The new role of benefits in times of uncertainty

The pandemic showed us all what work can look like now. Many weeks of home office, online teamwork, growing stress, and financial uncertainty have changed the hierarchy of real needs of employees in just one month. 

We were found in a new situation, different from the previous economic crises, which we experienced to some extent just a few years ago. A situation in which at present the scale of losses in the entire economy cannot be realistically estimated. In this uncertainty, however, optimism fills the attitude of employers who, out of concern for the well-being and comfort of employees, have not completely abandoned company benefits.

According to the latest market data (Labour market on ¾ of power, Grant Thornton), employers currently offer an average of one benefit less in their new recruitment processes, and in the case of people already employed, they analyse the usefulness of benefits granted.

Recent weeks have shown that employees cannot use many benefits, such as sports and cultural cards, direct conversations with a coach or stationary English lessons.

Head online

In the current situation, therefore, benefits have gained a completely different dimensions, which have a positive impact on the employee’s health and mental performance. They constitute a subsistence minimum requirement and can also be beneficial for employees because they allow for additional savings in their home budget. Such a benefit is e.g. co-financing of employee’s nutrition in the form of prepaid lunch cards. Research by the World Health Organization (WHO) confirms that the employer who subsidizes meals for employees enhances their efficiency by up to 20%, which increases their motivation and efficiency and reduces the level of absence from work by up to 27%.  In the new reality, these elements take on an even deeper dimension.

Employers, by choosing the Edenred lunch card for employees, give them a guarantee of safe use (payments without PIN up to PLN 100, payments in Google Pay, Apple Pay, via the terminal), as well as a wide range of use in all their working conditions – at home office, in travel, in the office.

Optimizing the company’s budget

Voluntary financing of meals is the only benefit in Poland that allows to reduce the company’s fiscal burden – financed from current assets. The value of funds transferred on a lunch card up to PLN 190 per month is exempt from ZUS contributions, which gives the employer annual savings of PLN 462 per employee. Annual saving of the employee amount to PLN 289.

What is next?

The time of pandemic and reactivation thereafter can show what Employee Branding really is and how employers can support their team to jointly rebuild the company’s potential and further develop business.


Edyta Ziajowska, Sales Director, Edenred Polska

Last Updated on December 8, 2020 by Karolina Ampulska