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What are Employee Discounts Schemes, and do they really work?

26 November 2021

Employee discounts are a popular employee benefit, stretching salaries and business budgets further to the point where they can be more effective and sustainable than a company-wide pay rise! What are employee discounts, and how do they fit within your employee benefits strategy? More importantly, do they really work? Read on to discover more.

For a comprehensive guide on employee benefits - what they are and why they matter- read our blog - Everything you need to know about employee benefits.

Why employee benefits and discounts are so essential for employee wellbeing

The cost-of-living crisis is hitting many Brits hard, negatively impacting their financial health and causing nationwide financial anxiety to rise. 

Our Money Mastery research found that 48% of UK employees rate their financial wellbeing as average, poor, or very poor, and 73% of respondents are more stressed as a result. 

57% of HR professionals say they’re witnessing the consequences of poor employee financial wellbeing, and 66% say their employees are notably more stressed.

Money-saving employee benefits boost motivation and performance!

Employees don’t leave their money worries at home. They bring them to work, negatively impacting their focus, motivation, engagement, and productivity.

Businesses are feeling the impact of the cost-of-living crisis in more ways than one, but it’s within your power to create financially resilient employees who can be at their best when you need them to be.

Our Money Mastery research also revealed that many employees lack the confidence to be open with their employer about their financial situation. Discover how to remove the stigma and provide the solution.

In our blog, Creating a brighter tomorrow… financial health and mental wealth, we explore the connection between financial and mental wellbeing.  It’s a must-read for any employer or HR professional seeking to improve both.


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What is an Employee Discount scheme?

We’ve covered why employee discounts matter, and now we’ll delve into exactly what they are.

With over 150 retailers available on our Employee Discounts Platform, your people are spoilt for choice, able to find discounts for every occasion, interest and need. 

To be most effective, employees should embed their discounts into their daily lives. Using discounts on an ad hoc basis or when they’re looking to save money on a high-end purchase helps, but the significant savings come with consistent use.

In our blog, Essential savings for your employees, whenever, wherever, we explore the difference employee discounts make when employees use their discounted vouchers to pay for their weekly grocery shop all year round.

Small savings build up over time to make a significant difference.

£8 saved on a weekly grocery shop may not make your employees stop and think, but repeat the behaviour every week of the year, and that’s £416 back in your employee's pockets.

That’s a considerable saving, and we’re only calculating one area of your employees’ regular spending. Apply this to clothing, shoes, days out, meals out… the opportunities are endless.

Employee discount schemes give your employees more for less, helping them experience more of what matters and bringing more joy to their lives.

Answering your most frequently asked questions…

We discuss employee discounts with employers and HR professionals daily, and a few questions regularly crop up.

  1. What retailers do we have on board? 
  2. What are the discount levels, and do they change? 
  3. Is there an app?
  4. Is the purchasing process easy?
  5. How are the discounts applied?
  6. What are the tax implications of offering discounts as an employee benefit? 

And the answers…

  1. We partner with over 150 retailers and are constantly striving to add more.
  2. The discount level varies per retailer, with some offering a massive 20%! We work closely with our retail partners to provide the best employee discounts and often run promotions where the savings increase for a limited time.
  3. There is an app, and it’s compatible with iOS and Android.
  4. Yes! Employees log onto their discounts app or employee benefits platform via their desktops, find the retailer they wish to purchase with, add the amount they need to spend (online or in-store), purchase and download their eVoucher and scan or input the details at the checkout.
  5. If your employees’ shopping comes to £100 in total, they log into their discounts app and select a voucher for £100 with their chosen retailer. However, if the retailer offers a 6% discount, that £100 voucher will only cost them £94. The savings come from purchasing our discounted vouchers, not by reducing the price at the till.
  6. It’s best to seek independent tax advice here


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Do employee discount schemes work?

To answer this question, you must be clear on your goals and objectives.

Are you trying to improve employee financial wellbeing, enhance engagement, or implement a robust employee benefit offering to create a competitive EVP that will help you attract and retain talent? 

Employee benefits as a whole and an employee discounts scheme, specifically, can help with all these challenges.

Another question to ask is, what are you doing to help make your employee discounts scheme work?

It takes 21 days to change a habit, and if your employees have been following the same purchasing behaviour for many years, they’ll need encouragement to adopt a new - better way. Change requires encouragement and regular communication on the employee discounts available and how to access their employee benefits platform.

You can do this in various ways, like running internal challenges and creating super users that can set an example and show their colleagues the difference their employee discounts can make to their financial wellbeing.

What can Employee Discounts do for your business?

In short… a lot!

Looking back at the business objectives listed above, here’s how an Employee Discounts Platform can benefit your business.

  • Improving employee financial wellbeing: When you make life more affordable for your employees, you improve their financial health, leading to better mental and emotional health - reducing employee stress and absenteeism.
  • Enhancing employee engagement: When employees feel supported, they feel valued. When you actively take steps to stretch their salaries further to help them afford more of what matters, they become more engaged with your business. 

Businesses with a highly engaged workforce will benefit from 21% greater profitability!

  • Creating an employee retaining EVP: During our Money Mastery research phase, we asked over 2,000 UK employees if they were considering leaving their current role and what would tempt them to stay. Better financial employee benefits were at the top of the list. An attractive EVP that helps retain and attract talent saves money on recruitment costs, helping your business thrive!

A company-wide pay rise can add millions to a business's wage bill. Employee Discounts Platforms, alongside other salary-stretching employee benefits, can enhance your offering. 

“When employers offer their employees cashback-earning and discount schemes, their workforce can save up to £1,679.” Graham James, Director, Pluxee UK

When looking for a new role, job hunters compare the employee benefits on offer across organisations alongside the advertised salary. When accompanied by a great employer brand and workplace culture, a strong EVP can tempt employees to stay with you, even when offered a higher salary.


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How do employee discounts fit within your employee benefits strategy?

There are five wellbeing pillars, but when discussing employee benefits, we tend to stick to three - financial, mental, and physical.

The most effective employee benefits strategy incorporates all three pillars, offering an Employee Assistance Programme to support mental health and Gym and Fitness Discounts or a Cycle to Work scheme to make healthier lifestyles more affordable.

With so many retailers on board, our Employee Discounts Platform can enhance your employee benefits strategy beyond the obvious money-saving element.

  • Mental wellbeing: Where do we start? Being able to afford life's essentials and removing some of the financial strain improves employee mental health. Throw in the fact that your employees can embrace more wellbeing activities, like spas and day trips, and it’s easy to see how our Employee Discounts Platform improves employees’ mental and emotional health.
  • Physical wellbeing: We partner with a wide range of retailers to deliver employee discounts on fishing gear, bikes, home gym equipment,  and so much more.

Making healthier lifestyles more affordable… it’s The Pluxee Effect!

Discover more in our guide to building a cost-effective and sustainable people strategy.

Partner with Pluxee UK for more of the best Employee Discounts

We can help your employees’ wages stretch further with our exclusive money-saving deals on everything! Our employee discount scheme can help your people save money on everyday essentials and luxury and leisure activities. Request a call from one of our employee engagement consultants today to learn more.



NB: Terms and conditions apply and vary depending on the retailer. All terms and conditions are available at the point of purchase.