Benefits for employees – which are the most popular?
The belief that an employer must offer benefits to its employees is becoming more and more popular. What exactly are benefits? How do they work and who can get them? What benefits for employees are the most popular in Poland?
The word benefit comes from the words bene (Latin, good) and facere (Latin to do). Benefits are to serve well employees – they are a non-cash addition to remuneration, which will directly answer their needs. Benefit is an additional provision that employees can get at their workplace. Usually, it is financed by the employer, although the co-financing (partial payment) by the employee is also a popular solution. The types and rules of awarding benefits depend on the company – the division or the department in which we work, the position, seniority and remuneration, and even the achievement of annual or quarterly goals may be important.
Employers in Poland can count on many concessions and facilitations in settling benefits for employees – some of them are exempt from contributions to ZUS or income tax (up to a certain amount). If the employer runs the Company Social Benefits Fund and finances employee benefits, it is subject to the provisions of the CSFF Act, which clearly defines the purposes of spending such a fund. If the benefits are paid from working capital, the company can freely decide on the form and type of benefits to be granted.
Benefits at work – bonus or standard?
Until recently, even a computer, a business phone or a car could be seen as employee benefits. These are, however, simply the basic tools that the company must provide to us so that we can carry out our tasks. It is difficult to describe them as “additional services”, although the exception will be a company car, which remains at our sole disposal also after business hours, and the employer also finances our refueling.
Similarly with coffee or tea in the office – the company obviously has no obligation to provide their employees, but nowadays in a good tone is the choice of basic products available in the kitchen or social room. In addition, more and more often companies invite to the offices of sellers of sandwiches and salads, or provide vending machines on the premises of the workplace.
A certain standard in terms of benefits at work has become a package of medical care. Financed or co-financed by the employer with a subscription in a private clinic, including visits to certain doctors, and often also entitling to discounts on research, dental services or visits to other specialists, is a very popular benefit in big cities. Such a package can be used by the employee themselves, but also his relatives – of course, on preferential terms.
Another extremely popular and eagerly sponsored employee benefit is insurance – for life and unfortunate accidents. Such insurance can be useful to any of us. Thanks to the fact that the employer negotiates with the insurer rates for a large group of interested parties, the cost of insurance is definitely better than the offers that individual clients can count on.
Employee benefits – equal allocation of benefits
Employers often assume that everyone in the company should receive the same employee benefits. Thanks to this, no one should feel left out or treated unfairly. In practice, however, it turns out that such an even allocation does not really work. Especially when employees have no alternative to the offered benefit. Example?
Sports card, one of the most popular benefits in Poland, is a great solution for active people – practicing sports, learning to dance, or simply recreationally using a pool or salt cave. However, there are some employees who do not see the possibility of using the activities offered as part of the card. It is very important to provide them with other benefits of similar value – thanks to this they will not feel disadvantaged and will also appreciate employee benefits in their company. Or maybe over time they will also find out about sporting activities?
Even cinema tickets – very often chosen by employees – may be a poor benefit. It’s enough that our subordinates live outside the city (and to the X cinema, where they can have the tickets, it’s far away), or they have several children (and donated tickets are not enough for the whole family). When offering benefits to employees, various scenarios must be taken into account.
Benefits for employees chosen by the employees themselves
A perfect solution is when the employee decides on the benefits he or she receives from the employer. In order to maintain a balance between the benefits granted to employees, the company specifies only the budget to be spent – monthly, quarterly or annual – for a given person. On the other hand, the final decision on the distribution of funds belongs to the employee themselves. If they want, the employee pays a sports card every month. If he or she prefers to spend time differently – the funds received for cinema or theater tickets can be used at their own discretion. If an employee doesn’t get interested in sports or cultural benefits, a weekend trip to the mountains or to another city is an alternative.
Such freedom in choosing employee benefits is extremely convenient and allows you to take advantage of those proposals that are actually interesting to us. It also testifies to the great trust that the company has for its employees. When choosing a ready-made solution, e.g. cafeteria, the employer minimizes the amount of work involved in the ongoing handling of benefits. The cafeteria system operator cares about the quality and availability of the benefit offer, the correct flow of funds and full reporting that is necessary for the employer to settle employee benefits.