As an employer, there are some benefits you need to provide employees to stay compliant. And others — while not required — can go a long way to keep you ahead of competitors. Read on so see all the basic requirements for small business owners. Or, our experts recently ran a webinar on this same topic. The full video is below if you’d rather have us walk you through it.
Workers’ Comp is likely a requirement in your state
Just about every state requires employers to offer some form of workers’ comp, except for Texas. Most companies are familiar with the large, upfront fees of traditional plans but may not realize that pay-as-you-go workers’ comp — and their lower costs — are an option.
Pay-as-you-go uses real-time payroll data to calculate your premiums, while traditional workers’ comp bases the costs on a guesstimate. It’s also likely you’ll be subject to an audit to see how accurate that initial estimate was, which can lead to more out-of-pocket expense (though sometimes you end up with a refund.)
Mandatory plans making their way around the US
If you do business in one of the 14 states that have a mandate, you’ll need to offer employees access to a retirement program. Remember, the key term is access — you are free to pick the plan you think is the best fit for your organization — whether through a broker or the one your state offers. Requirements tend to vary by employee count.
We should point out these plans are not the same as a 401(k), which is a qualified plan and eligible for special tax benefits under IRS guidelines. Our guide on how to choose a 401(k) provider goes into more detail.
Short term disability can offer peace of mind
If an employee gets hurt or experiences a life-changing event, such as the birth of a child, short-term disability lets them take time away without loss of income. Are you doing business in California, Hawaii, Rhode Island, New Jersey, or New York? You’ll need to either provide coverage or access to it. It also applies to the commonwealth of Puerto Rico.
Family and Medical Leave
Most companies are familiar with FMLA. It requires employers with 50 or more employees to provide employees with 12 weeks of unpaid leave – and job protection – for anyone who needs to take time away from work for personal reasons. Scenarios can include caring for a family member with a severe medical condition or a new parent staying home with their newborn.
Health insurance helps keep people happy
For the most part, if you have 50 or more employees, you’ll need to offer health insurance or access to a plan. Even if you have a smaller team, it’s probably something to think about since 56% of employees consider health insurance a reason to stay with an employer or look elsewhere. So, if employee turnover keeps you up at night, it’s something to consider.
Next, our team discussed some great benefits for your employees, which can give you an edge over the competition. First, they talked about some eye-popping stats:
- 75% of employees say they are more likely to stay with an employer because of benefits programs
- 60% of people report benefits are perks are a significant factor when considering a job offer
- 80% of employees would choose additional benefits over a pay raise.
PTO makes a positive impact
Who doesn’t like paid time off? It helps staffers recharge their batteries and come back to the workplace refreshed. And according to our 2020 state of small business survey, it is one of the top two benefits employers offer.
Work from home continues to trend
While Covid-19 does contribute, work from home is one of those benefits continually on the rise. In fact, a whopping 60% of employees make work-from-home an option for their employees. It can prevent burnout and increase employee satisfaction. Some in the workforce would leave a job if they did not offer some type of hybrid work option.
Time off to volunteer
You may be familiar with paid time off, but what about volunteer time off? Typically companies provide one or two days off for employees to volunteer with a charity or organization of their choosing. It can be an effective team-building tool and a way to attract talent from generation Z.
Despite the increase of flexible work options, many individuals still commute to a workplace at least part of the week. And employers can provide them with pre-tax ways to pay for their travel expenses. Some states like New Jersey and New York even have taken steps to mandate commuter benefits programs.
Back to school
Continuing education helps your team stay ahead of the curve but requires an investment. Consider tuition reimbursement as a benefit to your employees.
Getting a handle on employee benefits can keep your business in good standing. It can also be an excellent way to thank your employees – and encourage them to stick around for the long run. If you are unsure where to start, you can get more details in our small business benefits guide.