What benefits do you offer in your business?

Here, we look at the breakdown of benefits offered by small companies as researched by HR consultancy Croner.

Each year Wolters Kluwer’s Croner Reward team gathers information from UK businesses on the typical benefits offered to employees. The survey is split into sections including; working conditions, health-related policies, family friendly policies and travel.

More than 50 per cent of the businesses taking part are SMEs from a variety of sectors including distribution, engineering and financial services, typically employing less than 100 people. So what benefits are small businesses currently offering employees?

Working conditions

  • 77 per cent of participants indicated that they offered non-service related holiday above the statutory minimum (currently 5.6 weeks’ per year). The option to buy and sell leave is becoming more popular as a benefit universally, but most employees in SME organisations (92.3 per cent) are not able to buy or sell their leave.
  • SMEs show their caring side with 90 per cent offering paid compassionate leave.
  • Less than a third of the participating organisations said they paid overtime, with half of those indicating that they have a qualifying period before overtime is paid.

Health-related policies

  • Over half (62 per cent) of participants said that the amount of occupational sick pay that an employee received relates to length of service.
  • 33 per cent of SME CEOs/managing directors receive private medical insurance (PMI), which also covers family members.
  • The average cost per annum to SMEs for PMI staff is £1,845.


  • 44 per cent of SMEs reported that their organisation had fully implemented the automatic enrolment pension enrolment process.
  • The average employer pension contribution rate for clerical staff is 7.4 per cent.

Family friendly policies

  • 36.7 per cent of organisations paid maternity leave above the statutory minimum (SMP is payable for six weeks at 90 per cent of average weekly earnings, plus 33 weeks at the standard rate of £138.18 or 90 per cent of average weekly earnings if this is lower than the standard rate).
  • Almost 70 per cent of SMEs offer child care vouchers.
  • 98 per cent of participants indicated that their organisation does not make any provision specifically for eldercare; of these, none had surveyed staff to say what their needs or concerns are.


  • 13 per cent of CEOs/managing directors of SMEs are authorised to travel first class on trains.
  • A majority of participants indicated that their organisation have not cut back on travel expenses in the last 12 months.
  • The average subsistence allowance for breakfast is £9.07.
  • 50 per cent of SMEs offer season ticket loans.

Further reading on employee benefits

Alan Dobie

Alan Dobie

Alan was assistant editor at Vitesse Media Plc (previous owner of smallbusiness.co.uk) before moving on to a content producer role at Reed Business Information. He has over 17 years of experience in the...

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