Survey of benefits and allowance 2007


Survey of benefits and allowance 2007

A survey by IRS found salary-sacrifice arrangements are used by two-fifths of respondents, of which 77% operate salary sacrifice to offer childcare vouchers.

The IRS research, based on a survey of 222 employers, was published in four parts:

Part one - overview of the findings

  • Free car parking is the most commonly offered employee benefit (used by 83%), closely followed by paid time off for medical/dental appointments (81%).
  • Only one in seven respondents calculates their annual benefit spend.
  • Flexible benefits are used by only 13% of employers, but flex tops the agenda for changes to benefits planned for the coming 12 months.
  • Cycle-to-work schemes and total reward statements “look set to become more significant elements of the benefits offering during the next year,” says IRS.


Part two - details of health-related benefits and allowances

  • More than four-fifths of organisations in the survey permit employees to take paid time off during working hours to attend medical appointments, making this the most commonly offered health-related benefit.
  • Counselling and/or employee assistance programmes are the next most commonly used health-related benefits, available at nearly two-thirds of organisations.
  • Private medical insurance is offered by more than half, but many restrict access to certain groups of employees.
  • Permanent health insurance is offered by nearly two-fifths of respondents, typically covering 75% of salary.

Part three - an analysis of travel and subsistence benefits

  • The two most common benefits and allowances offered by employers surveyed by IRS are travel-related: free car parking (83%) and mileage allowances (82%).
  • Just over half (55%) of respondents have a company car scheme in place, down from 64% a year previously.
  • The survey results show an increased interest in "green" travel arrangements, reflecting a growing environmental awareness among UK employers. But traditional travel options, such as cars, remain the dominant modes of transport.
  • Just over half of respondents limit the amount employees can claim in subsistence costs when on company business.

Part four - staff discounts, long-service awards, childcare vouchers, workplace crèches, salary-sacrifice arrangements

  • More than one third of employers provide staff discounts for their employees, either as a traditional percentage discount on the organisation's own goods or services or by offering a range of discounts through a voluntary benefits scheme.
  • Implementation of age discrimination legislation has done nothing to dent the popularity of long-service awards, offered by almost two in three organisations in our survey.
  • Childcare vouchers are a popular benefit - offered by four in ten employers - but only a handful of organisations (5.1%) run a workplace crèche or nursery.

Want to know more?

Title: “Benefits and allowances”, four-part report published in Pay and Benefits Bulletin.

Survey details: The findings are based on responses from 222 organisations to an online questionnaire on the benefits and allowances which they provide.

Respondent organisations collectively employ 577,000 people. More than half of the sample are private services sector organisations; just over a quarter are manufacturing and production firms; and the remainder (19%) are from the public sector.

Availability: The journal is now available as part of a subscription to XpertHR. Go to to subscribe.

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