Monday 22 July 2019 12:01 am

Number of employees enjoying job perks falls to 12-year low

Corporate cost cutting has pushed the number of people receiving major job perks to a 12-year low, according to research.

The number of employees who receive taxable job perks such as company cars, private medical insurance and staff accommodation fell 3.6m last year.

Read more: Google UK employees earned £226,000 on average last year

The figure is 600,000 less than in 2016-17.

UHY Hacker Young, which carried out the study, says the decline could also be driven by the increasingly challenging economic environment businesses face.

Employee perks are often the first things to get the chop when firms look to cut costs.

Company cars are one of the most common perks, but have suffered from an increasing tax burden in recent years. 

They declined 5 per cent last year to 890,000 in 2017-18. There were 940,000 in 2016/17.

Complexity on tax

The complexity of the tax system on perks has also made them less popular among employees, the research continued. 

Confusion over what is exempt from tax has led businesses, especially SMEs, to scrap employee perks altogether.

UHY Hacker Young partner Neela Chauhan said: “HMRC has had a tendency to tax every aspect of job perks to a point where they have been falling out of fashion.

Read more: Trust in business is back up, but with power comes responsibility

“That is a real shame as these perks can act not just as an important tool in retaining staff and lowering staff turnover, but they can also encourage greater staff performance.

“In tougher economic times the cost of the job perk, its tax charge, NI and the paperwork on top of that – is just too much for some employers.”

Main image: Getty