Private healthcare can be important for recruitment and retention, such company expenditure for me falls into the ‘useful spend’ category.
However there’s some ‘gotchas’ with the big suppliers for company-wide policies in that should an employee make a claim the premiums rocket up on renewals and there are no real economies of scale for the small business where they have only a few employees covered by the company healthcare programme.
A great way to protect your business in this situation is to have employees take out personal plans to cover themselves and their dependants. The way to do this is to do an addendum to your employment contracts that caps a monthly premium the company will pay to the individual and that it is their job to apply for their own plan. It’s useful to check that an employee has taken out a plan in such situations versus pocketing the cash themselves. A monthly payment just goes on the payroll and avoids the need to be include on the year end benefits return to HMRC.