There are numerous non-cash benefits. Some may be defined in contracts of employment, others may develop first informally but with time become an accepted or at least expected but unwritten part of terms and conditions. This is particularly true in emergencies, where there is an initial period of chaos when everyone is making it up as they go.
Disparities in non-cash benefits between national and international contract staff can be just as large as for salaries and can cause similar resentment.
As a general rule – if you make an exception today, it risks being seen as a right tomorrow – be cautious.
As with cash benefits, non-cash benefits should be:
- consistent across the programme for similar grades of staff
- realistic – in line with practice and sustainable
- transparent – they need to be written down if at all possible
- compliant – with local labour law
One designated person sets non-cash benefits – probably the programme manager
That person seeks advice from other organisations – there is a growing awareness of the need and a willingness to co-ordinate salaries and allowances even in the initial stages of a response. A checklist of non-cash benefits is given in resources.
Leave is dealt with separately.
Given the range of non-cash benefits and the difficulty of putting an exact cash value on them, it is very difficult to compare the full package of cash and non-cash benefits offered by different organisations for similar jobs.