What are the types of employee benefits that are only available from larger companies, when compared to smaller organizations that lack budget
Most companies offer some level of employee benefits to their workers. In most cases smaller companies will provide just the bare minimum that is required by state and federal law. Those mandatory benefits include:
- Compensation: employees must be paid for the work that they do
- Civic Duties: an employer must grant employees paid time off if they need to fulfill civic duties such as jury service or military service
- Unemployment Insurance: If an employee is unexpectedly laid off from work as a result of downsizing or restructuring, employees are entitled to apply for unemployment insurance payments which will provide them with a source of income for a short while after the loss of employment. The employer and employee have been paying into this scheme through payroll tax and wages
- Workers Compensation: this is offered to employees who miss work as a result of an illness or injury that occurs in the workplace. Workers compensation will help cover the employees medical bills as well as loss of pay
- Family and Medical Leave Act: Any company that has more than 50 employees is also required to offer employees up to twelve weeks of unpaid leave for significant family or medical reasons. During this period the employee has the reassurance that their job is protected if they choose to return
Additional Benefits Larger Organizations Offer Their Employees:
In recent times the number of additional employee benefits an organization can offer has grown considerably. As employee retention is an important factor in the hiring process it is equally important to keep the existing employees happy and make them feel like they are valued. Larger organizations do this by offering additional benefits such as 401k, childcare benefits, on-site daycare, paid time off, flextime and professional development. Some organizations go overboard with free food at work, free use of company cars, clothing allowance, sleep pods, chair massages, in-office recreational spaces and office gyms.
Employee 401K Benefits
A 401k tax plan is offered to many employees to make contributions towards a retirement account. Some organizations will match employee contributions up to a certain amount and help them build up the retirement pot as an employee benefit. Each year the set maximum for contributions to a 401k is adjusted by the IRS. The money saved in a 401k plan is not taxed until the employee withdraws the money which is normally after retirement. So this type of benefit is particularly attractive to employees who are preparing for their future.
Child Care Benefits
The number of employees entering the workforce with childcare responsibilities is on the increase and as a result organizations are seeing much more value in offering employee child care benefits that will help their employees manage their time better. Organizations offer packages such as tax free savings plans to pay for child care and the ability to be more flexible during the work day and school vacations.
Professional Development Programs
Most employees are interested in bettering themselves and making professional progress in their career. When an employer is able to offer support for professional development they are getting double the return in their investment. Organizations will not only have better employees but also, the employees will be loyal to the organizations. On the flip side, employees often ask for more pay when they get professional status as they are now more qualified. Employers often add an extra clause that means that employees must commit to stay at the organization for a specific time after their qualification, otherwise they have to pay the cost of the education back.
Flexible Spending Accounts (FSA)
A flexible spending account is a special type of savings account which is established to accumulate tax deferred money that an employee can use to help meet medical bills and dependent care expenses. Employees are able to contribute pre-tax dollars to the FSA and in some cases larger organizations will also contribute a small amount toward this.
Paid Time Off
Although this benefit is not always available from day one of employment like other benefits such as healthcare, it is still of great value to the employee. Most organizations will allow the employee to build up a set number of days that can be used as vacation days that they can take throughout the year. Other organizations require employees to work for a set amount of time before the days are available for them to use.