Top employee benefits in 2024

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Benefits are quickly overtaking salary as the main reason why people either take a job or stay longer at their company. 

Whether you’re employed or looking for work, it pays to know what benefits you could be scoring. Here’s a comprehensive guide to help you understand the best benefits to look for in 2024.

What perks work in 2024?

A recent survey of 300+ Australian hiring managers found that almost two-thirds of candidates accepted job offers because of the company’s benefits and perks, rather than the salary alone.

Employment Hero’s 2024 Wellness at Work report asked: “what was the number one perk outside of pay that could convince them to stay at a company”. 

Unsurprisingly, most of the answers came back to reducing spending and saving money. 

 The most popular perks outside of pay include:

  • Remote and flexible work options (25%)
  • Yearly allowances to spend towards healthcare, fuel, utilities and groceries (15%)
  • Discounts on everyday essentials like fuel, utilities and groceries (12%)

Money-saving employee benefits top the 2024 list

📈 Swag insights: Financial pressures rise 

financial wellness at work

In Employment Hero’s Wellness at Work report, 34% of respondents cited financial stress and the rising cost of living as their biggest cause of stress in the last three months, far outpacing other stressors like overwhelming professional workload (15%) and professional burnout (13%). Financial stress is now the leading cause of stress for Australian employees (34%), surpassing other significant stressors. 

With the cost of living rising, it’s no wonder people are looking for perks that promote financial wellness. 

The cost of groceries, fuel, healthcare and utilities have all skyrocketed since the end of the pandemic, and Aussies are still struggling with price increases after inflation peaked at 7.8% in December 2022. 

This added financial stress means employees are on the lookout for organisations that can offer inflation-fighting benefits to make their pay go further.  

6 top employee benefits to cut the cost of living:

Professional goal examples

💡Swag Tip💡: Did you know you can access ALL these benefits through the Swag app? Head to the ‘Benefits’ tab of the app today to see for yourself.

Swag has a bunch of features that help make your money go further by tapping into the huge purchasing power we have on everyday essentials. Swag Benefits, through Employment Hero’s network of 300,000+ SME customers and 2M+ global employees, negotiates significant discounts from Medibank, AHM, Engie and many more.

1. Health insurance employee benefits

Health insurance remains one of the most sought-after employee benefits in 2024. With the rising cost of healthcare, some premiums can set you back $150+ a month! Being able to get the best price on health insurance can significantly reduce your expenses and put more money back in your pocket. 

The best employers offer discounts and special corporate offers with leading providers. When choosing a policy, some things to consider are: life stage – do you need to take out cover for partners or children? Think about what services you’ll need, and what your plans for the future might be.

2. Energy and utilities employee benefits

Bills: they’re an inescapable part of life. But did you know you can save on essential expenses like electricity bills each month? It’s one of the best work perks out there, and it’ll keep you toasty this winter without worrying about the price tag. In a time where rising prices have people deciding whether to heat or eat, that’s a big win. 

⚡Swag has partnered with Engie to get you the best price on your electricity bills. Sign up now to get $$$ off your bill each month, which could add up to hundreds in savings each year!💡

3. Earned Wage Access employee benefits 

What would you do if you had on-demand access to the money you’ve earned each day? For many, they would use it to pay their bills on time, avoid credit cards and manage their expenses without going into debt. 

Earned Wage Access (EWA) is an increasingly popular benefit many organisations are offering to help boost their teams’ financial wellness. In a time where you can stream music, watch blockbusters on-demand and get almost anything delivered to your door in minutes, EWA is a top perk to seek out. 

InstaPay is an Earned Wage Access product. Earned Wage access is defined as: a no-credit feature that allows an employee instant access to wages they have already earned, reducing debt and leaving their credit scores unaffected. 

InstaPay is a flexible way to get paid for the work you’ve done each day. Rather than waiting weeks (or a month!) between paydays, you can access your money on your schedule, as soon as you’ve earned it. 

Being paid monthly means some direct debits would be due before my pay would come in. Using Instapay meant that I could cover my food shopping, car services and medical appointments when they would occur shortly before my pay would arrive without the need for short term loan services.

-Tyson, State Lead Trainer, WA

4. Cashback employee benefits 

Getting money back just for shopping? Now that’s a nice perk. With the cost of living so high, it can be hard to justify non-essential spending. 

Cashback offers mean you can treat yourself on a budget and earn up to 20% back on purchases from leading retailers like The Iconic, Virgin Airlines, Pet Circle and much more. That’s money back in your pocket every time you shop. 

5. Budgeting employee benefits

Many companies are offering budgeting tools as part of their benefits packages to help their teams manage their finances effectively. Financial wellbeing is crucial to being engaged and motivated at work, and the best employers are recognising this. 

Swag Stash accounts: 

Saving money is easy when you establish regular, automatic saving habits. With Swag Stash accounts, you can automatically ‘stash’ money in dedicated savings accounts each time you get paid. Whether you’re saving for a holiday, squirrelling money away for your first home, or simply starting a rainy day fund, Swag Stash is where to start.

You can ‘Stash’ money as soon as you get paid, so the money gets automatically saved before you get the chance to spend it 😉. Stash accounts keep you accountable to your short-term and long-term savings goals – talk about perks that work!

6. Reward and recognition employee benefits 

In 2024, the best employers are offering tangible rewards and ways to recognise their team for great work. 75% of employees receiving at least monthly recognition say they are satisfied with their job. 

What’s even better than a pat on the back from your employer? Getting awarded Hero Points that you can spend in the Swag store on gift cards, movie tickets, electronics and more. 

You can even use Hero Points like cold hard cash towards your next lunch, coffee – you name it! Employers can award Hero Points for work milestones, birthdays, anniversaries and kicking goals. It’s like free money you can use towards treating yourself to whatever you like. 

Should all employers offer financial wellbeing employee benefits? 

If you work for an employer that uses Employment Hero, you’re one of the lucky ones. You have access to all these financial wellbeing benefits through Swag. But not all employers offer benefits that cut the cost of living. 

In fact, money remains a taboo topic in the workplace, with 60% of workers uncomfortable discussing financial concerns with their employer. This reluctance could be linked to the lack of financial perks and benefits provided by workplaces, with 38% of Aussies stating their employer does not offer perks that support financial health and wellbeing.

Many Australian employees feel their workplaces are not doing enough to support them amid rising living costs. A significant 59% of respondents believe their employers are not providing adequate support, with only 28% feeling supported and 13% unsure. 

📈 Swag Insights: Employees want more financial support from their workplace

According to Swag’s financial behaviours report, 72% of Australians report negative emotions or behaviours due to their financial situation, such as lack of motivation, sleep loss, and binge habits. Alarmingly, 90% of Australians have outstanding short-term debt, and nearly half (46%) struggle to cover regular expenses like rent and food before payday.

What’s next? 

In 2024, salary isn’t the only consideration when accepting a job: workers want benefits that help put money back in their pocket. Look for an employer that’s invested in helping you cut the cost of living and build your financial wellbeing. In the long-run, these benefits may prove to be more worthwhile than salary alone. 

What to know more? Your employee benefits FAQs, answered 

Follow this simple guide to adopt atomic habits at work.

What is an Employee Benefits Program?

An employee benefits program is a comprehensive package offered by employers to attract, motivate and retain employees. These programs typically include a mix of financial benefits, health and wellness benefits, and work-life balance initiatives. Examples of benefits included in such programs are health insurance, retirement savings plans, paid leave, performance bonuses, professional development opportunities and wellness programs like gym memberships or mental health support.

Are there mandatory employee benefits?

In many countries, certain employee benefits are mandated by law. These mandatory benefits often include minimum wage, superannuation (retirement savings), and leave entitlements such as annual leave, sick leave and parental leave. In Australia, for example, employers are required to contribute a minimum of 11% of an employee’s ordinary time earnings to their superannuation fund. Employees are also entitled to a minimum of 10 days of paid sick leave per year.


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