Jobs & Careers

Which companies offer the best employee benefits?

Would a cracking staff discount be enough to convince you to apply for a job? We take a peek at some of the best employment perks involved in working for popular UK brands.

best employee benefits for students

Considering a part-time job at Starbucks to save cash on your caffeine addiction, but unsure if the job even comes with all the free coffee you can drink?

We've done some research into the perks that come with working at some of the UK's most popular student employers.

Although making sure that you're actually paid a decent wage should always be your top priority, there's no denying that a few additional benefits can go down a treat too!

Some major high street employers were recently named and shamed for paying staff below minimum wage – make sure you know your rights!

10 jobs with the best employee benefits

  1. Topshop

    topshop topman employee benefits

    Credit: Topshop – Wikimedia Commons

    Topshop and Topman are a popular choice amongst students – mostly thanks to the great discount! Working there, you can expect 60% off for your uniform allowance every 3 months, and a 25% discount otherwise.

    You'll also get discounts at a number of other popular stores, including Apple, Boots, Pizza Express and Thomas Cook.

    The only drawbacks are that your staff discount can't be used online and in order to use it you have to sign up and pay using a Topshop store card, which can be dangerous for a number of reasons!

  2. H&M

    H&M employee benefits

    Credit: H&M – Wikimedia Commons

    The perks of working at H&M are pretty decent to say the least – particularly if you tend to shop there anyway.

    Working at H&M will get you a 25% discount on full price and sale items, which can also be used at any H&M Group stores too, such as COS, Monki, & Other Stories, Cheap Monday and Weekday.

    Not only this, but you can combine staff discount with discounts and campaigns that are available to the public – which can sometimes result in 50-75% off!

  3. Starbucks

    starbucks employee discount

    Credit: Starbucks – Wikimedia Commons

    Even if you're not a coffee drinker, the perks involved in a job at Starbucks aren't bad at all.

    You'll be entitled to one free food item as well as free coffee and tea during your shift. You'll also get 30% off packaged food and drinks like canned juices etc. and this applies even when you're not working.

    A major perk is that you also get to take home one free bag of coffee beans, instant coffee or tea every week (RRP around £3.50 a bag). You'll never have to pay for this stuff at the supermarket again!

    Other perks can include Starbucks shares (but this is only after 2 years working at the company) and free online courses in English and Maths.

    NB: From what we're gathering, there seems to be a difference between the perks involved when you work in a Starbuck franchise compared with equity stores. Equity stores seem to offer 50% off food for staff, whereas franchises only give 30% off.

  4. Superdrug

    superdrug employee benefits

    Credit: Superdrug – Wikimedia Commons

    Getting yourself a part-time job at Superdrug could be pretty useful if you're big on beauty products, as you'll be able to get 30% off own-brand items and exclusives using your staff discount card.

    However, for any products that aren't Superdrug's own brand, they only offer staff a measly 10% off – which isn't great as you'd already be entitled to this discount with a student card!

    You can also sell back up to five days of holiday that you don't want to use, and if you refer a friend to work at Superdrug and they get the job, there's a cash reward!

  5. Odeon Cinemas

    odeon employee discounts

    Credit: Odeon – Wikimedia Commons

    Of all the cinemas we've looked at, it seems the most perks would come with a gig at your local Odeon Cinema.

    Not only do you get access to free blockbuster previews before they're open to public viewing, and free tickets to use at any Odeon branch you like (if you can face going to the cinema on your day off!), but you'll also be given 12 free cinema tickets for friends and family every 3 months.

    On top of this, you'll get also get first dibs on official movie posters and 40% off food and drink (including Costa, Ben & Jerry's etc.), making the extortionately expensive cinema food now just ‘expensive'.

    Apparently Odeon are also known to reward good work with free food for staff (e.g. Nando's, GBK etc), and dishing out occasional cash vouchers to employees of the month.

  6. Pizza Hut

    pizza hut employee benefits

    Credit: Pizza Hut – Wikimedia Commons

    While Pizza Hut perks aren't gonna make you jump for joy, they're probably the best of the pizza-place bunch – particularly since they have a dine in discount (whereas other places like Domino's only do delivery).

    Each shift you do at Pizza Hut, you'll get a free ‘small' staff meal. You also get free pizza if a customer returns or cancels an incorrect order. Score!

    Otherwise, you get 50% off all pizzas and 25% when dining in the restaurant.

  7. Wetherspoons

    wetherspoons employee discount

    Credit: Wetherspoons – Wikimedia Commons

    When working your shift at Wetherspoons you'll get 50% off – and this also includes one hour before and after your shift.

    Wetherspoons employees seem to report varying off duty discounts, ranging from 20–33%, with some claiming that it can be applied to the entire bill for up to 4 other people.

    Discounts aside, the company apparently allocates monthly/quarterly bonuses depending on your pub performance, and you can also get free shares in the company after 18 months with Spoons (but you lose them if you leave your job, so make sure you sell them first!).

  8. New Look

    New Look employee discount

    Credit: New Look – Wikimedia Commons

    New Look employee perks are pretty impressive, with 40% off available for you plus one other person (or a ‘nominee', as they call it).

    However, this is only available on full price items and only applies to permanent staff/ those who have worked there longer than 3 months. It's also capped at £500 spend per year.

    If you're a temp, or have only worked there for 3 months or less, you'll get 25% off.

    New Look also have a rewards site you can sign up to that is exclusively for staff, and it'll get you discounts at restaurants, half price cinema tickets and a discounted gym membership. Not bad at all!

  9. Nando's

    Nando's employee discount

    Credit: Nando's – Wikimedia Commons

    At Nando's, you'll get a free meal worth £10 or less during every shift, plus free use of the bottomless soda machines, too.

    When you're not working, you'll get 40% off for you and up to six friends or family Mon – Thurs (this drops to 20% Fri – Sun).

    The company also apparently host regular parties for staff, which include free food and drinks. Cheeky.

  10. Waitrose

    Waitrose employee discount

    Credit: Waitrose – Wikimedia Commons

    We're not gonna claim to be Waitrose's biggest fans at the moment, given that their sister company John Lewis has ‘accidentally' been paying staff below minimum wage. However, we've researched all of the major supermarkets, and there's no denying that Waitrose offer the best benefits package for employees.

    While the likes of Tesco and Sainsbury's offer just 10% discount to staff, Waitrose offer 15% on groceries and a whopping 25% off at John Lewis (12% for electricals). This discount can also be used by anyone living at your address, which will make you pretty popular with your flatmates, too!

    As well as this great discount, as part of the John Lewis Partnership, all Waitrose employees get a share of the company's profits.

  11. McDonald's

    McDonald's employee discount

    Credit: McDonald's – Wikimedia Commons

    After having a look at some of the fast food chains, it seems that a job at Maccy D's would come with the most perks.

    Employee benefits include free medium-value meal on each shift and your staff card gets you 20% off medium meals at any McDonald's when you're not working.

    You also get a discount at partnering companies (Pret a Manger, Krispy Kreme and Millie's Cookies are all owned by McDonald's), but just how much that discount is, we're not sure.

Do you work at one of the companies mentioned above and have a perk to add? Or do you work for a company that deserves to be on the list? Let us know in the comments below!

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