Employee Benefits - Find out what your employees want


Cash is not enough today to recruit and retain top talent for your business. Providing an attractive benefits plan is just as important . Employee benefits are given to an employee in the form of incentives, providing insurance, over time payment or in non-financial form like giving training & development for employees to develop their career and most importantly providing flexible working hours to balance between work and life of employees.


Find out what your employees want

It's critical to recognize just how important a competitive benefits package can be in recruiting the best staff possible. Gone those days when salary in and of itself was lure enough. 

In a recent survey, employees listed flexible work arrangements along with additional fixed pay and higher incentives as the top three preferred benefits.

"Competitive organizations (organisations which produce core products or services, and have international demand for those products or services. eg:software, telecom and automobile.), whether they are big or small, with benefits programs will not be able to attract employees —especially if you don't provide the most fundamental programs such as health care, disability insurance, and things like that. It's almost mandatory," says Lloyd Foight, a benefits consultant with the Ross Companies in New York.

These basic employee benefits, from employee health insurance benefits to retirement plans, are all worth consideration. If your business doesn't currently offer any compensation other than salary or hourly wages, you might find that your staff members are more loyal when you provide additional incentives

Mercer Human Resource Consulting, a subsidiary of Marsh and McLennan, is a global leader in HR and financial services. Mercer Human Resource Consulting provides expertise in human resource areas, ranging from compensation and benefits to operational effectiveness and employee performance and engagement. Mercer has over 15,000 employees serving clients in 41 countries.

Employee Benefit Advisor magazine provides in-depth articles for benefit advisers, brokers, consultants, worksite marketers and enrollment specialists. The publication provides need-to-know benefits information, market influences such as legal and regulatory changes, new benefit products, and better ways of delivering, marketing and selling benefits.


Facts:
Whoever says whatever, money/income is ultimate consideration for any employee who wants to shift or change organisation wherever it is located.

40% Indians are cautious about moving to West for jobs due to economic slowdown, which tells that money factor plays a key role in attracting and retaining employees in an organisation wherever it is located. Good salary combined with benefits such as extra allowances and perks are also playing a major role in bringing back professionals to  India, according to 25% of the employers in the TimesJob.com study
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--Times of India,9-4-14

The two essentials for every plan

While you might be faced with a variety of requests, experts say that there are two essentials for every plan: medical coverage and a retirement plan. Other coverage such as dental, disability, and life insurance often are considered extras. ---Microsoft

Employee benefits and (especially in British English) benefits in kind (also called fringe benefits, perquisites, perqs or perks) are various non-wage compensations provided to employees in addition to their normal wages or salaries. Where an employee exchanges (cash) wages for some other form of benefit, this is generally referred to as a 'salary sacrifice' or 'salary exchange' arrangement. In most countries, most kinds of employee benefits are taxable to at least some degree.

Fringe Benefits
An employment benefit given in addition to one's wages or salary.The term "fringe benefits" was coined by the War Labor Board during World War II to describe the various indirect benefits which industry had devised to attract and retain labor when direct wage increases were prohibited.
Old age payments, Paid vacations,Survivor payments, Disability and health insurance Profit sharing, Pension plans, Bonuses, Life insurance, Education payments,Dental insurance, Worker's compensation, Accident insurance, Unemployment compensation,Discounts on goods/services purchased from the company and Child care.

Some of these benefits are: housing (employer-provided or employer-paid), group insurance (health, dental, life etc.), disability income protection, retirement benefits, daycare, tuition reimbursement, sick leave, vacation (paid and non-paid), social security, profit sharing, funding of education, and other specialized benefits (Transportation facility/ Company Car, telephone facility, Free electricity, or Petrol allowance).

Facts [+]
The Timberland Company, best known for its outdoor wear and hiking boots, regularly makes Fortune's annual list of best companies to work for. In addition to core benefits, Timberland offers its employees several unique benefits, such as $3,000 credit toward a hybrid car, 40 paid hours per year of volunteer work in the community, sabbaticals, and everyday casual dress.

Drugmaker Ely Lilly ranks as one of the best American companies to work for as compiled by CNN and Money magazine. Lilly helps its employees stay healthy with free health screens and an on-site clinic of physicians, psychologists, and nurses that handles 50,000 visits a year. Unique to Lilly is its perk to pregnant employees that provides a paid month off before their due date.



KEY EMPLOYEE BENEFITS IN COMPETITION ORGANISATIONS;

VACATIONS
Employee benefits includes vacations for employees for certain period of time during the employment. Jobs under present corporate environment are stressful which eventually effect the performance of the employee over a period of time. vacations makes employee re-energize and makes employee to forget about work stress what they had faced in the job. Because, vacations are often spent with their friends or family. Now a days companies are offering vacation packages to their key employees, good performers and those who be productive to company. Vacations for employees act as the  motivating factor and also helps to retain employee for long period in the organization.

Facts [+]

Italy, France, and Germany top the list of average number of vacation days per year, according to the World Tourism Organization. Italians receive an average of forty-two vacation days per year. Korea, Japan, and the U.S. are at the bottom of the list. Americans receive an average of thirteen vacation days per year.

American workers receive on average about twelve vacation days a year. The typical American worker gives back an average of three vacation days, according to a recent survey by Expedia.com, leaving nearly 421 million vacation days unused. The survey estimates that 31 percent of employees do not take all their vacation days.


PAID TIME OFF
Employers know that their employees need a break once in a while. Employers are doing several things to address personal time off. Organizations are streamlining their vacation time, sick time, personal days, holidays, and volunteer time into a single "paid time off" category.That's why companies offer paid time off (PTO) in the form of vacation days, holidays, personal leave, and sick leave .Many companies have done away with "sick leave" and "vacation" as employee benefits and have replaced them with "paid time off" (PTO).

Paid time off is a bank of hours from which employees can draw. Employers credit additional hours to their employees "banks", usually every pay period. Most US employers offer their workers 10 paid holidays, 2 weeks vacation, two personal days, and 8 sick leave days per year. Under a PTO plan, the employees would be credited with 30 days paid time off instead (10+10+2+8).

The definition of paid time off is any time not worked by an employee for which the regular rate, a fixed or a prorated amount of pay, is accrued and paid to the employee.

As mentioned above, some employers prefer to give their employees a paid time off plan. This is a more flexible arrangement that gives the employee a set amount of days off to be used at the employee's discretion. These days can be used for sick time, personal days, vacations, or for whatever reason the employee may need time off. Like vacation and other forms of time off, the amount of days off generally accumulates through years of service and the level of the employee within the organization.

Facts [+]

Two of every three sick days used by U.S. workers were used for something other than illness, according to a survey by human resources information company CCH. The survey of more than 1.3 million workers found that family issues, personal needs, and stress were the rationale for taking more than half of all sick days. About 32% of sick days were actually used for personal illness



PERQUISITES
The term perqs (also perks) is often used colloquially to refer to those benefits of a more discretionary nature. Often, perks are given to employees who are doing notably well and/or have seniority. Common perks are take-home vehicles, hotel stays, free refreshments, leisure activities on work time (golf, etc.), stationery, allowances for lunch, and—when multiple choices exist—first choice of such things as job assignments and vacation scheduling. 

9 incredible perks IT giants offer to employees

Perks and benefits are among the top things employees consider when deciding whether to accept a job. Almost 80% of employees say that they would prefer new benefits, like health insurance or paid time off, over a pay raise.

Google provides the surviving spouse or partner of a deceased employee 50% of their salary for the next 10 years.

Twitter is well-known for providing perks such as three catered meals a day, but some lesser-known benefits include onsite acupuncture and improv classes.

Facebook provides $4,000 in 'Baby Cash' to employees with a newborn.

Salesforce employees receive six days of paid volunteer time off a year, as well as $1,000 a year to donate to a charity of their choice.

Adobe shuts down the entire company for one week in December and one week over the summer.

Spotify provides six months of paid parental leave, plus one month of flexible work options for parents returning to the office. The company also covers costs for egg freezing and fertility assistance.

Airbnb gives its employees an annual stipend of $2,000 to travel and stay in an Airbnb listing anywhere in the world.

Accenture covers gender reassignment for its employees as part of its commitment to LGBTQ rights and diversity.

Accenture features in the "Top 10 of the 100 Best Companies for Women in India" list which celebrates organisations that champion sustainable careers for women.

The company was recognised for providing an inclusive and supportive environment for its more than 45,000 women in India on several categories, including women's recruitment, retention and advancement, safety and security, flexible work programmes and paid-time off.

The company was also recognised for its leading maternity benefits and support for returning mothers.
Accenture features in the "Top 10 of the 100 Best Companies for Women in India" list which celebrates organisations that champion sustainable careers for women.

The company was recognised for providing an inclusive and supportive environment for its more than 45,000 women in India on several categories, including women's recruitment, retention and advancement, safety and security, flexible work programmes and paid-time off.

The company was also recognised for its leadin ..

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Accenture features in the "Top 10 of the 100 Best Companies for Women in India" list which celebrates organisations that champion sustainable careers for women.

The company was recognised for providing an inclusive and supportive environment for its more than 45,000 women in India on several categories, including women's recruitment, retention and advancement, safety and security, flexible work programmes and paid-time off.

The company was also recognised for its leadin ..




Facts

Some unique perks put Worthington Industries in Fortune Magazine's 100 Best Places to Work list. Worthington offers its factory workers monthly profit sharing that augments monthly salaries by 40% to 100%. Worthington employees who join the company wellness program get their entire health insurance premiums covered. Also, employees are offered onsite haircuts for just $4.


Executive Perks
A recent report from Compdata Surveys reveals that cellular phones are the most popular executive perks.

The Executive Compensation 2008/2009 survey of 5,300 organizations found that 60.2% offered cellular phones to executives as a perk with 43.8% of employers providing laptops or home PCs in 2008. Fewer than a third of organizations in the survey provided car allowances or company cars to employees.

The report analyzes both the national and regional data collected from 5,300 organizations across the United States with almost 25,000 incumbents. 45 executive and senior management positions were analyzed by base pay and total cash compensation.

The frequency of most executive perks on the revenue size of employing organizations but cellular phones were offered by over half of the companies surveyed, regardless of size. Company cars were also offered by 20% to 30% of surveyed organizations across the board. But businesses with revenues over $20 million were the most likely to provide executives with laptops or home PCs.

Perks mentioned in the survey included:

  • cell phones (60.2%)
  • car allowance (31.3%)
  • company car (26.4%)
  • supplemental life insurance (26.2%)
  • voluntary deferred compensation programs (18.8%)
  • annual physical exam (17.6%)
  • supplemental disability program (16.9%)
  • club membership(s) (15.7%)
  • supplemental executive retirement plans (10.3%)
  • supplemental medical insurance (6.2%)
  • legal counseling (5.6%)
  • post-retirement insurance (4.6%)
  • supplemental vacations (4.5%)
  • airline VIP lounge membership (3.1%)
  • dependent tuition reimbursement (3.3%)

The number of organizations offering each kind of executive perk has remained consistent over the past four years.



The purpose of the benefits is to increase the economic security of employees.

Employers who hope to retain solid, hard-working employees should be prepared to offer basic employee benefits. In addition to salary, good benefits provide important resources that not only help build a positive working relationship between employer and employee but also promote good work habits and financial practices.

Employee benefits will vary depending on the employer, and it is important for business owners to carefully consider their options. For example, the type of industry in which your business falls will help determine the types of basic employee benefits important to your staff. A job that requires employees to work outside in inclement weather, for example, might offer more paid sick leave than an indoor office position.

Employee Health Insurance Benefits
The most fundamental of all basic employee benefits is health insurance, which should be provided so that staff members can visit the doctor when they fall ill. Not only does this help the employee save money, but it also helps the employer by encouraging staff members to get treatment, thus allowing them to return to work more quickly and not spread illness to the rest of the staff.

INDIA

The Employees, State Insurance Act (ESI Act) was enacted with the object of introducing a scheme of health insurance for industrial workers. The scheme envisaged by it is one of compulsory State Insurance providing for certain benefits in the event of sickness, maternity and employment injury to workmen employed in or in connection with the work in factories other than seasonal factories.

Applicability

  • Under Section 2(12) The Act is applicable to the factories employing 10 or more persons irrespective of whether power is used in the process of manufacturing or not.
  • Under Section 1(5) of the Act, the Scheme has been extended to shops, hotels, restaurants, cinemas including preview theatre, road motor transport undertakings and newspaper establishment employing 20 or more persons.
  • Further, u/s 1(5) of the Act, the Scheme has been extended to Private Medical and Educational Institutions employing 20 or more persons in certain States .
  • The State Govt. has been requested to issue notification under Section 1(5) on the lines of Section 2(12) keeping the threshold limit for coverage as 10 employees instead of 20.
  • The existing wage-limit for coverage under the Act, is Rs.15,000/- per month

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USA

Employee health insurance benefits should include health plans that allow employees to visit doctors in close physical proximity and assist with prescription purposes. There are several different options available to business owners, from PPOs to HMOs, so it is important to consider each option carefully.

Most Americans who have health insurance through their employer (and many who are self-insured) are enrolled in some type of a managed care plan - either an HMO or PPO. The most common types of managed care plans are health maintenance organizations (HMOs) and preferred provider organizations (PPOs).

Preferred Provider Organization. The PPO offers choice and flexibility, but is often more expensive. With a PPO, patients can see any doctor they wish, or visit any hospital they choose, usually within a preferred network of providers. One does not have to designate a primary care physician, and one can usually see any specialist without referral.

Health Maintenance OrganizationHMO requires that patients see only doctors or hospitals on their list of providers, and in addition, patients must choose a primary care physician who will direct care and refer patients to approved specialists. This type of organization offers fewer choices and may make changing doctors or seeking second opinions more difficult. Generally, the HMO will not, without prior approval, cover medical expenses incurred by seeing someone who is not contracted with the HMO, but usually will have defined coverage for emergency medical care when patients travel outside the normal coverage area. The Health Maintenance Organization Act of 1973 required employers with 25 or more employees to offer federally certified HMO options if the employer offers traditional healthcare options.

Point-of-service (POS) plans. A third type of health plan -- known as a point-of-service (POS) plan – offers a combination of PPO health insurance and HMO insurance services. In fact, the "point of service" in the name reflects the fact that you make your choice of whether to use HMO or PPO services each time you see a provider.

Generally, a POS has rules similar to HMO insurance, but a POS will allow you to see an out-of-network physician for a higher fee. Some HMOs actually include a POS plan so you can see out-of-network physicians.

Facts [+]

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, nearly five million people who desire full-time jobs have settled for part-time work, up nearly 30% from five years earlier. Only 17% of part-time workers get health insurance benefits from employers, and only 21% of part-timers are included in employers' pension plans, according to the Economic Policy Institute.

PAID LEAVE
Similar to employee health insurance benefits, paid leave allows sick employees to stay home and recover without jeopardizing their paychecks. Paid leave, like paid vacation, can take many forms. For example, maternity and paternity leave, examples of paid sick leave, are given to new parents who need to stay home with newborn children. Paid leave can also apply to employees who come down with the common cold or flu.

In some cases, these basic employee benefits are called "personal days," which implies that they can be used for reasons other than injury or illness. Some employees simply need a mental health day to recuperate from the stress at work; personal days give them that option.


Retirement Plans
A retirement plan allows employees to prepare for their futures, securing their financial stability after they have aged out of the work force. Furthermore, it is easier for businesses to offer retirement benefits than most people think.

USA

A 401(k) plan is arguably the most popular of the basic employee benefits. It allows employees to contribute tax-deferred earnings to their retirement plans while the employer assists. Simple 401(k) options are available to small businesses with fewer than 100 employees.