Incentives for Growing Companies No.7: Benefits Administration and Management

Incentives for Growing Companies No.7: Benefits Administration and Management

Benefits are hugely important for the attraction and retention of talent. In a nutshell, as a small to medium-sized company, you may have been satisfied with offering some Life, Permanent Health and Disability cover, along with some private health cover – but that isn’t what your candidates and current staff will be satisfied with.

They are looking for more.

They are expecting the following:

  • An offset to living expenses
  • Improvements in the quality of their lives
  • Support with staying healthy
  • Prevention of burnout
  • Greater engagement

So, for example, these might be benefits of employment that are in addition to ‘the basics’

  • Affordable health insurance
  • Free lunch at the office
  • Digital coaching
  • Mental Health Services
  • Gym reimbursement
  • Tuition reimbursement

What works for your organisation will be very much a tailored decision, something that fits your policy regarding employment engagement and a key element of the employee’s career value proposition.

Broadly, benefits are either financial or health and well-being.


  • Pension
    This is described in more detail in our special presentation  - Pensions and Retirement Plans - coming soon.
  • Share Schemes
    This is described in more detail on our website - coming soon.
  • Travel Loans
    European companies now routinely employ individuals who are not residents in the same city as the headquarters. To allow for that, employers often offer staff interest-free travel loans so they can buy annual tickets - making commuting more financially affordable
  • Maternity/Paternity Paid Leave
    Women are entitled to a year’s maternity leave and provided they’re eligible they’ll get 39 weeks of statutory maternity pay. Men on the other hand are entitled to paternity leave and can choose to take one to two weeks of Statutory Paternity Leave. Generally, paternity leave must start and end within 56 days of the birth. This varies by country (see below)

Health and Wellbeing

  • Private health insurance
    Medical insurance as an employee benefit has been around for quite some time and is designed to support an employee in the event, they become ill or are injured. On the flip side, offering medical insurance shows that the employer supports its staff.  
  • Sick/Duvet Pay
    Staff will be entitled to statutory sick pay. The employer is entitled generally to choose a limit for this occurrence to prevent creating a burden for employees who show up regularly. ‘Duvet days’ work similarly, they are days reserved for when employees are not necessarily sick, but lack the motivation to work . These periods are built into the annual holiday allowance.
  • Flexible Working
    Flexible working is becoming a need for employees in today’s society post-Covid. These benefits allow staff to fit work in with other commitments by giving them the chance to choose where to work and can help promote work/life balance.  
  • Additional Benefits
    In some cases, employers, especially in young and dynamic environments such as the Retail and Tech industry, can have other benefits in place. Such benefits include but are not limited to gym memberships; days off for special occasions like birthdays and non-mandatory holidays; dedicated development days for educational purposes; rewards with non-monetary items (merchandise, food, activities).

We picked some unusually ‘complete’ (some would say lavish!) benefit policies to showcase the ‘best in the world’ and offer up some interesting examples for growing companies in the UK and Europe

The full benefits programme shown immediately below may be quite unaffordable for your company’s level of growth and maturity, but you may also see some items that are of interest, and food for thought. In terms of affordability, the average value of benefits, alone, at Facebook is $29,334 (£23,034)[1], and at Google it is $24,942 (£19,585)[2]. A stretch for many, particularly growing companies, however there are creative choices to think about.

Unique Benefits: On-Site Clinic, Spa and Barbershop. Rooftop Nature Park and a Newborn Baby Bonus ($2,000 for every newborn child)

Insurance and Health Cover:

  • Life Insurance (3x base salary for spouse and child)
  • Healthcare Insurance (100% for employee, family subsidies including mental health) Dental, Vision and Disability Insurance.
  • Maternity and Paternity leave for 4 months each
  • Free meals five days a week
  • 21 days PTO, unlimited sick time.
  • On site gym, fitness classes and gym reimbursement.
  • Sabbaticals, free snacks and free drinks
  • On Site Mothers Room and AD&D insurance.


  • Assistance with fertility, immigration and/or adoption
  • Remote working (if possible)
  • On-Site Tire Replacement, Company Phone and Phone Bill Replacement

Financial (in addition to incentive remuneration, such as bonus or long-term incentives):

  • Flexible Spending Account
  • Match on employee contributions up to limits
  • Help with Savings


  • Employee Credit (modest sum per month)
  • Employee Discounts for High Street Brands


  • Transport Allowances
  • Bike parking
  • Bus, Shuttle and Underground passes


  • Reimbursement for Child Care
  • Paid Family Sickness leave
  • Travel Insurance
  • On-site massage

How do Europe’s biggest countries compare?

Annual Leave (Best case, and the UK)

Parental Leave (Best case, and the UK)

Sick Leave (Best Case, and the UK)

France (25-37 days per year)

Estonia (166 days)

Sweden (80% for a year)

Norway, Denmark, Finland, Sweden (25 days per year)

Slovak Rep (164 days)

Iceland (100% for first 12 days, then sickness benefits up to a year)

Austria, Portugal (22 per year)

Finland (166 days)

Lithuania ( Up to one year, and 62% of salary)

UK (22 per year)

UK (126 days of parental leave)

UK (Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) for up to 28 weeks, from the 4th day)

Here are two further examples of complete benefits programmes: one from Europe (Hilti – the technology, software and services company which powers the professional construction industry) [3], and one from the UK (The Sytner Group – the luxury car company) [4]

Hilti (Lichtenstein)

The Global Headquarters offers:

  1. Amenities
    1. In house gym, massage, Meditation and Relaxation Rooms
    2. Restaurant and barista
    3. Laundry service
    4. Tool Lending Service
  2. Transport:
    1. Electric Vehicle Charging Station
    2. Subsidies for electric vehicle charging costs, travel cards for Switzerland and public transport
    3. Discounted Petrol
  3. Family:
    1. Child Care Centre
    2. Maternity and Paternity Leave (Maternity is 20 weeks, with 16 following the birth). Parental leave is 4 months.
  4. Integration
    1. Relocation Support for transport of furniture and finding a new apartment.
    2. Subsidies for language courses (for individuals and families)
    3. Spouse Career Support
    4. Tax Advice
  5. Leisure Time:
    1. Subsidies for Theme Parks, Museums and Adventure passes
    2. REKA Credits (Reka Money is a means of payment specifically meant for holidays, leisure activities, transport and meals)
  6. Insurance:
    1. Assistance: SOS International
    2. Health Insurance Contribution
    3. Insurance Coverage for Occupational and Non-Accident.
  7. Sport:
    1. In House Gym
    2. Subsidy for external fitness studios
    3. Ski equipment, ski tickets

Sytner (UK), offers

  1. Insurance, Health and Wellness
    1. Health Insurance
    2. Income Protection
    3. Death in Service
  2. Financial and Retirement
    1. Pension Plan
    2. Performance Bonus
    3. SIPP
    4. Stock Options
  3. Family and Parenting
    1. Family Medical Leave
    2. Maternity and Paternity Leave, including Adoption Leave and Pay
    3. Unpaid Extended Leave
    4. Childcare Vouchers
    5. Dependent Care
    6. Flexible Working and Work from Home
    7. Military Leave
  4. Vacation and Time Off
    1. Sick Pay
    2. Annual Leave
    3. Bereavement Leave
    4. Volunteer Time Off
    5. Sabbatical
    6. Enhanced Holiday Entitlement
  5. Perks and Benefits
    1. Bike to Work Scheme
    2. Employee Discounts for High Street stores
    3. Car Allowance
    4. Discounted Gym Membership
    5. Company Car
    6. Free Lunch and Snacks
    7. Business Social Events
  6. Professional Support
    1. Apprenticeship and Diversity Programmes
    2. Job Training
    3. Professional Development

Incentives for Growing Companies

This article is part 7 of 10 of our new occasional series of podcasts, videos and articles on incentives for business growth. Covering everything from salary benchmarking to managing compensation in times of change.

Find out more here

[1] Source:
[2] Source:
[3] Source:
[4] Source:

Simon Patterson is a managing director and the head of Rem.n. He is actively engaged as advisor to the remuneration committees of several FTSE 100 companies and some of the largest, and some of the fastest growing, companies globally. Mr Patterson consults widely on executive compensation, incentive compensation design, and performance measurement.

Pearl Meyer agreed to divest its London operations on June 17th, 2022. Simon Patterson (Managing Director) and his team now own Remuneration Associates Ltd – an independent consulting firm working with clients around the world, which builds upon the legacy of the London operation.


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