What Employee Benefits Do Asia Employees Need

Table of Contents
In our blog about employee welfare, we have covered that every 10% salary increment will increase employee retention by 3% and 2% in employee engagement Hence, it is proven that that money is still the no.1 motivator as a salary increment would make people happy.  However, small and medium business owners might hesitate to implement employee salary increments after weighing the significant expenses and potential return on investment.  Is there another good alternative that is more cost effective to make your employees happy? Fortunately, there is. A survey from glassdoor found that half (50%) of the employees would rather have new additional benefits than a pay raise.  Similarly, an employee benefits survey report from “people keep” discovered that 42% of employees would choose to have a new employee benefit rather than a wage increase 1 if a company offered an extra $200 to give to its employees monthly.  Let us look at what employee benefits package employers should offer according to the employee's needs.

1.Hong Kong Employees prioritization

Among all employee benefits options, 73% of Hong Kong employees prioritize compensation and benefits as the most crucial factor in choosing a career 2 . The result is far higher than working for a caring employer (30%), doing meaningful work (29%), and considering the work environment (13%).  It would be too fast to conclude from the results that workers in Hong Kong do not value having a compassionate employer and doing meaningful work.  The city pressures and continuously rising costs in Hong Kong cause most Hongkongers to be attracted to competitive pay to cope with the expenses demand would be a more reasonable explanation. 

2.Remote working benefits in Hong Kong?

Due to the competitive working culture, Employees in Hong Kong think it is important to interact and see their bosses in the office; otherwise, they might lose promotion or salary increment opportunities.  Furthermore, remote working usually demands a pleasant and peaceful work environment to work from home. However, the typical house size in Hong Kong is only 484 sq. ft due to the skyrocketing property prices happening.  Therefore, the lack of space and privacy issues are pushing Hong Kong employees to return to the office as a better and more conducive option. However, 65% of Hongkongers would consider a role from a hiring company outside of Hong Kong as they are the least happy working with their current employers in the Asia Pacific, especially the younger workers aged between 18 to 24.   The result above highlights a great opportunity for Hong Kong employers to consider hiring remote workers from other countries in South East Asia. From the Hong Kong case study, employee benefits for employers to consider according to the working culture would be medical insurance, flexible work arrangements, transportation allowance and relocation assistance. Infographics-Hong-Kong-Employee-Benefits-AYP-Blog

3. Work-life balance for Singapore employees

According to a survey done by WTW, among the retirement, health and flexible work benefits, Singaporeans would prefer and demand flexible work the most 3. The study further concluded that 85% of Singapore employees would be more likely to stay in the same company when the types of employee benefits meet their needs. 

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Jobstreet Singapore obtained similar results, with over 7,000 respondents mentioning that the two priorities apart from salary are work-life balance and job security 4. Work-life balance was essential for employees in the education, IT and healthcare sectors.  Country manager Chew from Jobstreet indicated that higher management in Singapore also values work-life balance significantly because they often carry the heaviest responsibilities around the clock but are often exempted from overtime compensation. From Singapore's case study, Singapore employees often work long hours in a hectic city pace. Moreover, Singapore's annual leaves and public holidays are lesser than its neighboring country, Malaysia.  Hence, employee benefits for employers to consider according to the Singapore work style and demand would be mental health benefits, guaranteed overtime pay or overtime time off, flexible work arrangements, and paid parental leave.  Learn more about the different engagement strategies you should include in your engagement plan.  Infographics-Singapore-Employee-Benefits-AYP-Blog

4.The Philippines employees' needs

Many workers in the Philippines do not have paid sick leave, vacation time, or other forms of paid time off. For instance, employees are legally entitled to only a 5-day paid service incentive leave, and employers are not required to provide paid sick leave to the Philippines employees by law. However, generally good employers who hire professional levels of employees in the Philippines will give an average of 15 days of paid vacation and 15 days of paid sick leave. Still, it depends solely on the employer's discretion, where no mandatory laws were set; this highlights a need to prioritize Philippines employees' sick leave and time off needs.  The Philippines is one of the countries with the highest demand for BPO services. The country is equipped with professionals in the customer service-focused industry, which is particularly favored by American business and culture.  A notable industry fact of the Philippines is that the service sector has contributed to the GDP increase from 36% in 1980 to 60% in 2020 5. As seen from the competitive demand and positive outlook for BPO services opportunities in the Philippines, employers should offer competitive benefits such as work from anywhere and flexible work arrangements to compete with the vast opportunities offered by the global BPO sectors.  Employee benefits for employers to consider according to the Philippines labour law and workforce competition would be remote working benefits, paid sick leaves, paid time off, and flexible work arrangements. Infographics-Philippines-Employee-Benefits-AYP-Blog

5.The Malaysia employees' needs

According to the latest amendment of the employment act 1955, updated earlier this year, 2023, maternity leave is extended from 60 days to 98 days, working hours are reduced from 48 to 45 hours, and granting 7-day paternity leave for married male employees 6. The Malaysian government has started to prioritize the need for a work-life balance from the legislation amendments enforced. However, what employee benefits will benefit Malaysian employees?  In Malaysia, the primary retirement plan is the Employees Provident Fund (EPF), the country's social security system, as a mandatory saving plan for private sector employees.  Due to exceptional conditions under the global crisis, members can withdraw money from the account to cope with their emergency needs in 2021; this has led to a total number of 12.78 million (52%) EPF members aged under 55 having less than RM 10,000 savings 7. Indeed, quite relevant to Malaysia's population financial scenario, a wellness report from Employment hero 2022 with over 1,000 Malaysian respondents found that 67% of employees feel stressed about money Only 3% said that financial stress did not impact their daily work. In other words, 97% felt that financial stress affected their work.  When asked how an employer can help reduce financial worries, about 46% would like their employers to pay overtime payments, and 28% with health insurance subsidies.  A notable feedback is that 57% want to seek guidance on savings, 53% want to learn more about pensions and retirement planning, 43% want to receive assistance in investment, and 30% want to know about budgeting.  Employee benefits for employers to consider according to the Malaysian's financial needs and concerns would be overtime compensation, financial courses subsidies, health insurance subsidies, and investment and budgeting assistance. Infographics-Malaysia-Employee-Benefits-AYP-Blog

6. Hiring APAC workers from anywhere?

Why not seek help from an Employer of record (EOR)? An EOR business solution company like AYP has a proven track record in hiring employees and acting as companies' legal employers all over and beyond the Asia Pacific! 
  • We help employers build business presences abroad without incorporating legal entities.
  • We are the experts in terms of different countries' employee benefits. Leave all your compliance issues about employee benefits, minimum wage, and overtime compensation-related labor law concerns for us to figure out compliantly for you.
  • Whether you are hiring full-time, part-time employees, contractors, or freelancers, we have over 100+ cross-country legal experts to mitigate your compliance risk.
  • Save up to 60% on hiring costs, compensation, and insurance with a single dashboard solution that simplifies your HR processes.
  • Pay out more than 130+ payroll currencies according to the countries' labor laws.    
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  1.  Examples of common small business employee benefits. Oct 2022. People keep
  2. 73% of Hongkongers consider compensation and benefits as the most important career consideration: work monitor report. February 2022. Randstad.
  3. What are the top 3 work benefits Singaporeans seek from employers? August 2022. Singapore Business Review.
  4.  New survey shows Singaporeans prioritize job security, salary, work-life balance. The independent Singapore.
  5.  Emerging Markets: Analyzing the Philippine's GDP. March 2022. Investopedia.
  6.  Amendments to Employment Act comes into force Jan 1. December 2022. New Straits Times.
  7.  EPF members’ savings worrying after RM145b withdrawals, says MOF. August 2022. The Edge Markets.
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