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Employee benefits and (especially in British English) benefits in kind (also called fringe benefits, perquisites, perqs or perks) are various non-wage compensations provided to employees in addition to their normal wages or salaries. Where an employee exchanges (cash) wages for some other form of benefit, this is generally referred to as a 'salary sacrifice' arrangement. In most countries, most kinds of employee benefits are taxable to at least some degree.
Fringe benefits can include, but are not limited to: (employer-provided or employer-paid) housing, group insurance (health, dental, life etc.), disability income protection, retirement benefits, daycare, tuition reimbursement, sick leave, vacation (paid and non-paid), social security, profit sharing, funding of education, and other specialized benefits.
The purpose of the benefits is to increase the economic security of employees.
The term perqs or perks is often used colloquially to refer to those benefits of a more discretionary nature. Often, perks are given to employees who are doing notably well and/or have seniority. Common perks are company cars, hotel stays, free refreshments, leisure activities on work time (golf, etc.), stationery, allowances for lunch, andâ€”when multiple choices existâ€”first choice of such things as job assignments and vacation scheduling. They may also be given first chance at job promotions when vacancies exist.