What Are Flexible Benefits (and Does Your Team Need Them)?

More and more employees are looking for flexible benefits in their benefits packages. But what are flexible benefits and how do they work? Read on to learn more.

Benefits 101

Mar 14, 2024 ⋅ 4 min read

Benefits are a key part of a company’s employee compensation package – it’s no longer just a decent salary that attracts talent to your business. Enter flexible benefits.

But what are flexible benefits and how do you know if they’re right for your team? We unpack all of this and more below.

What are flexible benefits?

‘Flexible benefits’ refer to benefits that your employees can opt in or out of, depending on what matters most to them.

Not all benefits are created equal. While some employees may benefit from financial education and coaching, others may be more inclined to opt into family planning benefits like reproductive assistance. Flexible benefits mean that employees of all walks of life can get the benefits that really work for them.

What are flexible benefits allowances?

Flexible benefits are a type of ‘currency’ that you give your employees to spend on whatever they like, sometimes within a certain category. For example, you might give employees a £300 allowance toward their work-from-home setup, so they can choose ergonomic items that work the best for them rather than a standard issue mouse and keyboard.

Some companies might opt to provide a flexible benefits allowance that employees can spend on anything at all that they like. The benefit to employees is that the ball is in their court – after all, benefits aren’t always one-size-fits all.

What can employees use flexible benefits for? 

The beauty of flexible benefits is that they can apply to almost anything! Gym memberships, financial wellbeing apps, learning and development–all of it can be provided to your team through flexible benefits.

For instance, you might want to set a defined budget to be used on ‘wellbeing’ or ‘health and fitness’. Then, your employees can spend their allowance on a gym membership or counselling or a personal trainer – whatever works best for them.

Recent research has found that health insurance, life insurance, holiday entitlement and pension schemes came top of the list for workers. So you might want to consider offering these as part of your benefits package, along with some other options for people to choose from.

Why choose flexible benefits? 

Flexible benefits can work to the advantage of both employers and employees.

For starters, they’re a great way to show that you’re an appealing place to work and to encourage candidates to apply for a job with you. According to a poll by Envoy, 63% of employees said flexibility would make them feel more empowered and flexibility ranked almost as high as more paid time off in terms of desirable benefits. So offering a personalised set of benefits that your people can choose from – and making a big deal of this on your Careers page and job descriptions – can be an effective way to attract talent. 

Plus, flexible benefits could help you reduce your employee churn rate. Employees are more likely to stay with a company that values its team and empowers them to live their lives to the fullest. If you’ve not heard of ‘work-life integration’, it’s a holistic approach taken by employers to support employees in all aspects of their life. Flexible benefits aid work-life integration as they show that, as an employer, you trust your employees to spend their allowance in a way that improves their life.

You might find that offering flexible benefits improves overall employee engagement and satisfaction. Did you know that only 27% of employers have benefits that address the needs of their workforce? Yet Ben customers consistently achieve an average monthly employee engagement rate of 83%.

And the best part? You can see what’s working and what’s not. If one benefit is proving particularly popular, you might want to increase your spending allowance for that category, or remove a perk that isn’t working so well for your employees in order to save money.

Offering flexible benefits should be high on your agenda as a business. After all, 85% of organisations say they plan to enhance their benefits packages further, which suggests that the battle to attract and retain the best talent via benefits packages is sure to intensify. So it’s worth putting some thought into your flexible benefits scheme to ensure you stay competitive.

How does the Ben card work for flexible benefits? 

With the Ben Mastercard, your employees can build benefits that work for life. All while saving you time and money.

As an employer, you can define amounts and customise these based on multiple criteria, including location, tenure, salary and more. We automate all the tedious admin and let you approve requests automatically and connect your payroll and account software to make the whole process seamless. You can even see how your benefits compare to the rest of the market.

Meanwhile, your team gets to use what works for them. And you can see exactly which benefits are most popular, whether your team is invested in learning and development, cutting the cost of fertility treatment or simply getting a better deal on their Netflix subscription.

Ready to roll out flexible benefits with your company?

Book a demo with Ben

Speak with one of our Benefits & Rewards Specialists to see how flexible benefits can help your team.

Get started
No items found.
Copy link