10 Unique Non-Mandatory Benefits and Perks
Alex Margolin| Feb 23, 2020
In order to attract and retain the right talent, companies are increasingly relying on enticing benefit packages and employee perks. For the job hunter, benefits are a major factor in whether they would accept an offer. For some, it is even a factor in how long an employee stays or how satisfied they are with their current employment status.
While there are mandatory benefits that an employee is legally entitled to, many employers will offer additional benefits. In many countries, it is common to offer employees additional benefits like travel allowance, private health insurance, and phone allowances. To see what other kinds of benefits employers are offering their employees, we’ve gone around the world and compiled a list of some of the most unique ones.
North & South America
In the United States, student loans have become one of the most prevalent reasons for debt. According to the World Economic Forum, over 44 million Americans have over a total of $1.5 trillion in student debt.
For this reason, offering employees an allowance that is specifically earmarked for student debt payments has become an increasingly popular benefit to offer.
In Mexico, it is common for employers to offer their employees punctuality bonuses and is usually measured on a weekly basis. This bonus is commonly paired with a deduction for when an employee arrives to work late. It pays to be on time!
In Brazil, it is common to offer an employee a special type of credit card that can only be used in grocery stores. The aim of this card is to lessen the burden of home finances. In the past, employees would receive a box full of food staples, but with the introduction of the credit card, employees are able to go to a store and choose what they need.
See our Brazil payroll and benefits guide for the full range of mandatory benefits offered in Brazil
Employers in Sweden will often give their employees “squeeze days.” These days are days before or after a holiday that falls around a weekend and allow employees to take a long holiday weekend.
See our Sweden payroll and benefits guide for the full range of mandatory benefits offered in Sweden
Ireland tries to encourage employees to be more active and bike to work. The Cycle to Work Scheme allows employers to pay for bicycles and equipment for up to 1,000 EUR and the employee pays back the employer through their pay check for up to 12 months. The employee is not liable for any taxation on the payments that they make.
See our guide to Ireland’s payroll and benefits for the full range of mandatory benefits offered
For expats, it is common to receive a language training benefit in Spain. If an employee has relocated to Spain for employment, employees may receive language lessons not only for themselves, but for their family as well. This benefit aims in helping an expat to feel more comfortable and to help them integrate into daily life in Spain.
See our guide to Spain’s payroll and benefits for the full range of mandatory benefits offered
In Italy, companies take care of their employees’ health. It is not uncommon in Italy to receive a gym membership or club membership allowance.
See our guide to Italy’s payroll and benefits for further information
The Romanian government has introduced tax-free travel vouchers for employers to be able to grant to their employees. These vouchers allow employees to enjoy a holiday anywhere they wish inside of Romania.
Oceania & Asia
Over 1/3 of employees in Australia have flexible work hours. This allows employees to be able to have a better quality of life by giving them a bit more control over how their time between work and private life is divided.
See our guide to payroll and benefits in Australia for the full range of mandatory benefits offered in Australia
This benefit in Japan is not so common, however, this one definitely deserves an honourable mention.
There are a few companies in Japan that offer their employees vacation for heartbreak. That’s right, you can call you employer and let them know you aren’t coming in to work that day because you are going through a break-up, no questions asked.
See our Japan payroll and benefits guide for the full range of mandatory benefits offered in Japan
It’s super rare, but there are some companies that throw parades for their employees. Karnataka State IT/ITeS Employees’ Union (KITU) in India took it one step further and had a parade for IT employees last year on international worker’s day! How fun would it be to have a parade in your honor?