • Benefits that save for the future such as share schemes and workplace ISAs
  • Benefits that provide for illness and injury such as sick pay, Private medical insurance and income protection
  • Benefits that provide for death such as life insurance and death in service benefit

What happens to my benefits if I leave my current employment?

In the case of some amassed benefits, such as pension, you should be able to take this with you when you leave. In other cases like health cover, your employer may agree to continue to provide cover under the scheme for a short period of time until have you transferred to another healthcare provider in order to preserve your medical history.

Whether or not you have to pay back this benefit will depend on the contractual arrangements. It is not uncommon for the terms of a conferred benefit to specify that a repayment in whole or part would need to be made if you left employment within a certain period of time. Alternatively, there may be a provision for a deduction to be made from your final salary.

So if the January rush has affected you too and you are looking for another job, what should you do to protect yourself?

  • It is always a good idea to read the small print in your contract to understand where you stand
  • It might be advantageous to arrange your own benefits such as life insurance, medical insurance and income protection. This way you will have the flexibility of choosing your new job based on your actual interest in the role and company.

Not sure what is the best option for you? Get in touch with me to discuss your personal circumstances and consider the options open to you.


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