5 Must Have Inclusive Employee Benefits

Great employee benefits are vital for attracting, nurturing and retaining talented teams. They are provided to employees over and above their wages and can include a wide-ranging offering from overtime, gym packages, development training and much more.

Since 2020, policies that were considered progressive like flexible working and enhanced parental pay becoming the norm, companies are left to wonder what constitutes great employee benefits now.

The basics of employee benefits

Offering benefits to your employees is important because it shows that you care about their future and personal wellbeing, along with their professional development. A solid employee benefits package is a huge differentiator in the job market and gives you a distinct advantage in recruiting talent. In 2020, Australian employees ranked flexible working arrangements as the most appealing benefit that their company can offer. Read the top 10 list here.

Depending on the type of organisations and roles, employee benefits can vary hugely. It’s always important to consider your budget, your employee requirements and what is achievable when deciding the offerings.

In this blog, we share 5 inclusive employee benefits that help support a diverse candidate base:

Enhanced flexible working options

All organisations now have a flexible working policy/ practice post the pandemic. All data points to an indication in the increased desire for flexible working arrangements to stay. It’s clear that employers now need to offer this as a ‘regular’ offering. The main opportunity here is to move beyond adjusted hours and remote working, and invest in developing sustainable flexible working models for every team. Some ideas are:

  • Consider adjusted working hours, split shifts or even job shares for some roles in every team, and build them into the team model.
  • Introduce a range of new flexible days, like ‘Flex Fridays’ which can be a quick and easy way for staff to decide to work remotely on these days without approvals.
Flexible holiday policy

Many organisations prove their commitment to inclusion by allowing employees to choose/ substitute certain holidays for ones that better resonate with their beliefs and cultures. You may consider:

  • Recognising peoples discomfort with the celebration of ‘Australia Day’. You can give your team the option to reassign this public holiday to a day where they will actually feel like celebrating.
  • Provide a list of cultural holidays that employees can be allowed to take paid leave for days of cultural or religious significance for them. Refer to Calendar of Culture and Religious Dates here.
Improved parental leave

2020 saw employers making significant improvements to their parental leave policies. An important role that parental leave policies play is that they speak volumes about your support towards abolishing non-gendered traditions in the workplace. If you haven’t already, you can:

  • Extend the leave to adoptive and foster parents, along with considering the needs of same-sex couples and kinship and surrogacy arrangements.
  • Special parental leave for stillbirth, infant death and miscarriages to deal with their devastating impact.
  • Improved carer leave to include the number of paid days off.
Wellbeing benefits revamp

Employers’ responsibility towards employees’ mental health and wellbeing is a forefront discussion today. You can look at moving beyond the traditional gym membership model and introduce:

  • Yoga sessions at work
  • Meditation support and rooms at workplaces
  • Personal finance training
  • Enhancing the offerings of your existing Employee Assistance Program (EAP)
Gender affirmation policy

To empower team members who are affirming their gender, flexible working arrangements, additional days of paid leave and designing resources to support a safe affirmation and transition back to work is necessary. Leading employers tend to:

  • Design resources to support the ‘administrative’ move of gender affirmation
  • Discuss the transition with the employee as a positive career decision
  • Provide enhanced medical benefits through EAP
  • Access AHRI’s blog for more ideas…

In no way is this list exhaustive. Inclusion is a huge space, and there is so much more that can be done. These are just some of the ideas we have seen work with our partners and clients, and one’s that hopefully will help you too. If you are looking for support or ideas to fit into your business model reach out to our team here.


Readers also enjoyed: Why Workplace Culture Matters


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