How to get something for nothing at work

When payslips are opened at the end of the month, for most of us it’s the cash that we’re interested in! But you may be missing a trick by forgetting about the other, non-cash benefits that your company can give you, just for being an employee. Check out our guide here:

Discount cards

Many larger employers such as Tesco and Sainsbury’s will have voucher schemes that can save you money with local shops, hairdressers and restaurants. Just ask your HR department, fill in the form and you’ll be ready to bag those bargains!

Cycle to work scheme

The government-sponsored cycle-to-work scheme is hugely popular and according to Cyclescheme, 657,000 bikes have been bought to date. The scheme isn’t compulsory and is only offered by some companies, but if yours does offer it then it’s worth getting involved! Monthly payments are taken from your payroll earnings for a year, with a small final payment to allow you to buy a new bike and save money by cycling, rather than commuting.

Free eye sight tests

Depending on the circumstances, if you’re required by your job to spend long, continuous periods of time looking at a computer screen you may be eligible for a free eye test at a local optician. If you have the eye test and the optician says you need glasses for the sole purpose of working at a computer, you can ask your company to pay for these too, or at least contribute something towards it. Check with your HR department or for more information go to the official HSE website. 

Season ticket loans

Instead of buying weekly or even monthly travel cards, you can save a huge chunk of money by getting an annual season ticket. Many big employers offer interest-free or low-interest loans so you can buy the season ticket. They will then take the repayments from your salary in 10 or 12 instalments. Ask your HR department if they offer this scheme and if not if they can start offering it. If you live inside zones 1-3 in London for example, you can save £236 a year using this scheme instead of buying a monthly travel card. If you’re commuting from Colchester to Liverpool Street you’d save £915.20, while someone travelling everyday from Hazel Grove to Manchester Piccadilly would save £153.60.

Discounts on travel

If you’re a member of the Armed Forces, or your spouse is, then you and your children are eligible for the HM Forces Railcard, which costs £15 and gives a 34% discount on most rail fares. You can collect the cards from Armed Forces Personnel Offices. If you work for Transport for London, you’ll get 75% off a season rail ticket and Midland Mainline employees get free train travel with their network and South West trains, as well as hefty discounts from other networks. They also let you hook up friends and family with bargain tickets.

Speak to your HR department to find out a full list of employee benefits that you’re entitled to.