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Jobs & Careers

Which companies offer the best employee benefits?

There's more to employee benefits than staff discounts. Here are some of the best employment perks involved in working for major brands...

Barista with objects

Credit: Jacob Lund, Arkadiusz Fajer, Witthaya Sumdaengphai, Jane Kelly, iweta0077 – Shutterstock

Considering a part-time job at Odean to save cash on your cinema addiction, but unsure if the job actually comes with all the free films you could possibly want to watch?

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.

With that in mind, we've looked into the perks that come with working at some of the UK's most popular student employers...

Some major high street employers have been known to pay staff below minimum wage – don't get caught out.

12 companies with the best staff perks

person pulling a pint

If you're looking for good employee benefits, these are the best places to work as a student:

  1. Topshop and Topman

    topman topshop logo

    Topshop and Topman are popular places to work for students – mostly thanks to the great discount.

    Working at Topshop/Topman, you can expect 60% off for your uniform allowance every three months, and a 25% discount otherwise.

    You'll also get discounts at a select number of stores owned by the Arcadia Group (which owns Topshop and Topman), including Dorothy Perkins, Burton and Miss Selfridge.

    The only drawbacks are that you likely won't be able to use your staff discount online, and you'll probably have to sign up and pay using a Topshop store card, which can be dangerous for a number of reasons.

  2. Cath Kidston

    Cath Kidston logo

    In need of some new florals in your life? At Cath Kidston, you can get a very nice 50% staff discount on most of their range.

    Plus, through a benefits partner of Cath Kidston, you can also get discounts and offers at other shops on the high street and online, and half-price cinema tickets each week.

    Other employee benefits include interest-free season ticket loans for your commute into work and up to 35 days' holiday depending on your level and role.

  3. H&M

    h&m logo

    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 in-store and online, 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.

  4. Starbucks

    Starbucks logo

    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 30% off food, drinks and merchandise in-store, and a major perk is that you also get one free bag of coffee beans or instant coffee every week. So, as you won't have to buy coffee for home while working there, you can cut down your supermarket bill.

    Another perk of working at Starbucks is that you can get an interest-free tenancy deposit loan to help you move into a new rental property if you're struggling to cover a deposit.

  5. Superdrug

    superdrug logo

    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 10% off branded products for you and a chosen friend or family member.

    You'll also get access to My Superdrug Deals, which give you discounts and cashback at other top retailers.

    You can also sell back up to five days of holiday that you don't want to use, or buy up to five if you'd like some extra days off.

  6. Odeon Cinemas

    odeon logo

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

    Not only do you get 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 able to get some guest passes for friends and family too.

    On top of this, you'll also get 40% off food and drink (including Costa, Ben & Jerry's etc.), making the painfully expensive cinema food now just 'expensive'.

    And, Odeon also celebrate good work with special rewards for individual employees and whole teams.

  7. Pizza Hut

    pizza hut logo

    At Pizza Hut, you get 50% off food in the chain you work in. And, when you work a shift over five hours, you get a free meal.

    You can also get discounts at over 100 retailers and reduced gym membership, so it's a pretty good place to work if you're looking to save more money.

  8. Wetherspoon

    wetherspoon logo

    When working your shift at Wetherspoon, you'll get some free food and drink (restrictions apply), or 50% off food.

    When not working, there's a 20% staff discount on food, drinks and hotel accommodation for you and up to three guests.

    Discounts aside, the company also allocates monthly bonuses depending on your pub performance, and you can get free shares in the company after 18 months with Spoons.

  9. New Look

    new look logo

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

    However, this is only available on full price items and applies to permanent staff/employees who have worked there for longer than 12 weeks. Plus, the maximum total discount you can get each year is £1,600.

  10. Nando's

    nando's logo

    At Nando's, you'll get a free meal while on a shift in a restaurant.

    And when you're not working, you can get 40% off (but this depends on the day of the week).

    The company also hosts regular events for staff, like team trips, family fun days, networking events and parties. Cheeky.

    Don't work at Nando's? Don't worry, these tips for saving on your meal could get you a discount that's almost as good.

  11. Waitrose

    Waitrose logo

    Among supermarkets, Waitrose offer some of the best perks for employees.

    When working here, you can get 15% off groceries and 25% off at John Lewis (12% for electricals). This discount can also be used by one other person living at your address, which will make you pretty popular with your flatmates.

    You can also claim up to £60 a year towards tickets for things like concerts and music festivals, and £250 a year towards learning a new skill.

  12. McDonald's

    mcdonalds logo

    Fancy a job at Maccy D's?

    If you like the food there, you'll be glad to know that employee benefits include getting a free meal during your shift (although we happen to know of other ways you can get cheap and free McDonald's 👀).

    As an employee, you'll also get discounts at hundreds of retailers, but just how much that discount is, we're not sure.

If none of these float your boat, maybe one of these weird and wonderful jobs will.

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