Most of the clients for whom StaffMatters recruit staff, offer more than the minimum of a salary and the legally required social insurance and national health insurance contributions, with employers’ offering annual bonuses or 13th salaries not uncommon in Cyprus. But what about the other benefits and perks that might be commonplace abroad – are those to be found in Cyprus?
What are benefits and perks
The terms benefits and perks are sometimes used interchangeably, so for the sake of clarity let’s define benefits as a form of compensation that supplements your salary, with items like medical insurance and provident/pension funds, and are items that employees will likely fund on their own if their employer did not offer them. Included in benefits could be remuneration-related items, such as performance bonuses, annual bonuses, commissions and other monetary incentives that supplement the employees’ income.
Perks are those things that employers give to their employees that boost employee happiness. It also has monetary value, like a free lunch for example, but the aim is to enhance employee morale. Employers in Cyprus sometimes call these lifestyle benefits.
Fad or necessity?
You will be forgiven to think that these are fads for trendy companies when you hear about the nap pods for employees to have sleep breaks at work (a real thing at NASA, Samsung, Google and Huffington Post). But the value lies in giving employees something that they would like to have.
The recovering economy in Cyprus has tipped the scale in favour of employees. More jobs are available than there are workers and consequently, for employers to attract the top talent and then to prevent those star employees from moving to greener pastures, companies must up their game. When everyone in the market pays the same salaries and offer the same benefits, top talent will think twice before changing jobs if they love the perks their employer offers.
Some of the most common and the coolest perks in other countries
- Flexible work hours: employees can choose to start between 7 a.m. and 10 a.m. and finish between 4 p.m. and 7 p.m.
- Flexible workdays: employees can choose to work one day from home, and save on the commute to and from the office
- Four-day workweek: as we had previously discussed in So, who wants Friday off? companies are offering a shorter workweek
- No official work hours: none whatsoever, work whenever you want for however many days you want, as long as the job gets done
- Parental leave: New parents are offered paid time off when new additions arrive in the family
- Free food: anything from a weekly team breakfast or lunch, to healthy snacks freely available every day, to free lunch every day, to good quality coffee
- Volunteer time off: employees who volunteer their time to help others in the community are given paid time off do to so during working hours. Extra brownie points for the companies who do this, is that it showcases your company’s corporate culture
- Employee discounts: anything from 5% discount on food items, to big-ticket purchases like cars and property.
- Pet-related perks: discounts for grooming costs for your pup, or vet visits, kennel costs, and pets can be brought to work
- Massages and yoga: a permanently employed masseuse, and yoga classes during work hours.
- Plenty of time off: in addition to paid leave, employees also get birthdays off, a bonus vacation week after four years at the company, Fridays off after five years.
How does Cyprus compare?
The standard benefits you can expect in Cyprus
The very minimum benefits that you can expect in Cyprus are obviously those required by law, namely the monthly contributions made by your employer in Cyprus to the social insurance and national health insurance. At the moment there are still quite a large number of companies that offer their employees private medical insurance, since the national health insurance (GESY) is still quite new and not all employees have registered yet. Those companies that do offer private medical insurance do so mostly for staff only, but there are some that include family members.
It is quite common for employers in Cyprus to offer a 13th salary or a performance bonus at the end of the year.
Paid leave is cover by law, that stipulates 21 days paid annual leave for a full-time employee at a rate of 1.75 days per month. Under certain conditions, there is a Holiday Fund available to which employers can contribute as part of the contributions to Social Insurance. The Holiday Fund contribution is an additional 8% of the monthly gross salary of the employee paid by the employer and which could then be available for an employee to claim from Social Insurance when leave is taken (again, there are conditions to be met).
How about the perks employers offer in Cyprus?
Although we have not heard of nap pods at any company in Cyprus (yet), employers in Cyprus know how important it is to attract and retain top staff, and perks are not uncommon. Companies in Cyprus offer, among others:
- Gym memberships
- Free lunch at the company canteen
- Free fruit and snacks throughout the day
- Monthly corporate events such as team days out for staff to participate in fun activities
- Schooling of employee’s children is paid for
- Study allowances to employees to follow a study course relevant to the industry
- Massages at the office, with either an in-house masseuse or someone regularly coming to the office
- Company cars or transport allowance to cover all work-commuting
- Flexible work hours
- Extended vacation time for employees after three- or four years’ employment.
Although what is available varies quite substantially, there is a definite trend toward companies in Cyprus offering more benefits and perks to increase their competitive advantage in the employment market. If you are looking for a new job, keep an eye on the jobs we advertise on our site at smstaffmatters.com/jobs to see what is on offer. Your StaffMatters recruitment consultant could also tell you more about each company to help you land a job with fabulous perks and benefits. If you are an employer seeking to recruit top staff, we can assist you with the insight into what benefits and perks are being offered to job seekers and employees in your industry.
Looking forward to helping you, our team can be reached on 25341383 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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