November 14, 2023
Perquisites, commonly abbreviated to “perks,” are offered to support the diverse needs and interests of employees and their families around the world. Perks are benefits, programs and buy-ups that are ancillary to commonly offered benefits like a health plan or well-being offering. They provide a means for employers to be creative in their offerings, and in the long run, attract talent and retain employees by responding to their interests.
Between July 25 and August 22, 2023, the Business Group surveyed its members on a wide variety of perks in the areas of financial assistance, transportation, flexibility, on-site well-being and other conveniences, work/life, family/caregiving, employee happiness and voluntary benefits. These surveys looked at perks in eight different countries
Canada, China, Germany, India, Mexico, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom (U.K.) and the United States (U.S.). Seventy-five employers in total completed the surveys; individual survey sample size varies based on a company’s presence in that country.
While the findings from each country survey are based on a relatively small sample size (with the U.S. being the exception), the following conclusions can be gleaned by comparing which perks employers are offering across the eight countries:
1 | Financial assistance
Housing allowances and relocation assistance are offered most commonly outside the U.S. For example, employers responding to the survey in China offered these two at the highest rates. Food vouchers are offered more commonly in Mexico than any other country surveyed.
2 | Transportation
While transportation perks were highly variable, company cars and parking subsidies were offered across the board. The U.S. tends to offer more niche perks like electric vehicle (EV) charging stations, bike racks and public transportation subsidies.
3 | Flexibility
A flexible work location and working a flexible schedule dominated the category of flexibility with over half of employers indicating that they offer these perks in most countries where they have a presence. Reimbursement of equipment and services to support working from home (e.g., internet costs, office equipment, mobile devices) was also offered consistently around the globe, with offerings at the highest in India and Mexico.
4 | On-site
Compared to other perk categories, on-site offerings weren’t as common. A subsidized gym membership was offered by a portion of employers in each country, but offer rates were inconsistent between countries. Among responding employers, free meals were offered by more employers in India, and on-site clinics were offered the most in Mexico.
5 | Work/life
Paid volunteer days are often made available in each country, as are gifts given to employees on their work anniversaries. Interestingly, time off for a wedding is more commonly offered in Germany, while a day off for the employee’s birthday is more often available in Mexico.
6 | Family/caregiving
There are a variety of perks offered to employees who are caregivers. The most commonly reported offering around the globe is parental leave in excess of government mandates (with the exception of Germany). There are a number of perks that appear to only be offered heavily in the U.S., potentially due to the fact that most early childhood education in America isn’t public or subsidized. These include childcare subsidies, paid membership to caregiving support programs and priority access to childcare centers.
7 | Employee happiness
Of all the perks that bring fun to the workplace, employers are focused on only a few areas. A casual dress code is in place in workplaces around the world, with Mexico and the U.S. having the highest rates. Team bonding events are hosted frequently in India and China. In addition, two other perks—discounted sports club memberships and exercise breaks—aren’t ubiquitously offered; however, employers responding to the survey in Mexico do offer them at fairly high rates.
8 | Voluntary benefits
In the last portion of each survey, employers were asked to indicate which voluntary benefits they offer based on the cost to the employee totally company provided, provided with employee buy-up and employee paid. Generally speaking, accident insurance, accidental death and dismemberment (AD&D) insurance and dental insurance are commonly offered in all eight countries. Life insurance is generally employer-provided, with the exception of the U.S., where a majority of employers responding to the survey require a buy-up. Lastly, employers in the U.S. offer the widest variety of voluntary benefits, but mostly on a purely employee-paid basis.
To read more about global perks, see the reports for each country shown below.
More TopicsData Insights Voluntary Benefits Asia Pacific (APAC) Americas
Executive SummaryPerquisites and Additional Benefits: Profiles of Eight Countries
Part 1Perquisites and Additional Benefits in Canada
Part 2Perquisites and Additional Benefits in China
Part 3Perquisites and Additional Benefits in Germany
Part 4Perquisites and Additional Benefits in India
Part 5Perquisites and Additional Benefits in Mexico
Part 5Perquisites and Additional Benefits in the Netherlands
Part 7Perquisites and Additional Benefits in the United Kingdom
Part 8Perquisites and Additional Benefits in the United States