Can an employee benefits review actually save you money?

Stay competitive with regular employee benefits, staff remuneration and incentives benchmarking

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Giles Murphy, Steve Cave
Published: 08 May 2017 Updated: 13 Jun 2022

Today’s workplace has four generations working side-by-side, so it’s crucial to establish whether existing benefits are relevant to your employees, and those you want to attract.

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With macroeconomic issues such as Brexit and now a general election dominating the headlines, it’s understandable that a strategic employee benefits review hasn’t been a key focus for many HR or finance directors.

Finding and retaining the right people is essential for any professional practice and this was seen as the number one challenge for 56% of respondents to our 22nd Annual Law Firm survey. Firms acknowledge the importance of both financial and non-financial rewards in attracting talented people and appear to be responding to the aspirations of millennials through a greater focus on training, career development, mentoring and appraisals.

Why review your employee benefits package?

The Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development notes that the cost to the employer of a typical benefits package can be 40% of the total costs of employing staff.

This significant financial outlay should encourage you to carry out regular reviews of your employee benefits package to determine whether it offers superior overall remuneration and incentives compared to your peer group. Understanding how you sit vs your peer group is important as you risk increased staff turnover and failure to attract the highest calibre staff.

Uncovering hidden risks and potential savings

Historically, benefits have been assessed purely on a ‘cost’ basis, looking for savings where possible, particularly in times of economic uncertainty.

Concerns over the time and costs involved in carrying out an employee benefits benchmarking project, combined with fears over a resultant increase in costs/benefits, mean businesses often delay or refrain from carrying out employee benefits benchmarking.

In many cases, the opposite is true. This crucial exercise can reveal liabilities and uncover cost savings, along with simple but effective strategies to increase employee engagement. A clear benefits and communications strategy supports organisational goals including staff attraction, retention, productivity, well-being and corporate profitability.

Received wisdom about benefits structures should not be a barrier to reviewing your existing set up.

By necessity, this briefing can only provide a short overview and it is essential to seek professional advice before applying the contents of this article. This briefing does not constitute advice nor a recommendation relating to the acquisition or disposal of investments. No responsibility can be taken for any loss arising from action taken or refrained from on the basis of this publication. Details correct at time of writing.


This article was previously published on Smith & Williamson prior to the launch of Evelyn Partners.