Employee benefits, staff rewards, perks of the job – whatever you call them, they are often a key factor for employees when deciding whether to accept a job offer and a tool for employers to stand out from the crowd.
Traditionally, they have included pension schemes, private medical insurance, company cars and reward gateways; however, as the cost of housing in the UK increases – excluding some young professionals from accepting roles due to the cost of living – some companies in London and the south east of England have started to add subsidised accommodation schemes as part of their employment packages.
The schemes vary and range from deposit and rent-free periods to loans to cover deposits and subsidised mortgages; however, they all have one thing in common.
They ensure that employers can attract and retain talent more effectively – talent that might previously have been unable to accept their job offers due to the restrictive costs of accommodation in certain areas of the UK.
Some schemes also see the waiving of credit checks. These are something that recently-qualified students with either minimal or poor credit history can struggle with, often having to rely on parents to act as references or guarantors.
The schemes are not necessarily seen a long-term benefit but rather to give young professionals a leg-up into a housing market that may well have seemed out of their reach; therefore, they are particularly being offered to trainees.
Others who will benefit from these schemes are those who are applying for work experience placements. Some companies are starting to offer free accommodation for the two weeks of the placement, opening up a wider range of opportunities to both students and employees.
In short, as the UK housing market forces potential employees to consider whether they can afford to accept their dream job offer, employers are increasingly coming up with innovative ways to ensure that they can continue to attract the highest calibre of talent to their organisations.
This is not a new idea in the UK, of course. Way back in the 1800s, a number of well-known firms created entire communities for their employees and their families to live in, with some of these still thriving today.
Other industry sectors have always offered accommodation as part of their employment packages, such as catering and hospitality and the armed forces.
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