Differences Between Employee Perks And Benefits
Workplace Inspiration

Differences Between Employee Perks And Benefits

|Oct 28, 2021

Perks and benefits may be similar terms, but their definitions are different and may refer to diverse aspects. US statistics show that 56% of millennials are more likely to apply for a job due to their benefits package. Another 63% percent consider these benefits as the main reason for staying at a company.

With that being said, whether it is about perks or benefits, employee retention rates are more likely to increase if the employer promotes a healthier work environment and offers better benefits for their workers. Also, companies may offer employee perks to attract talents, as this practice has become quite trendy in the latest years.

As you can tell by the paragraphs above, it seems that both “perks” and “benefits” are synonyms. Please, continue reading if you’d like to know the difference between these words so that you can start using them correctly, regardless if you’re an employee or an employer.

Perks and benefits: Meanings

Let's start with the basics. Here we'll define both terms according to different sources while also giving examples of how they work out in practice. Benefits vs. perks isn't really a debate, but many people get confused about the use of these words.


According to the US Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics, benefits are compensations a company provides to their employees that are not related to their wages. Here we can take into account many sub-categories, such as insurances and paid leave. Benefits are often provided to cover an employee’s basic needs. In some instances, companies are obligated to provide specific benefits by law.

Perks and benefits: Meanings

Great examples of benefits include healthcare, regardless if it is medical, dental, or vision-related. Maternity and paternity leaves are often included in this category as well.


Now that we are on the next page let's talk about the perks. Perks have a “looser” description, but they’re often related to benefits provided to an employer by the company that showcases their values and beliefs. Thus, they are defining factors regarding the company culture and may not be considered as “crucial” aspects when a potential employee is evaluating going for a specific job opportunity. Employee perks for small businesses are different than those that large enterprises offer.

Good examples of perks include company car or free food offered at the workplace. There are tons of options here, but one of the trendiest options considered one of the best perks for work from home is flexible schedules.

Good examples of perks include company car or free food offered at the workplace.

Difference between employee benefits and perks

The above sections gave us precise insight regarding the topics. The perks and benefits difference can be described in multiple ways:

  • We could say that benefits are often tied to the employee’s salary. On the other hand, perks are meant to be “auxiliary.” For instance, if the job is too demanding, the employer may implement a lounge area or nap rooms to help the workforce relieve some tensions, promote a healthy environment and make the company a more pleasant place for everyone.

  • Another major difference between perks and benefits is that perks do not take into account when a person has an impediment to continue working, such as an illness or an injury. Contrary to this, many companies offer benefits for disabled people, regardless if it is a short-term or long-term injury.

  • Perks are also considered to be incentives to retain employees, apart from the salary. As it is a non-wage compensation, perks are deeply rooted in the company’s values and are meant to promote them even further.

Difference between employee benefits and perks

Examples of perks

Here we'll include some specific examples of perks so you can see how much they differ from benefits. We're mentioning popular options among employees.

  • Employee recognition – Some companies have implemented a different way of rewarding employees for their hard work. It can be present when someone meets a milestone or does something remarkable for the company. As of now, you can find tons of online apps that help you implement a better reward system for your company while keeping track of what happens. This perk often helps employees improve the employee experience.

  • Use of the company car – Commuting is one of the biggest problems and concerns that have arisen due to the pandemic. Even before the pandemic, it was already an enormous issue that contributed to the stress of millions of employees. A company can diminish this issue by allowing certain employees to use the company car. This way, they won't have to worry about the commute.

  • Flexible hours – Sometimes, staying the whole day at the office can diminish the time you can use for yourself. Companies are taking into account this issue more than ever, and now they’re offering flexible schedules for selected roles. Perks

  • An employee purchase program can also be considered a perk, depending on how the company manages it.

Examples of benefits

Benefits cover a wider range of categories and are often implemented to improve the person’s quality of life. Here we take into account the following aspects:

  • Medical insurance, including physician and surgeon costs, are often offered by companies. Some companies may offer dental or vision expenses as well, but please keep in mind that medical insurances are extremely specific and diverse in many companies. Sometimes, companies may offer you to pay for your medical insurance premiums.

  • Disability insurance is another great example of a benefit. Here we include short-term and long-term disabilities.

The list goes on, as a company offers thousands of benefits based on its nature and capacities.


It can be quite confusing to determine the difference between benefits and perks at a company. However, once you get in touch with how each option works, you'll see how much they differ from each other, even if people confuse them and use them as interchangeable words.

In the end, both concepts have in common the fact that they vary from a company to another. Thus, it is important for employees to analyze what a company is offering both as a benefit and as a perk before accepting the contract if they’ve already been offered the position.

Companies are implementing more innovative perks as the millennial generation is taking over the workforce. Thus, you can be sure that this category will continue expanding in the years to come.

Determine the difference between benefits and perks at a company

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