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What are typical work benefits?

Whether you're negotiating salary with your existing employer or you're looking for a new role, having a good knowledge of work benefits can put you in a strong position. Employment benefits are one of the most overlooked aspects of evaluating a job offers - so consider them carefully when making a career move.

Some companies put more emphasise on perks and benefits than others. This means that benefits can vary greatly from one company to another. Typical work benefits are as follows:

Annual leave

Annual leave is the number of holidays you can take per annum. Employers should specify if these are given in addition to bank holidays or whether the allowance includes bank holidays. A typical employer might give between 20 and 25 days of annual leave, not including bank holidays.

Medical and dental insurance

Private health insurance isn't as common a work benefit in the UK as it is in other countries due to the presence of the NHS. However many multinational companies do offer private health insurance as part of their benefits package.

Life insurance

Employers may take out a life insurance policy on behalf of their employees, or they may have an in-house policy - such as paying a lump sum equivalent to twice your annual salary to your next of kin.

Sick leave

In addition to statutory sick leave, employers may offer a specified period of time on full or partial pay.

Retirement plans

There are two main types of retirement plans: one is salary matching - whereby the employer matches up to a given percentage of your own contributions; and the other is an employee pension scheme paid into entirely by the company.

Flexible working

Flexible working is one of the fastest growing work benefits in the UK. It can involve job sharing, working flexible hours or working from home.

Education and fitness allowances

Employees may grant an allowance for gym membership, tuition fees and study leave. Educational courses normally need to be relevant to your current position within the company.

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