Resource Centre Job Search Advice Remuneration Package: Beyond The Gross Salary

Remuneration Package: Beyond The Gross Salary

What to look for in a remuneration package

A remuneration package is simply the whole package of salary, benefits, bonuses allowances and commissions that come with the job. It basically consists of more than just a salary and incorporates other benefits. Most recruiters ask what would be the ideal salary package during interviews. Conversely, most job seekers are usually concerned about gross pay figures that they forget to ask about other benefits that are attached to the position. While negotiating for a remuneration package, there are other benefits that you should consider besides the salary.

Some companies may not offer a huge gross salary but they have other packages which make your life easier and may even help you grow in your career. A good remuneration package may actually be better than a high gross salary. There are many benefits that may actually make the position very attractive apart from more zeros on the gross pay. Before negotiating for a salary, it is important to consider other benefits that come with the job. Here is what to consider:

Private medical cover

Medical care is expensive and a private medical cover can be more expensive especially if it covers all your family members. However, some employers take this burden off your back by offering a comprehensive medical cover for you and your family members. This enables you to enjoy the best medical care when you need it, even when your bank balance cannot allow it.

Good health is a gift but we all fall sick and if this happens in the middle of the month, you may face challenges. Your medical cover thus comes in handy by affording you quality medical attention with no visible dent in your bank account. Therefore, as you negotiate the gross salary pay, ask your potential employer about medical benefits.

Training and development

The world is changing very fast. As more skills are required to perform tasks, it has become necessary to get additional training so as to keep up with the changing world and keep performing well. Some companies offer formal training, seminars, and workshops, all of which sharpen your skills and make you a better version of yourself.

The more training you get, the more you improve your performance. This will give you leverage to negotiate for more benefits, a better salary package or a better position. Additionally, these skills may be transferable and thus, you get to earn skills that will land you your next big job, with more benefits or a higher salary. Some organizations even take their employees to school in order to learn new things. All these will help you grow in your career and eventually get those zeros added on your pay cheque.


Work-life balance can be tricky for most people. You want to devote enough time to your employer while not neglecting your family or your personal time. This can be touchy especially in highly demanding jobs. However, some employers give you the option to clock in early and leave early, or come in late and leave late or even work from home.

All these benefits ensure that you give your job maximum attention and your family gets your attention when it’s needed. You may also get the option of a paid or unpaid vacation time, all of which work to your advantage. Take advantage of flexitime to grow in your career and bond with your family.

The job’s scope

Some companies operate in entire regions or multiple countries. Some positions require close coordination of activities and operations. An opportunity to work in such a company or position means that you get to travel and learn how to operate at an international level.

This way, you gain experience and expertise in many fields which pave the way for future jobs and opportunities. These regular travel activities are usually catered for by the company and thus, you get to travel on the company’s tab. These vast experiences enrich your worldview and offer you great opportunities for career and personal growth.

The duties and responsibilities of the job may also help you sharpen your skills as you take on more responsibilities. For example, you may become a key account manager, which will enable you to build your network as well as strengthen your negotiation skills. These can come in handy when you are negotiating for a raise or looking for a new job.

Bonuses and commissions

Some companies may not offer lucrative salaries but they sure do give attractive bonuses and commissions every so often. Such remuneration packages may be more attractive than the actual salary and the best part is that you get to be in control.

Some companies give bonuses upon the successful completion of tasks or once employees hit their targets. The employees thus get to work hard and increase their chances of getting good bonuses.

Some jobs, especially in sales, give commissions as part of the remuneration package. The commissions may be on a monthly or quarterly basis. This means that you get to decide how much commission you get by coming up with strategies that improve your performance. This may be better than a high salary which is fixed and does not change based on your performance. Look at it as being self-employed but still working for someone else.


There are also many allowances that come with some positions. For example, there are companies that offer mileage, transport and housing allowances. All these allowances may increase what you take home at the end of the month, in addition to your salary. These allowances may be fixed or negotiable.

House and transport allowances are the most common forms of allowances in the country. They are designed to help you afford housing and traveling costs and most vary depending on location. For example, the government of Kenya offers higher housing and traveling allowances for its employees in urban and hardship areas.

There are also hardship allowances in some companies, given to people who work in areas with no standard social amenities such as arid and semi-arid areas. These allowances are meant to allow employees afford a relatively comfortable lifestyle despite the prevailing circumstances. All these allowances can go a long way in boosting your bank account’s balance.

Job security

With the economy changing from time to time, some jobs are now on contracts, which can be terminated on short notice. In short, the job may have an attractive salary but that carpet can be pulled from under your feet anytime.

As part of a remuneration package, some companies offer their employees permanent and pensionable contracts, which give them job security. This stability gives you the chance to plan your life accordingly, knowing that your job is somewhat cushioned from factors such as prevailing economic circumstances, which may be beyond your control.

Jobs with job security also make it hard for you to lose your job and it takes gross violation of laid down rules and regulations to lose your job.

Pension payments

Pension schemes secure your future after retirement and provide you with a comfortable life even when you are not actively engaged in income generating activities. In some cases, permanent and pensionable employees are enrolled in good pension schemes where both the employer and employee make contributions, effectively securing your future. You can thus go about your life knowing that in the event of unforeseen circumstances you and your family may not suffer due to death or old age.

Pay rise policies

Your starting salary may be little and unsatisfactory. However, this situation may not last forever. While some companies have fixed salary rules that make it hard to get a raise, others (and in most cases), have annual salary reviews. Of course, these are usually pegged on performance and you get a chance to actually determine your chances of getting a raise. Such companies give room for negotiation and you can thus use your performance to negotiate for a good raise.

In some cases, it is company policy to have annual salary reviews, based on the company’s revenue. This, therefore, means that there is almost a guarantee to get a raise every so often and that seemingly small salary may not remain that way for so long.

In conclusion, a good remuneration package may be more attractive than the salary itself. When negotiating for salary or choosing job offers, bear in mind that a good remuneration package may be better that more zeros on your package in the long term. It is always advisable to ask the recruitment manager what other benefits come with the job apart from the salary, before negotiating. This will force the manager to divulge remuneration details, which he/she may not divulge beforehand.

Mueke Katwa
I have two years experience in Business Support which covers Human Resource as a function; and a lifelong passion in creative writing.
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