Your Guide To the Types of Employee Benefits

By Indeed Editorial Team

Updated 24 December 2022

Published 14 July 2021

The Indeed Editorial Team comprises a diverse and talented team of writers, researchers and subject matter experts equipped with Indeed's data and insights to deliver useful tips to help guide your career journey.

Most workplaces, big or small, offer some kind of employee benefits. Employee benefits are the extra perks you get along with your base salary. It's worthwhile finding out about the benefits package your workplace offers, especially if you're beginning a new job. In this article, we discuss some different types of employee benefits and what industries provide them.

20 types of employee benefits explained

Employee benefits include all the compensation you get at work that isn't part of your salary. There are many different types of employee benefits from health insurance plans to gym memberships. Each employer offers different types of benefits, so check with your workplace to find out exactly what you can get. Below we explain 20 types of employee benefits:

1. Health insurance

One of the most common employee benefits is health insurance. It can be found in a range of industries, especially within the health sector. Workplaces may offer full coverage or partial discounts. These deals are often for yourself, your partner and your children (if applicable).

2. Mental health services

Businesses are now offering a range of mental health services. These services include access to psychologists, mental health days, company retreats, company education days and more. You may find these services are common in government jobs, the healthcare sector and many corporate offices. They are also common in a range of smaller businesses. Mental health services are a type of employee benefit which is on the rise.

3. Long service leave

Long service leave is an extended paid period of leave offered to employees after a certain amount of time in their job. The amount of time you are required to work before receiving long service leave varies from job to job. It is usually between seven and 10 years. The paid time off you receive can vary from a few weeks to a few months. It's important to note that the terms of long service leave vary in each State and Territory.

4. Annual leave

Annual leave is an employee benefit available to all part- and full-time workers. Employees receive four weeks of annual leave based on their ordinary hours of work. Annual leave accumulation begins from your first day of employment, and any unused leave rolls into the next year. If you decide to quit your job and have unused leave, it will be paid out to you.

Related reading: What Is a Sabbatical?

5. Sick and carers leave

Sick and carers leave allows employees to take paid time off when they are dealing with personal illness or injury, family emergencies and caring responsibilities. All part- and full-time workers may receive this benefit. Full-time workers can receive 10 full days of paid sick and carer's leave per year. Employers determine a part-time worker's entitlement pro-rata.

6. Compassionate leave

All employees (including casual workers) can take two days of compassionate leave per year. This is paid leave for you to spend time with a family or household member who has experienced a life-threatening illness or injury. You can also take this type of leave after the death of a family or household member.

7. Workers' compensation

Workers' compensation is a type of payment offered to employees who experience an injury at work. It is also offered to people who become sick as a result of their job. Workers' compensation payments include wages while they are not fit to work, medical expenses and rehabilitation.

8. Paid training and development

Many workplaces offer paid or free upskilling courses. For example, a finance firm may pay for a worker to complete an extra certificate in accounting. These sorts of benefits are useful for the employer and employee. It means the business continues to grow with staff who are learning new skills. Paid training and development is common in the private sector. Companies such as law firms, accounting offices and software companies may offer it.

Related: What Is the Private Sector? (With Roles and Features)

9. Continuing education

Some workplaces pay for their employees to undergo continued education. This includes paying for employees to undertake further study at university. For example, an employee from the department of marine biology may receive pay to undertake a PhD. They may receive the same or similar salary to what they were earning when working full-time.

10. Travel expenses

If your job requires you to travel, then your employer probably pays for some of those expenses. These expenses include hotels, food and aeroplane tickets. Travel expenses are common for industries that require a lot of travel, such as government and tourism.

Related reading: What Is a Stipend and How Does it Work?

11. Spending expenses

Spending expenses cover things you have to buy as part of your job. Many workplaces offer compensation for a purchased item as long as the employee has the receipt. Spending expenses can cover food for meetings, decorations for office parties or a birthday card for a fellow employee, for example. Not all workplaces cover these types of expenses, so it's best to check with your employer first.

12. Petrol allowance

Many people drive as part of their job. For example, someone who works for a development company may have to drive to different work sites each day. Their employer will likely have a system set up to track and pay for their petrol usage. It may either be in the form of a direct payback into their wage or a weekly allowance provided on a company card.

13. Company car

Some workplaces loan their employees company cars. The employees can use these cars for all work and living purposes. This is common in many areas of work such as building and developing, corporate offices and small businesses. It may be a benefit offered to people in certain roles such as managers or partners. The car usually has to be returned to the employer at the end of the employee's contract.

14. Company equipment

Many businesses provide their employers with necessary equipment such as laptops or uniforms. Most corporate offices provide each employer with a laptop or tablet that they can take home and use. Many industries such as hospitality or building provide a uniform for their employers. Other companies such as broadcasting networks or retail shops may provide their staff with a clothing allowance.

Related reading: Your Guide To Business Casual Attire (With Examples)

15. Gym membership

As part of the incentive to make employees healthier, many workplaces now offer fitness benefits such as gym memberships. They may also offer access to exercise classes like Pilates or yoga. Companies may encourage employees to work out during lunchtime or after work. Some workplaces also organise sponsored sporting events to encourage their employees to get fit.

16. Childcare discounts

Some businesses offer parents a discount or deal with a local childcare centre. To see if you're eligible for this, you can speak to your employer. Many jobs in the education industry and healthcare sector offer this benefit.

17. Meal allowance

Jobs that require their employees to work long hours or shift work often provide a meal allowance. The business will either provide a meal or offer an allowance for their employees to spend on food. Most hospitality workers receive this benefit, especially if they work in a dining establishment. Some corporate offices provide this benefit to employees working overtime. For example, a stockbroker who works long hours into the evening may receive a $30 allowance on days they work after 7 p.m.

18. Mobile phone plan

A lot of businesses offer mobile phone plans to their employees and sometimes their families too. This is especially true if a company expects these employees to work from their mobile phones during work time or after hours. A lot of small businesses offer this benefit.

19. Supermarket discounts

Some businesses offer grocery allowances or supermarket discounts. Businesses that require you to work long hours may offer this. Often if you work for a food outlet such as a supermarket, they offer you a discount on their products as part of your employment.

20. Relocation package

Some companies offer a relocation package to some employees who move for a job. The move may be due to a promotion or new office opening. A relocation package usually includes accommodation and food. Professional athletes, corporate workers or new government posts often receive this kind of package.

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