Facilities for social and sports clubs and for playing fields are increasingly being offered by large employers, and these can be important factors in the total package of benefits.
A most important part of your total remuneration is the value to you of membership of any company pension plan. If you qualify to become a member of such a scheme, whether the company pays all or only a part of the regular contribution required, you should look on your eventual entitlement to pension and other benefits as a form of deferred pay. (See Chapter 2 for an assessment of pension schemes.)
Benefits in kind
In some industries employees are entitled to be provided with products of the company at a price below cost or even free of charge. Examples are coal for mine workers, air transport for airline employees, rail transport for railwaymen, discounts on new cars for car workers, hairdressing free of charge for department store assistants, subsidised mortgages for the staff of financial institutions, free petrol, loans for paying school fees, and so on.
Your total remuneration may even include the provision of accommodation, either rent-free or at a lower than market rent (e.g. nurses in hostels, farm workers), or the use of company-owned holiday accommodation at low rates. Most large companies provide the use of company cars to members of their management teams, and this is possibly the most valuable perk of all. For executives earning more than a stated amount per year the Inland Revenue now assesses the use of a company car to tax, although the net benefit to the employee is still much greater than he would derive from an addition to his salary of the cash equivalent of the use of the car.
Another valuable perk offered by some employers is free membership of group schemes for medical or hospital insurance, enabling employees to obtain private treatment in hospital without charge. Others offer free membership of permanent health insurance schemes (see Chapter 12).
Another part of the package deal will be the entitlement to paid holidays. You may be entitled to three weeks' holiday on full pay at times you can select; or possibly the company may close down for three weeks, in which case you have to take your paid holiday at that particular time. You may be entitled to more than three weeks. If so, is the extra on full pay, or without pay?
Working hours might be entirely suitable for you, or you may deem them to be unsocial, especially if shift work involving nights is involved. Do you get a higher rate of pay for night work?