How to calculate employee costs

Updated March 23, 2017

Running your own business means having employees and having employees means you will need to compensate them for their work. Salary isn't the only cost of having employees, however. In addition to salary you will need to pay recruiting expenses, retirement, health insurance, dental benefits, tuition reimbursement, unemployment, social security, life insurance and anything else which you deem appropriate for your employees such as a uniform allowance.

Obtain a copy of the statement of accounts for your company. You will need to know what the spending is for certain expense categories. If you do not have employees and this exercise if for planning purposes, estimate the expense categories to the best of your ability or ask a similar business what their average employee expenses are.

Calculate all costs associated with recruiting. The more technically savvy your employees need to be, the more you will need to spend trying to find them.

Look up basic salary expenses or estimate what you can afford to spend per employee by polling people in the same industry.

Add employment taxes. Her Majesty's Revenue and Customs has a National Insurance calculator on their website (see Resources). The rate that both employer and employee should pay varied on the NI code assigned to the employment type. However, as an example, on a monthly salary of £3,000 the employers contribution on employees NI contribution, with a category letter of "A" is £322.51 which comes to £3,870.12 over a year.

Add in benefits. Typical benefits for a £36,000 salaried employee including life insurance, health coverage, dental plans, dependent care assistance, tuition reimbursement and retirement plans is £6,500 per year.

Add all expenses together to calculate total employee costs.

Things You'll Need

  • Statement of accounts
  • Industry estimates on base salary
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About the Author

Working as a full-time freelance writer/editor for the past two years, Bradley James Bryant has over 1500 publications on eHow, and other sites. She has worked for JPMorganChase, SunTrust Investment Bank, Intel Corporation and Harvard University. Bryant has a Master of Business Administration with a concentration in finance from Florida A&M University.