These are the best companies to work for in Australia, according to LinkedIn — and the perks that got them there

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International professional services firms and banks dominate the list of the best companies to work for in Australia in 2018, according to LinkedIn's latest ranking.

But beyond the cache of big names and strong salaries, the research points to the growing emphasis top employers are putting on perks and workplace culture.

"Companies on this year's 'Top Companies' list recognize that they have a responsibility when it comes to promoting and protecting the health and well-being of their workforce," said Jason Laufer, Asia Pacific Senior Director of Talent and Learning Solutions at LinkedIn.

"Employees at these 'Top Companies' are accessing all sorts of valuable perks that have a genuine impact on their happiness," he added.

The "Top Companies" list is based on feedback from LinkedIn's more than 9 million users in Australia. The study looks at four main pillars: interest in the company; engagement with employees; job demand; and employee retention.

It forms part of a LinkedIn's wider annual analysis of its 546 million users, which it has used to determine the top companies to work for across the U.S., the U.K., France, Germany, India and Brazil.

LinkedIn and its parent company Microsoft were excluded from the research for fairness.

Here are the top 10 companies to work for in Australia:

10. EY

Global headcount: 250,000

Cool job titles including Robot Warriors, who help automate mundane work tasks, and Cyber Ninjas, who work with clients to make sure their systems are secure, are among the things attracting staff to the multinational professional services firm EY.

Other perks here include flexible working arrangements, spa discounts and access to healthcare initiatives.

9. National Australia Bank

Global headcount: 30,000+

Giving staff access to volunteering and financial well-being programs are a few of the ways National Australia Bank is trying to do good after facing allegations it breached lending laws.

But competition at the bank is heating up after it announced that it will cull 6,000 banking jobs in the next three years. It will be compensating for those cuts with 2,000 new tech hires between now and 2020.

8. Lendlease

Global headcount: 13,400

Property company Lendlease is on the hunt for new staff after it saw an almost 50 percent rise in residential apartment projects last year.

Staff are compensated for their busy workloads with an additional "well-being leave" day each quarter on top of their annual leave. The days can be spent doing a range of activities, including martial arts and cookery classes.

7. Macquarie Group

Global headcount: 14,234

Healthy breakfasts, yoga classes and kids clubs are some of the perks available to staff at financial services firm Macquarie Group.

Employees are also encouraged to indulge their passions at work via a number of interest classes, including photography, gardening groups and a choir.

6. CIMIC Group

Global headcount: 50,000+

Global subsidiaries in Asia and Africa mean that employees at engineering firm CIMIC Group have the opportunity to work on exciting overseas projects.

Elsewhere, the firm is a strong advocate for gender equality in the workplace and launched an initiative to provide one-off payments to women found to be paid less than men.

5. Westpac Group

Global headcount: 40,000

Australia's oldest company and first bank Westpac Group celebrated two milestones last year: reaching its 200th birthday and passing population parity for indigenous employees.

The company has also made strides toward gender equality in the workplace and reached gender parity after introducing a mandate of 50 percent women on recruitment shortlists.

4. KPMG Australia

Global headcount: 197,000

Health and well-being is a core pillar for accounting firm KPMG. As such, it has launched a series of initiatives to encourage staff to talk more openly about their health issues.

In addition, the business has been investing heavily in its offices, relocating all staff in Australia to new buildings over the last 18 months.

3. Deloitte Australia

Global headcount: 263,900

Management consultancy Deloitte Australia has made strides in its research capabilities in a bid to address some of the biggest challenges facing the world. Those include environmental damage to the Great Barrier Reef and the impact of artificial intelligence.

Flexibility is also an important component of Deloitte's company culture. It offers 18 weeks' paid parental leave, regardless of gender, and has piloted a 20-week returnship program.

2. Commonwealth Bank

Global headcount: 48,900

Commonwealth Bank is hoping to supplement its staff's knowledge by providing money well-being classes for their personal finances. It comes after the bank faced allegations of money laundering and mis-selling insurance products.

Elsewhere, it is one of the most forward-thinking businesses in terms of gender equality, with women making up almost 58 percent of the workforce, and 44 percent at manager level and above.

1. PwC Australia

Global headcount: 236,000

Short- and long-term international secondments are a major draw for employees working at professional services firm PwC Australia, which topped LinkedIn's list again this year.

The firm promotes flexible working, too, and has no minimum employment requirement for parental leave. Staff are invited to take 18 weeks' leave regardless of gender or time spent at the company.

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