11 Employee Benefits That Singaporeans Might Not Be Taking Advantage Of!

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Image of an employee sitting relaxed at their workstation

As employees, we often hope for a higher pay and a bigger bonus. But waiting for that to happen once a year can get excruciating. What else can we look forward to then?

Employee benefits can make you happier than you think. Every time you get a staff discount, you are saving money for other things that matter to you. Every time you take vacation leave, you are improving your mental well-being. And there are other less “standard” benefits that you may not be aware of.

Not utilising all of the benefits available is like leaving money on the table. Why not go through our list and see whether there’s anything you are missing out on?

Bring out the kiasu in you and squeeze these 11 employee benefits dry!

1. Dental benefits

We know that visiting the dentist can be a nightmare to some but it is an important part of maintaining good oral health. Don’t stall any longer, especially if it’s free. Check whether you have dental benefits and book an appointment soon. Having dental benefits means that nothing but yourself should stop your teeth from being checked and cleaned every 6 months.

2. Flexible benefits

Want to have the freedom to get reimbursed for lifestyle expenses beyond dental?

There’s something called flexible benefits where companies offer a set amount of money every year to pay for things that you value, such as dental, Lasik, gym, and medical expenses incurred by you or even your children) that are not covered by insurance.

Sounds awesome? You would be surprised how many people don’t make full use of it!

Also read: What Is the Price of Pregnancy in Singapore?

3. Mobile phone bills reimbursement

Phone bills may cost you only $50 to $60 a month but that doesn’t mean you should not claim it when you can! Some companies allow employees to claim mobile phone bills but they have to keep their invoices and make monthly claims. The hassle may not seem worth it at first but you are looking at saving yourself a plane ticket to Japan after a year!

4. Term Life insurance

Image indicating term life insurance

This is definitely one of the benefits that every employee in Singapore should be aware of. It might surprise you to know that aside from the basic life insurance provided by some employers, you may have the option to buy more under the group scheme for yourself and your spouse at reduced premiums (without medical examination).

This is great for employees with pre-existing conditions that would make it more difficult or expensive to qualify for a term insurance policy outside.

However, it’s crucial to note that the term life insurance only covers you for as long as you remain in the company and may still not be enough, depending on your situation. Some people may think that five to eight times their annual salary would be enough to tide the family over in the event of premature death or disability. But sometimes 10 to 15 times may sound more practical.

While you may be able to get higher coverage at an affordable (sometimes lower) cost privately, getting extra coverage via your company at a low premium especially when you have a pre-existing condition may be no harm.

It’s better to have some coverage than none, and it may make sense to have more than less.

Related: You Have a Life Insurance Policy Through Work. But is that Enough?

5. Training

Some employers offer a fixed amount of money every year for employees to go for relevant training, conferences, or seminars. The money would likely be wasted if you don’t use it in the given year.

Even if there are no written training benefits, any good boss and company would approve requests for relevant training. Don’t be shy to consult your boss if you find a good training programme, conference, or team building exercise.

6. Corporate discounts

Image of a person looking at a tablet that says 'Perks and Bonuses'

Beyond staff discounts, if you have an employee pass, chances are you can enjoy discounts at nearby F&B outlets.

Working at MNCs, you may also enjoy significant discounts at selected partners, such as telcos and gyms. Yes, you can get cheaper mobile phone plans or discount on annual gym memberships if you work at the right place.

The next time you sign up for anything, ask whether they have corporate discounts first!

Related: 8 Other Things You Can Negotiate for Besides Your Paycheck

7. Overtime benefits

Working late all the time? Then you better be claiming for your dinner and taxi fare home if you can!

Some companies allow you to claim up to a certain amount for your dinner if you work late, which can be as early as 7pm. That means you may be able to eat better – something to reward you after a long day.

Taxi claims usually aren’t as easy to claim though. That’s because you may have to be working till after 9pm or even 10pm. If you are thinking of knocking off at 8.30pm, you may want to finish up something else so that you can grab a cab at 9pm and reach home in half the time.

8. Family care and volunteer leave

Depending on your company’s policy, you may be eligible for family care leave even if you don’t have children. For example, you can use it to bring your parents or spouse to the doctor.

Some workplaces also encourage their employees to spend time on community work. You can take one to two days of paid leave to help others in need.

9. Work from home arrangement

As hot desking and video conferencing become more prevalent at the workplace, so is working from home.

Some companies have work from home arrangements for parents while some others allow employees to work from home on a case-by-case basis or on a schedule. Check with your HR on the company’s policy.

10. Wellness schemes

Image of a group of people exercising

Many employers care for their employee’s health and wellness, as it is key to productivity. To encourage better health, they may roll out things like office lunchtime yoga classes, and complimentary complete health check-ups and eye tests.

The thing about on-site fitness classes is that you get to sign up with your colleagues who would motivate you to not miss a lesson, even when you are busy at work.

Also read: 7 Ways to Work Out for Free in Singapore

11. Eat With Your Family days

Some companies have “Eat with Your Family” days where for example, the last Friday of the month employees get to knock off early at 5pm to go home and eat with their loved ones.

I know, you are probably thinking, “There’s too much work to knock off early, la.” But that’s exactly why there’s such a thing.

We may always find it hard to carve out quality time for family but it is possible. It only happens once a month, so manage your workload and meetings in a way that you can leave at 5pm and enjoy what money can’t buy – time.

Do you work for a company that has such benefits? Let us know what you think of them in the comments below.

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