Job Perks and Social Packages Around the World

The competition is great when you’re looking to hire top talent from around the world. Therefore, offering attractive job perks and social packages is no less important than providing high salaries or exciting projects. Benefits play a significant role in recruiting candidates, as they help offset the cost of living and provide additional perks that appeal to top talent. 60% of job seekers consider benefits to be the main factor in deciding whether to accept a job offer. 80% of employees reported that additional job perks are more desirable than a pay raise. 

The same benefits are valued differently in different countries. It depends on local legislation, mentality and what social packages are offered by local employers. Here is a sampling of some types of job perks provided in different countries to help you to hire the best talent from anywhere.

The US

The most desirable and valuable benefits in each country are often due to gaps in the social policy of states or problems common to that society. Private businesses offer something the state does not provide, which is critical for its citizens. The US isn’t an exception. So, let’s explore in more detail crucial benefits and social packages employers offer in the US.

Private health insurance

The pandemic has opened everyone’s eyes to the need for good health insurance. The US’s lack of mandatory health insurance is covered by employer-sponsored private insurance. It is one of the most important benefits for American workers, especially after Covid-19. Employers must offer their employees health insurance under the Affordable Care Act. This means that workers have access to affordable, quality health care. National Health Interview Survey reported that only 9.6% of Americans are uninsured. 60% of insured people use private health insurance, usually employer-sponsored.

Retirement plans

These are other significant benefits for American workers. Employers often offer 401(k) retirement plans, which allow employees to save for retirement. Employers may also offer pension plans, which provide income during retirement.

Paid Time Off (PTO)

Americans call themself “no vacation nation.” Every third employee would accept a pay cut to get more vacation days. Federal or state law does not set a minimum paid holiday or compel employers to offer paid days off on public holidays. This is at the discretion of employers. Therefore, American companies offer fewer vacation days than European ones, where the right to minimum paid vacation is enshrined in law. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, 76% of Americans in the private sector have paid leaves. It is accrued after one year of employment and is about 10 days. That is why employers who want to attract top talents offer paid vacation days, sick days, and holidays. The amount of PTO depends on what competitors in the industry offer.

The UK

According to a UK Working Lives report, just 41% of UK employees are satisfied with provided job perks. Let’s find out what benefits and social packages UK employees find most desirable.

Private health insurance

UK employers, like the US, often offer health insurance as an employee benefit. The National Health Service (NHS) is overstretched, leaving many workers looking for a private healthcare option. At the end of April 2022, 67% of patients were on the waiting list for 18 weeks before seeing a doctor.

Death in service insurance

Although the death of an earner or breadwinner for many families will be a severe financial blow, around 70% of people in the UK don’t have life insurance. Death in service insurance is a life insurance policy that pays out a lump sum to employees’ beneficiaries if they die while working for the company. The average payout is 4x their salary, but some companies offer 15 times earnings. Therefore, this is a rather desirable, albeit rare, benefit.

Workplace Pension Plan (WPP)

As of April 2019, all UK employers with at least one worker must provide a workplace pension scheme and contribute. Employers pay at least 3% of an eligible employee’s salary into the system, while employees must pay 5%. The government adds an extra 1% in tax relief.

Paid Time Off (PTO)

In the UK, workers are entitled to 28 days of paid annual leave, including eight days of public holidays. Many employers offer additional 3-5 paid leave days as a benefit.

Commuter loans

According to Transport Statistics Great Britain: 2021, 46% of all trips by rail are for either commuting or business purposes. The cost of commuting can be a significant financial burden for UK workers. To help with this, some employers offer commuter loans to pay for public transportation costs. 

Canada

Canadians’ job satisfaction has recently fallen (-24% since 2019). According to the Great Workplace Study, 72% see work only as a way to earn money. 41% of respondents would be happy with a simple salary increase to feel more comfortable at work. This leads to a high staff turnover because employees are always passively looking for higher-paying positions. Let’s look at what you can offer except competing salaries to get a specialist’s interest from Canada.

Additional to Canada pension plan (CPP)

The CPP is a government-sponsored program that provides retirement income and benefits for survivors and disabled contributors. All Canadians employed, self-employed people, and employers contribute to the CPP 5.70% up to the maximum and an additional 4% on earnings. Income from CPP can be received from the age of 60. There is also an Old Age Security (OAS) plan that provides seniors with a basic income level. In addition, many employers offer unique pension plans to benefit their employees.

Employee assistance programs (EAPs)

EAPs are confidential counseling services that help employees deal with personal and work-related problems, including mental health. It is important because mental health services are in the most significant demand. Canadians are seriously concerned about this issue, especially after the pandemic. Mental illness is the most common cause of disability in the country. An average week, about 500,000 employed Canadians are forced to skip work due to mental health problems. How do EAPs work:

  • Employers typically offer EAPs as a benefit to their employees.
  • EAP counselors are usually available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
  • Employees can use the EAP for confidential counseling on various topics, including stress, anxiety, relationship problems, substance abuse, and more.
  • The EAP can also provide referrals to community resources, such as financial assistance, child care, and more.

Such programs operate in both the federal and private sectors. 

Canadian vs. US health insurance

To better understand how it works in Canada, let’s compare it with the US health insurance system we already know about.

The main difference between Canadian and US health insurance is that in Canada, it is government-sponsored, while in the US, it is primarily private. In Canada, all residents must have health insurance. The US has a very complex healthcare system, which is not universal. Employers often offer private health insurance as a benefit to their employees. However, there are government-sponsored programs, such as Medicaid and Medicare. US employers also use private medical cover as job perks.

Canadian health insurance is more comprehensive and cheaper than in the US.

Germany

Germany has many government-sponsored social programs. These include health insurance, retirement plans, maternity pay, unemployment insurance, and employee assistance programs. This is evidence that in Germany, the government undertakes to provide for many social needs, and employers must be more sophisticated to satisfy their employees.

Nursing care

Nursing care means home and long-term inpatient care if a person ever needs it. It is required for all who purchase private health insurance; this benefit is free from taxes. Government-sponsored health insurance does not provide for this. But every German is obliged to any type of it. As in other countries, employers often offer private health insurance as a benefit to their employees. The main difference between German and, for example, UK health insurance is that in Germany, it is mandatory, while in the UK, it is not.

Profit-sharing schemes

Profit-sharing schemes are where a company shares its profits with its employees. How does it work: company gives employees a percentage of the company’s profits or provides bonuses based on profitability. Profit-sharing is a common practice in Germany and is often used to motivate and retain employees.

Sweden

Sweden has a fairly high welfare index. The government requires employers to provide such social benefits as health insurance, sick leave, parental leave, and paid vacation. These are some of the ordinary perks in addition to those established by law offered by employers in Sweden:

Generous vacation entitlements

In Sweden, employees are entitled to 5 weeks of paid vacation per year. This is one of the most generous vacation entitlements in the world.

Profit-sharing schemes

As in Germany, profit-sharing is a common practice in Sweden. This can take the form of bonuses based on profitability or a percentage of the company’s profits being shared among employees.

Employee assistance programs (EAPs)

Like in Canada, EAPs are confidential counseling services that help employees deal with personal and work-related problems.

Other common benefits in Sweden include:

  • flexible working hours;
  • the possibility to work from home;
  • paid leave for parents;
  • company car or allowance;
  • health insurance;
  • subsidized gym membership.

Read also: 5 Main Types of Employment Contracts and Employment Law Around the World

Summary

In general, European countries tend to have more generous social programs than the United States. So American companies may need to offer more competitive benefits packages to attract Europe’s top talent. Canadian companies may need to offer more flexible working arrangements to keep up with the trend. Among the most common benefits and perks provided worldwide is health insurance, paid vacation, sick leave, parental leave, flexible working hours, and income protection. European countries also tend to have more generous vacation entitlements than the United States. 

The easiest way to quickly hire globally is to turn to a professional recruitment agency whose professionalism can be verified. StaffingPartner, for example, is ranked among top Staffing Agencies by DesignRush. We have about 230,000 candidates in our database from around the world. So drop us a message, and within three days, we will present you first candidates for technical assessment. Or contact us if you need a consultation on which benefits you should implement to easily replenish the team with the best specialists worldwide.

Read also: Cool Job Perks Your Team Will Love, and Employee Retention Strategies in 2022

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