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6 budget-friendly employee benefits for start-ups and small businesses

6 Budget-friendly Employee Benefits For Start-ups And Small Businesses

Employee benefits used to be the domain of big businesses. But now businesses of all sizes have a wide variety of budget-friendly choices for supporting the physical, mental and financial health of their teams.

In this blog post we look at six of the best, starting with an underrated (and much lower cost) alternative to private health insurance.

Looking for advice on how to best support the health and wellbeing of your small team? Get in touch with our award-winning brokers on 01273 222805 or email [email protected].

1. Health cash plan

What is it?

Business Health Cash Plans are a fantastic low-cost alternative to health insurance. Cash plans are dedicated to supporting routine health needs which can include things like physiotherapy, virtual GP services, telemedicine, eye tests, health screening, musculoskeletal conditions, counselling and dental care.

How much will it cost?

As an entry level benefit, staff can be put on as low as £1 per employee per week. This level 1 plan will cover the basics, but from here your staff have the option to upgrade their cover at their own cost.

Why is it popular?

  • Low cost
  • Provides practical support to employees of all ages
  • Schemes can offer different levels of support according to budget
  • In some schemes, employees can opt-in to greater coverage (usually at their own expense)
  • Covers a wide range of health issues


2. Group Life Insurance policies

What is it?

Group Life Insurance is one of the lowest cost forms of financial protection. It pays out a lump-sum in the event of an employee sadly passing away. The more people included on a Group Life scheme, the greater the discount per person. Alternatively , if you only want to provide life insurance for one person, you can do so through Relevant Life insurance. This type of life coverage was designed especially for self-employed contractors in mind.

How much will it cost?

Like all insurance policies and products, the pricing will vary greatly depending on the number of people included in the scheme and average age of workforce. You can choose to cover for a lump sum or as a multiple of the employee’s salary.

Why is it popular?

  • More tax-efficient than taking out a personal plan
  • Shows teams you are going above and beyond for their financial peace of mind
  • Can be offered as a voluntary benefit (i.e. paid for by the employee through the business) or it can be paid for by the business


3. Key Person insurance

What is it?

Key Person insurance gives financial support to businesses if a vitally important team member is unable to work due to illness, serious injury, or death. Every employee is important to the successful running of a business, but losing a key person can cause significant financial damage to the company.

How much will it cost?

The cost is based on two main factors. Number one is the risk is presents to the insurer (i.e. the likelihood that a claim will be made) and, secondly, the calculated value of the person to your business. The last point includes how much they contribute to business turnover, the costs required to replace them and any outstanding debts that need to be covered (and therefore, will be affected by the loss of this person).

Why is it popular?

  • Ensures the business can cope with the financial hit of losing the designated key person
  • Provides peace of mind to the business owner
  • Particularly useful for SMEs who might find it harder to cope with the financial losses resulting from the loss of one person.

Would you like FREE advice from an award-winning broker? Hooray Health & Protection is happy to answer all your queries about Key Person Insurance, Cash Plans, Group Life Insurance or any other aspect of your workplace benefits scheme. Contact us on 01273 222805 or email [email protected].


4. Employee Assistance Programmes

What is it?

Employee Assistance Programmes (EAP) offer a wide range of emotional support services to help employees with problems impacting their work or personal life. Services can help with mental and financial issues via counselling, healthy eating tips, Cognitive Behavioural Therapy, money advice and much more. Today’s EAPs can be accessed online whenever an employee needs it.

How much will it cost?

EAPs are often packaged together with a Group Health Insurance policy or can be purchased separately as a standalone product. The cost will depend on the number of employees and the level of support offered within the EAP, but it often ranges between £5 and £15 per employee per year.

Why is it popular?

  • Equips your staff with the tools to build personal resilience and growth, and to access help when they need it most.
  • It’s a low cost benefit to provide
  • Many services provide analytics so that HR or managers can see spot issues around workplace wellbeing. I.e. If many employees are accessing counselling services, then maybe something’s a amiss in the workplace! Note: all data is anonymised, so it doesn’t reveal personal information.


5. Skills development and career progression opportunities

What is it?

Every company should be providing a chance for staff to learn new skills and progress in their career. Skills could be directly related to their current role, or they could be soft skills related to things like public speaking, written communication or people management, among many other things.

Staff are often keen to know how they can progress within the business. Offering clear pathways to follow will help your staff further their career, develop their knowledge, and build their broader skillset.

Businesses can help staff via:

  • Mini courses
  • External training courses
  • Networking events
  • One-to-one coaching
  • Shadowing colleagues

How much will it cost?

It all depends on what courses you choose to provide and whether you deliver skills training within the business or via external course providers.

Why is it popular?

  • A great way to invest in the existing skills and talent of your workforce
  • An effective retention tool as it helps keep hold of staff who might otherwise look elsewhere for opportunities
  • A more skilled workforce is a more capable workforce.
  • Can cost very little – or nothing at all, depending on how you deliver it.


6. Workplace environment

What do you mean?

A happy working environment could be considered an employee benefit in its own right! It’s all about creating a sense of belonging, allowing your staff to feel included, and building up relationships which make your staff feel more connected and valued.

You can achieve this via:

  • Regular social activities
  • Team lunches
  • After work drinks
  • Celebrating birthdays and achievements
  • Flexible working opportunities
  • Effective management training
  • Bonus schemes

What kind of price range?

Again, this could cost little to nothing. It’s hard to put a price on how much your overall initiative is going to be. Work lunches could take place in an expensive restaurant or could just involve grabbing a sandwich from Tesco and going to the local park! Measure up your budget with what you think you can achieve – even the smallest activity can make a huge difference to your workplace atmosphere.

Why is it popular?

This is especially important for remote/hybrid teams. Businesses need to maintain a healthy team bond to ensure staff are feeling valued and a part of a team.


Need some extra help in setting up employee benefits?

You probably won’t need help implementing all these benefits! But when it comes to things like Group Health Cash Plans, Life Insurance and Key Person Insurance, then it’s important to get advice from someone you can trust.

The friendly team at Hooray offers FREE advice to start-ups and SMEs looking to launch their employee benefits or review existing schemes. Rather than getting bogged down in the small print, we can provide straightforward answers to any questions you might have and ensure you get the best quotes available on the market.

Contact our award-winning team at [email protected] or call 01273 222805 for FREE no-obligation advice and support.

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