Half of employers advertising legal requirements as job perks

UK employers are advertising pensions, sick pay and training as job perks despite them being obliged to offer them by law.

In February 2022, half (49%) of job adverts posted on Indeed listed a pension as an additional incentive.

Around a third (34%) listed training as a perk and 13% advertised sick pay.

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Andrew Fennell, former recruiter and director at StandOut CV which conducted the research, suggested that advertising fundamentals as perks could be a harmless mistake, or a way of boosting appeal in the fight for talent.

Speaking to HR magazine, Fennell said: “Some employers want job hunters to think they're getting a better deal than they are, but job hunters are becoming much savvier to things like this."

Showing the importance perks can have, this week Facebook’s parent company Meta revoked some employee benefits such as free laundry and dinner service for employees, causing tension between the company and its employees.

Fennell added: “There are many more jobs on the market for them [job seekers] to pick and choose from, meaning they can better review the perks offered.” 

Howden Group's head of benefits strategy Steve Howden said it can be difficult to differentiate between a perk and an employment right, for example pensions can qualify as a perk if employers offer more than the bare minimum. 

He said: "Certainly employees now have a right to a workplace pension – with an employer contribution – but the actual scheme offered can be in excess of the minimum requirements.  And even where the scheme is the bare minimum, reminding candidates of these benefits makes sense as part of the jobs “pitch” to attract good candidates.”

After a pension, the most popular perks advertised on Indeed were working from home and discounts, both listed in 43% in adverts.

While the basic maternity and paternity leave was advertised by 3% of prospective employers on Indeed, StandOut CV’s research found that extended parental leave was a rare perk which would appeal to prospective employees.

Fennell also added that rare perks such as paid charity time would entice employees, as they help give people's jobs a larger sense of purpose.

This research was based on a review of 400 Indeed job listings in marketing, tech, insurance, and customer service sectors.