Benefits explained (Part 1/3): 8 most common statutory benefits in the UK
We are really excited to have partnered with global employment platform, Boundless in this unique project exploring the world of employee benefits in the UK. Over this series of bitesize blog posts, you’ll find out the fundamental information you need in order to develop a successful and impactful employee benefits strategy. In this first “Benefits Explained” article, we summarise the 8 most common statutory benefits.
- Holiday Entitlement
UK employees are entitled to at least 28 days’ paid annual leave a year, which can include bank holidays according to the decision of the employer. Employers can choose to offer more leave than the legal minimum number of days and some even offer unlimited paid holiday.
- Sick time off and pay
Employees are entitled to Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) from the fourth day of sickness up to 28 weeks. Due to Covid, the regulations have been extended so that those having to self-isolate and therefore unable to work may also be eligible for SSP.
- Maternity Time off and Pay
Maternity leave is made up of three parts - compulsory (two weeks following the baby’s birth), ordinary (the first 26 weeks) and additional (the last 26 weeks). Statutory maternity leave is paid up to 39 weeks.
Mothers have the option to share some of the 52 weeks with their partner but they must take the compulsory leave themselves.
- Adoption Time Off and Pay
Statutory Adoption Leave is also offered to all employees regardless of their length of service. Like maternity leave, adoption leave is made up to two parts - ordinary (the first 26 weeks) and additional (the last 26 weeks).
- Paternity Time Off and Pay
Expecting Father’s are eligible for one or two weeks paid paternity leave. Paternity leave commences when the child is born (and not before) and must finish within 56 days of delivery or adoption.
- Parental leave
For each child (up to the age of 18), employees are also able to take up to 18 weeks unpaid leave to enable them to spend more time with their children, see grandparents or settle into new childcare arrangements for example.
The most common form of pension is a ‘defined contribution’ pension, whereby the employee and their employer each regularly put a fixed sum of money into a pension pot.
It is compulsory for employers to set a “qualifying” pension arrangement and enrol employees automatically. The employer has to contribute a minimum of 3%, and the employee has to contribute a minimum of 5%. There is tax relief for both employer and employee on the amounts they contribute.
- Flexible working
All employees are able to request flexible working after a period of 26 weeks continuous employment. Flexible working includes job sharing, working from home, part-time, flexi time and compressed, staggered and annualised hours.
Employers assess the request for flexible working against business needs and relevant criteria and they can reject it with good reason.
To find out more about statutory benefits and how great employers enhance their offerings check out the full article on the Boundless website here.