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What are Fringe Benefits?

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Fringe benefits are something that is often talked about, but some of us may be less certain about what this actually means. A fringe benefit describes any type of compensation that is not part of your wage. These fringe benefits can be what makes the same type of employment at one company appear more attractive than at another company. Most jobs will have at least some type of fringe benefits but there will be a great variation in what is on offer. It is a good idea for job seekers to consider fringe benefits as well as the salary when considering any position. There might be an employment opportunity that doesn’t offer such a great salary, but the fringe benefits that come along with it make it an attractive proposition.

There are many possibilities when it comes to fringe benefits and here are just a few examples:

  • Paid holidays
  • Free housing
  • Study leave and paid courses
  • Mentorship programs
  • Free membership to clubs
  • Staff discounts
  • Use of the company jet
  • Company car that can be used at home
  • Company laptop that can be taken off the premises
  • Shop discounts
  • School fees for kids
  • Childcare
  • Free lunches
  • Work trips
  • Life insurance

The above are just the tip of iceberg when it comes to fringe benefits.

Why Are Fringe Benefits Important?

As well as fringe benefits making jobs attractive for employees they are also a very important tool for recruiters as well. Some professions just aren’t that well paying and the only way that people in these industries can be sure of attracting the right type of people is by offering plenty of fringe benefits. For a lot of people these fringe benefits will be almost important as their salary – especially when it comes to things like free health insurance. In fact there are a lot of individuals who have decided on a particular job just because of the fringe benefits on offer.

Generally speaking the higher the demand for employees in an industry the better the fringe benefits on offer will be. It is also the case that usually the higher you climb in a profession the more fringe benefits you can look forward to. Of course a lot will depend on the profession under discussion; for example, no matter how badly there is a shortage and how high a nurse climbs in the profession they are unlikely to benefit from a company jet. In some other industries though, even junior executives can look forward to some luxurious fringe benefits.

Fringe benefits are very much part of the business world and it is hard to imagine life without them. Most of us depend heavily on this form of compensation and would struggle to live without them. In places like the US there are a lot of people who probably would struggle to have sufficient healthcare coverage without it being provided by their employer.

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Meet the Author

Anthony Carter currently resides in Fife, Scotland with his wife Lisa, and their three wonderful children. As a senior editor for various publications, if he's not reading and writing, you would find him photographing and traveling to some of the most far-flung locations around the world.

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