With the introduction of unusual initiatives like “pawternity leave”, should organisations review their benefit packages?

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With “pawternity leave” making waves, is it time to review your employee benefits package?

An unusual employee perk was debated in the press recently, in the wake of 3.2 million people in the UK acquiring a new pet during the coronavirus lockdown.

“Pawternity leave” was introduced by the Scottish brewer BrewDog back in 2017, allowing one week’s paid leave for all workers who adopt a puppy or rescue dog.

With rapidly increasing competition to attract the most talented workers, reviewing your employee benefits package could be a winning idea, “pawternity leave” or not. 

Which perks are the most popular?

If you want to keep things safe and reliable, well-known employee-attracting benefits include offering greater flexibility, remote working opportunities, and paid family leave. 

According to the software firm myhrtoolkit, the most coveted benefits for 2021 include professional financial advice, access to mindfulness and meditation apps, and regular  free food.

What about unusual benefit ideas?

However, if you’d like to offer something more unique, you could take inspiration from the likes of the clothing firm Patagonia, whose “surf policy” encourages workers to down tools and head for the waves when the sun’s out and the timing’s right.

The brewery MillerCoors has an on-site pub, while one American law firm holds an annual ‘luggage party’, to which each employee brings a packed suitcase. 

During the party, four names are randomly drawn out of a hat, to receive an all-expenses paid trip to Las Vegas… starting there and then!

Key considerations

Whatever benefits you’re mulling over, the key factors to consider are culture-relevance (for example, “pawternity leave” fits with BrewDog because they already promote a dog-friendly culture that allows employees to bring their pets to work) and ensuring benefits can be properly accessed by all staff, whether they work remotely or in the office.

If you’d like to discuss potential changes to your employee benefits package, we’d love to hear from you.  Simply contact a member of our expert team.

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