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‘Please, sir, I want some more’ - Remaining competitive as an employer

14 July 2023

In speaking to local businesses and SMEs, the issues of maintaining a steady team, attracting new recruits, and maintaining morale have been significant over the last year. Poaching of staff with offers of bigger salaries and benefits is a constant threat (and reality), and business owners are ever vigilant of their competitiveness when it comes to employee packages.

Cost of living 'bonuses' are not uncommon with one off payments, usually across the payroll, to shield team members from the effects of inflation which remain stubbornly high. Mortgage costs are also a significant issue when fixed rates end and there is some pressure for homeowners to shop around for higher incomes to make ends meet. Some employers feel that this is not their problem, until an exodus of staff occurs.

What can a business owner/director do to help when looking at an employee package of benefits, and perhaps more importantly, when was the last time you reviewed this to check you remain competitive with your peers? Perhaps now might be a good idea, because your employees might be doing the same, and coming back to ask for more.

As an employer, you are likely to be offering a pension scheme and employer contributions on a mandatory basis through auto-enrolment. Some employers also offer employees the choice as to whether any bonus is paid as a taxable payment or additional contribution to the employer's workplace pension.

There are varying types of group protection plans that are attractive to employees and cost effective for an employer. This includes death-in-service cover, income protection cover, and sometimes dependant pensions cover. These are not P11D benefits, unlike private medical insurance (PMI), which is also attractive to employees. Each offers a differing type of protection, and usually feature in a staff / employee handbook, and probably the employment contract, as part of the terms and conditions of employment.

Working with an employer's accountant to look at the tax efficiency of any employee benefit has proved effective, and they may also highlight other tax efficient options to offer, such as the cycle to work scheme. Reminding team members of the benefits that they have through an employer has also been a timely and effective strategy to encourage staff retention.

Considering and reviewing current employee contracts and terms remains a vital part of retaining good team members for the future of the business. If you would like to know more, or to consider the protection and pension options a stage further, then please let us know.

No individual advice is provided during the course of this blog.

Keith Churchouse FPFS
CFP Chartered FCSI
Chartered Financial Planner

Chapters Financial Limited is authorised and regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority, number 402899.

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