For technology companies with UK and European employees the inevitable HR question arises as to what constitutes an appropriate benefits package as part of the overall deliberation into competitive offers in what is after all a ‘sellers market’ for skilled and experienced personnel. There is to quite some degree variations across Europe which in part stem from various differences in tax treatments. Aside from the obvious incentive of stock options, it can be the relatively little things that make a real difference in recruitment and retention as there is such a psychological factor here. In the UK at least common benefits might include employer pension contributions and medical benefits – which work very differently from the US and relatively speaking are far less costly.
There are a myriad of other benefits which come up at employee requests and these need to be considered carefully not just in terms of costs but you have to think fully about what happens if there is information leakage and other employees become aware of something they don’t have but another employee does, so consistency is important. Something we see commonly here is a little bit of emotion creeping into the decision making process, a typical comment particularly in relatively smaller companies is to not offer benefits as ‘we don’t have those yet for US employees’, such thinking isn’t always relevant for a foreign subsidiary and local market conditions should be the primary driver.