Flexible benefits: answer all your questions about the subject

Flexible benefits are an objective way to address employees’ emotional and financial health. Topics that are on the rise after the transformations in work logic resulting from the pandemic.

To the new working relationships are in an adaptation process. In this sense, people are rethinking their careers. According to research by Bain & Company of 2021 with workers from 10 major economies, 58% of respondents feel that the pandemic has forced them to rethink their work-life balance.

Therefore, companies are having to adapt to this new reality overnight. Therefore, the option for flexible benefits. They can be adapted to the tastes and needs of workers, bringing benefits to people throughout this process.

Therefore, find out what it is and answer all your questions about flexible benefits and see the applicability, following labor laws, of this planning.

What are flexible benefits?

Firstly, flexible benefits are additional benefits that an employee receives, in addition to their net salary and other benefits determined by law. It is a model that emerged in the United States in the 1970s and has been gaining followers around the world.

Therefore, many companies have been thinking about tactics to improve team performance and retain the best talent on the market. At a time when almost 2/3 of workers question their future work, it is an artifice to be considered.

Still according to the report Bain & Company, among ten options listed, good salary and benefits are 23% preferred by interviewees. Offering benefits that adapt to each worker profile is a smart way for an HR team to involve professionals in the company's culture.

Therefore, every benefit offered by a company, which tends to adapt to the needs of employees and is not mandatory, can be considered a flexible benefit.

According to the 30th Corporate Benefits Survey published in July 2021 by the consultancy Mercer Marsh Benefits, the total number of companies that will include this model in their HR policies rose from 17% in 2019 to 48% in 2021.

Examples of Flexible Benefits

Flexible benefits are organized to meet the needs of different aspects of an employee's life. Thus, from culture to education, including health and well-being, the list of possible advantages is vast and it is up to HR to design the best plan for each profile.

Let's see some examples:

Health and wellness

One way to take care of employee health and reduce absenteeism rates is to offer good health plans. Generally, they have high values, which is why they are an attraction widely used by companies.

Furthermore, there is a range of benefits included in this topic, such as dental assistance, therapy assistance, gympass, among others. Everything here is concerned with the employee's health, that is, it will keep them more active and more productive.


Professionals who want to qualify or advance in their careers are mainly interested in scholarships. With a value defined by the company, the employee decides whether to invest in a new language, graduate, postgraduate or participate in training.


Cards with meal and food functionality They can be used in establishments such as restaurants, markets and bakeries. In examples like the iFood Benefits, can also be used to pay for delivery.

personal finances

Benefits such as private pension are a differentiator in this regard. With it, it is possible to supplement social security and help employees plan the direction of their financial life.

The possibilities are not easily exhausted and, in a post-pandemic period, new models begin to emerge. Recently, “home-office assistance” has been a trend to help with the cost of maintaining workspace in employees’ homes.

In this amount, you can consider cost assistance for electricity bills, purchase of materials for better ergonomics and acquisition of better equipment. This type of aid aims to contribute to the maintenance costs of your own office.

What is the difference between flexible and fixed benefits?

Fixed benefits are those that constitute workers' rights, such as vacations, retirement and 13th salary. There is no possibility of discussing changes to this type of benefit, as they operate in accordance with what is stated in the legislation.

Meanwhile, flexible benefits are part of companies' internal policies or are aligned with unions, which can generate further adjustments. However, they must still respect the legislation applicable to each of the benefits, as each one has specific functioning.

Thus, each company can determine which flexible options best adapt to its reality and employee profile. It's a way to satisfy teams with resources in addition to perks.

What are the objectives of flexible benefits?

The objective of flexible benefits is to create a more attractive environment for employees, where they can envision a solid and fruitful career. It is a way for HR sectors to avoid a high turnover (employee turnover rate).

Currently, profiles within companies are more diverse, which represents people with very different ages, tastes, and profiles. Serving each profile in a unique way is one of the main objectives here.

Imagine a 30-year-old man, who intends to get married and have children soon, needing a period of remote work. On the other hand, a 23-year-old woman, who has just finished college and intends to grow in the company.

They are very different profiles with different needs and desires for their careers. This is where flexible benefits stand out to create a culture that brings advantages following each personality and moment in life.

It is clear that, with this, the challenge for companies is to make this benefits package available with equality between everyone. Values need to reach a common denominator, without distinction of profile or hierarchy.

What are the advantages of adopting flexible benefits?

It is necessary to look at the advantages of flexible benefits from two concomitant perspectives. That of the employee, who can personalize their experience according to what makes the most sense for them.

And, secondly, the vision of the organization, whose advantages lie more in structure and long-term planning. Creating a culture of well-being and motivation will generate a comfortable environment, where optimizing results and gaining productivity is just a natural consequence.

Flexible benefits are also beneficial for companies that emerge 100% in the digital world. For Paula Rabello (Growth Director at iFood), while some companies needed to reinvent themselves and operate in the digital world, a company technology and inovation was already ready to adapt to new demands:

“Well, we are a digital, technology company, already operating in the corporate market with some solutions, so why not create a solution with innovation at the center to invent the best food solution for employees” – Paulo Rabello, (Director of Growth from iFood) from iFood.

How do flexible benefits work?

A company can offer countless possibilities, in accordance with applicable legislation, to the employee, which indicates what their priorities are. Some options are given up in favor of others. It works with an inventory of advantages and distribution rules that are determined by the companies.

The most common distribution rule is a calculation based on the value of each flexible benefit and, in the end, the idea is that each personalized package has the same impact for the organization. This way, it is decided whether the project is sustainable or not.

One of the main forms found on the market is the points system, whose purpose is to quantify the redemption of each product in exchange for points acquired by the employee. This way, the beneficiary chooses how to use “their points” as if they were at a store stand.

Each application will need to have its destination according to its purpose. There are actions that are not allowed within this flexibility model. For example, using credit from a meal voucher to pay an electricity bill.

Flexible benefits in Brazil: what does the legislation say?

There is still no law specifically designed to address the issue of flexible benefits. However, the rules are linked to art.468 of the CLT. When a company intends to use flexible benefits, it is ideal for this to be done through a Collective Bargaining Agreement.

It is also worth noting that each renewal of the benefits to be acquired by the employee is duly documented. He must be aware, clearly and concisely, of what is being offered to him.

Can any company have flexible benefits?

Yes. As long as it respects the determinations provided for by law 5,452, art. 461 of the CLT, any company can have flexible benefits.

All that is needed is an egalitarian policy. The law says that “all work of equal value provided to the same employer, in the same location, will correspond to equal pay, without distinction of sex, nationality or age”.

It is essential, under the aforementioned law, that those responsible for creating benefits packages for employees monitor the amounts spent in each session to avoid the occurrence of labor problems.

How to implement flexible benefits in companies?

Implementing flexible benefits depends on balancing a scale that contains, on the one hand, the company's supply power and, on the other, the demands of employees.

In order to achieve the most accurate balance, it is essential to carry out a diagnosis of the internal public. The first step is to understand how employees feel in the organization and what they “miss” to have greater well-being in the place.

After that, we move on to the operational part: mapping suppliers, surveying costs, quantities and quality of offers. The search for partnerships can be a way to facilitate access and reduce costs.

Some companies choose to outsource planning. The positive point is paying a single fee for the service and counting on the contractor's technology expertise.

There are several companies specializing in management and implementing flexible benefits. For each sector and profile, there may be one that makes the most sense. When it comes to food, iFood stands out for its practicality and the number of regions and establishments it covers.

The iFood Benefits experience brings all partner restaurants as a possibility for employees of partner companies. Paula Rabello explains the functionality of the applications:

“We have an iFood Benefits application that is integrated with iFood and is focused on the benefits user experience and journey. It provides empowered and self-service management. In case of loss, there is not so much bureaucracy for the employee to request a new card” – Paula Rabello, Director of Growth at iFood.

Finally, in a period in which many people work from home from different places and with new ways of working such as digital nomads, a benefits package that overcomes geographic barriers and supports the user is essential.

iFood Benefits

O iFood Benefits It's the meal voucher or food voucher from iFood. Using the iFood Benefícios Elo physical card, employees use the benefit in restaurants and delivery markets and in the physical accredited network with more than 4 million establishments throughout Brazil.

Meal and food on a single card: discover iFood Benefits

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