Job perks and benefits in the UK

Are job perks on offer really benefits, or are they legal requirements?
 
Andrew Fennell photo Andrew Fennell | June 2022

Recent reports show that salary is the most important aspect of choosing a role, second only to career development. After that, jobseekers are looking at what benefits they may get with their new role.

We wanted to find out what the most common, and the rarest, perks being offered in 2022 are, and if some legal requirements for employment in the UK are being disguised as a perk or benefit. Here’s what we found.

To do so, we reviewed over 10,800 job listings on Indeed in the UK for some of the most common jobs in the country which included: marketing, business administration, accountancy, customer service, chefs, labourers, delivery drivers, healthcare assistants, quality control, and teachers. Here’s what we discovered.

 

Contents:

 

Key findings

  • 1 in 3 (33.2%) job adverts list legally required pensions as a perk of working there, while only 1.6% explicitly offer enhanced pension schemes.
  • 1 in 10 jobs (10.9%) job adverts list ‘progression’ as a job perk where many would likely consider this an essential part of a role.
  • Only 1.4% of job adverts in the UK offer enhanced parental leave.
  • 9 out of 50 (18.5%) job adverts offer discounts or shopping vouchers for employees, with chefs most likely to receive this perk (39.72%).
  • Marketing roles were the most likely to offer cash bonuses (26.03%) and wellness programmes (6.14%) as a perk out of any job in the analysis.
  • Those working in customer service roles are most likely to receive dental cover (5.98%) as a perk of the job.
  • Unlimited paid holiday is only offered in 0.3% of jobs in the UK, with accountants most likely to get this perk (1.45%).
  • Teachers and quality control employees statistically received the fewest job perks, in the analysis of over 10,800 job adverts.

 

Top ranking job perks across the UK

When looking at the data across the UK ‘training’ was the most commonly offered job perk to job hunters in 47.5% of posts. While training is an important part of developing in a role, it could likely be considered disingenuous by many jobseekers who consider it an essential part of any job – not a perk. For some roles, health and safety training, as one example, would be considered a legal requirement, not a perk.

Pensions were the second most mentioned job perk in 33.2% of adverts. Pensions are probably one of the most important job benefits in the long term, and they probably should not be considered a perk given they are a lawful requirement, with employers required to contribute a minimum of 3% towards all their employees’ pensions since 2012, as a result of the delayed Pension Act 2008.

This is however different to those businesses that increase their pension contributions outside of the legal minimum. In this instance, only 1.6% of job adverts explicitly mentioned the offer of such a benefit.

 

Top 25 job perks in the UK

Below are the top 25 job perks listed in UK job adverts ranked by the frequency they occurred in our review of over 10,800 listings:

 

RankPerksPercentage of Job Listings Containing This Perk
1Training47.49%
2Pension33.21%
3Discounts18.48%
4Bonus17.73%
5Remote working16.79%
6Flexible working12.88%
7Car parking11.70%
8Progression10.94%
9Equipment7.23%
10Private healthcare5.41%
11Gym membership4.32%
12Wellness programmes3.74%
13Sick pay3.70%
14Dental3.16%
15Company events3.13%
16Eye test2.05%
17Enhanced pension1.64%
18Mental health support1.46%
19Enhanced parental leave1.41%
20Casual clothing1.25%
21Childcare options0.87%
22Birthday day off0.85%
23Charity day0.72%
24Unlimited holiday0.35%
25Free tea/coffee0.35%

 

The highest number of perks was found in job listings for chefs (1,440) and accountants (1,379), with teachers (660) and quality control employees (702) having the fewest.

In terms of the top five job perks, healthcare assistant job adverts were the most likely to list training (75.34%) and pensions (39.9%) as perks, despite both being widely considered a necessity rather than a benefit.

Chef job listings were the most likely to state shopping discounts (39.72%) as a perk, which is likely inflated with restaurants and cafes offering discounts on their own food and drink. Marketing job listings offered bonuses to candidates the most (26.03%), as well as flexible working arrangements (16.69%).

Marketing job listings offered bonuses to candidates the most (26.03%), as well as flexible working arrangements (16.69%).

 

How many jobs offer shopping discounts as a perk in the UK?

Overall, discounts were the third most listed job perk in our analysis of adverts at 18.5% across the UK. These discounts ranged from retail stores to cinema and food chains. A 2019 Aviva survey stated that only 8% of Brits saw such ‘discount’ perks as a benefit they wanted the most anyway, highlighting how few Brits truly view this benefit as a perk.

 

How many jobs offer remote working in the UK?

Working from home was only offered in 16.8% of roles, and many of these mentioned it as part of ‘hybrid’ work not fully-remotely. Working from home may be an option in many more jobs that simply don’t advertise it on their job description, often, this can be explored in the interview process.

A rising amount of job hunters are solely looking for WFH roles to reap its numerous benefits, with a recent survey stating that 65.5% of employees declared being more efficient working from home, showing signs that this may soon become a work necessity rather than a perk.

 

Rarest job perks and benefits in the UK

The rarest job perks for Brits to get is unlimited holiday allowance, as well as free tea and coffee, with both occurring in only 0.35% of job adverts.

While free hot drinks might not be the biggest perk in a job role, many want to take advantage of “unlimited” holidays, which is ultimately down to the employer’s discretion. In the UK, accountants are most likely to have access to unlimited holidays (1.45%) followed by marketers (1.07%).

Here are the ten rarest perks we found in UK job listings:

  1. Unlimited holiday allowance (0.35%)
  2. Free tea & coffee (0.35%)
  3. Charity days/volunteer time (0.72%)
  4. Birthday day off (0.85%)
  5. Free/discounted childcare (0.87%)
  6. Casual dress/clothing (1.25%)
  7. Enhanced parental leave (1.41%)
  8. Mental health support (1.46%)
  9. Enhanced pension contributions (1.41%)
  10. Eye tests and eyewear contributions (2.05%)

While 5.41% of job adverts offer private healthcare, only 1.46% mentioned mental health support specifically. With poor mental health being the biggest reason people quit their jobs during The Great Resignation, this job perk is more important than ever.

While free eye tests and eyewear payments might sound like a good perk, it’s actually a legal requirement for millions of employees in the UK.

 

Legal requirements disguised as job perks

When analysing the perks data across the UK, we found a total of five legal employment requirements listed as workplace benefits highlighting the potential misinformation being used to appeal to job hunters.

Along with pensions being falsely advertised as a work benefit, we found training, sick pay, equipment, and eye tests to have also been advertised as a work perk. You can see the full legal requirements from employers below:

 

Listed as ‘work perk’Legal requirement and your rightsFor more information
PensionsEmployers must provide a workplace pension with a 3% minimum employer contribution.https://www.gov.uk/workplace-pensions/what-you-your-employer-and-the-government-pay
TrainingOrganisations must provide essential training for their employees or specific job roles.https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/32184/10-1202-starting-out-your-employment-rights.pdf
Statutory Sick Pay (SSP)Employers must pay Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) from the fourth day the employee is off sick, this is different to ‘Company sick pay’.https://www.gov.uk/statutory-sick-pay
EquipmentEmployers are responsible for supplying necessary equipment, which may include technology, to their employees to do their job.https://www.unison.org.uk/get-help/knowledge/health-and-safety/computers/

https://www.hse.gov.uk/contact/faqs/ppe.htm
Eye tests and eyewearFor those who work on display screen equipment, employers must pay for an eye test if requested, and pay for eyewear if required for the job.https://www.hse.gov.uk/msd/dse/eye-tests.htm

 

For jobs in the UK where training is essential to the job, such as health and safety for a chef, or care services for healthcare assistants, training is a legal obligation and not a perk. Training on software for an office role, for example, is not technically a legal obligation, but it would be odd to assume an employee can do the job without any training.

Equipment for many of these jobs equates to computers so that the employee can do the work required of them. It can also refer to things like tools, as would be the case for labourers, and similarly, the guidance states that it is not a fair expectation that the employee would supply their own equipment if it is a necessary part of the job.

The guidance is a little hazier however when it comes to those who choose to work from home and request a laptop. If they have a desktop computer in the office, the employer may not be required to supply a laptop specifically.

As for eye tests, for those that work on Display Screen Equipment (DSE) like computer monitors, employers must pay for an eye test and eyewear (if required to do the job). While this naturally means most office workers can request an eye test, it likely also allows people who use tablets or phones regularly in their roles, such as delivery drivers.

 

Methodology

We used Indeed to analyse the job perks listed on 10,859 job adverts across the UK on 26th May 2022 for the following jobs: marketing executive, business administrator, accountant, customer service, chef, labourer, delivery driver, healthcare assistant, quality control, and teacher.

Jobs were specified to England, Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland but included those that offered UK remote options. The jobs were at companies of varying sizes dependent on the job adverts offered that day.

We highlighted discrepancies between perks and legal requirements using UK Gov data which states exactly what legal requirements for employers are, sources are also displayed in the table.

 

Creative Commons License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License.

Build your winning CV now