A Quick Guide to UK Employee Benefits

employee benefits


2024/25 Payroll Legislation Guide

The facts, figures, thresholds and allowances for 2024/25, in one handy guide.

If you want to snag your organisation some top-tier talent and actually keep them, you’ll need to offer a decent employee benefits package. Offering top notch benefits can give you a huge edge over your competitors and help you attract the team of your dreams. Great benefits = happy people = unrivalled success. Let’s dive in! 

The legal nitty gritty

In the UK, you’re legally required to offer certain employee benefits, such as holiday entitlement and pay, sick pay and pensions. Let’s have a look at these. 


Every one of your people is entitled to, without question, 5.6 weeks of paid time off each year (depending on their working hours, etc). This is laid out in law by the Working Time Regulations of 1988, which dictates this period of time is vital to protect your team’s wellbeing (and right to a good holiday!) 

Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)

Another benefit you’re legally mandated to provide is sick pay. If your employee is too poorly to come into work (physically or mentally), they’re entitled to £109.40 a week. There’s no way around it. Obviously, certain criteria have to be met before payments begin—more on your SSP obligations here. 

Parental leave

Parental leave in the UK provides an essential support system for both mothers and fathers. Eligible parents are entitled to take up to 52 weeks of leave when they have a new baby or adopt a child. But it’s essential to note that not all of this leave is paid—the first 39 weeks are eligible for some payment, which typically amounts to a percentage of the average weekly earnings.


Your employees will also benefit from a Government-mandated pension contribution, which is known as “automatic enrolment” They have to meet a few criteria here. For starters, they need to be classed as a “worker” and: 

  • They must be between 22 and state pension age; 
  • They earn at least £10k a year 
  • The UK is their usual pace of work 

Keep up to date with any changes

Of course, these kinds of benefits are subject to changes and updates so you should keep an (eagle) eye out to make sure your organisation continues to comply. Many changes happen on an annual basis and include increases on the amounts paid the previous year. Recent changes include the increase of Statutory Sick Pay from £99.35 per week to £109.40 per week and the increase of Statutory Maternity Pay from £156.66 per week to £172.48 per week.

Core employee benefits

There are employee benefits that most organisations in the UK offer as par for the course. These are:  

Pension scheme

A decent pension can provide a guaranteed income for your people in their twilight years. The knowledge that they’ll be financially secure and enjoy a good standard of living can provide much comfort. As far as employee benefits go, a great pension scheme is up there with one of the most desired.

Health insurance

Private health care can be a big draw for employees these days, especially as the NHS continues to be under immense pressure. One of the main perks of private health insurance is that it can slash waiting time for your employees. Obviously, coverage differs depending on your plan.  

Life insurance

Life insurance is a common benefit offered by many UK organisations. If an employee dies while being employed by you, the policy will pay a lump sum to their family. This payment can be anywhere from two to fifteen times their salary. Offering life insurance is such a valuable benefit because it can give your teams peace of mind that their family will be looked after, should the worst happen. 

Personalised employee benefits for your people

Flexible benefits are a superb idea when it comes to employee empowerment as your people get to choose the benefits they will actually benefit from. Your people are individuals after all. 

A few common options are: 

  • Childcare vouchers: A great choice for parents on your team. Childcare vouchers allow employees to save a significant amount of money thanks to the salary sacrifice arrangement with childcare vouchers. 
  • Gym memberships: We all know exercise is good for physical and mental health. Why not give your teams the gift of health and fitness? In return, you’ll get healthy, happy and productive employees. 
  • Cycle-to-work schemes: Employees enjoy savings on getting a bike and all the gear, and you can get a healthy, productive team. If the scheme is part of a salary-sacrifice arrangement, your organisation will also save on NI contributions.

There’s more…

There are additional employee benefits that’ll help to lure in talent like discounts, wellness workshops and employee assistance programs. To stand out from the competition, some companies in the UK are getting rather creative. And the evidence is there – a fabulous employee experience spells fantastic productivity.  

You can also opt to offer your people voluntary benefits. Voluntary benefits come in the form of discounted products or services and tend to prove pretty popular. 

There’s a huge array of voluntary benefits to be had, from retail discounts to financial “wellness” (student loan programs, financial advice and mortgage protection insurance) to insurance (pet, travel, car).  

But it’s all worth it

There’s a lot to consider and navigate when it comes to employee benefits, but it’s totally worth it.  

With Cintra Pay and CintraHR together, this duo will be your dream team when it comes to: 

  • Accurate, timely payroll 
  • Employee self-service 
  • Customisable employee surveys 
  • Powerful people analytics. 

After all, a slick payroll and HR machine makes for an amazing employee experience. We’d love to talk about how we can help! 

Picture of Danielle Nicholson
Danielle Nicholson
Danielle is our Communications and Content Manager, leading the content strategy for Cintra. Outside of her passion for all things copywriting, she loves being on the water in a kayak or taking long walks with her Golden Retriever!