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Hiring guide: What are employee benefits?

Published: Monday 12th October 2020

Whether you are an employer or an employee, the concept of employee benefit affects all of you. An employee benefit program is under the purview of the human resources department, who oversee setting up employee benefit policies as well as implementing them at different levels of the organization’s hierarchy. Since we have seen a considerable amount of changes in 2020 regarding human resources functions, there are certain modifications that would be needed in an employee benefit plan to suit them according to the present situation. COVID-19 or not, employee benefit will always remain an integral function of the Human Resources department among others, and our article will take you through all that you need to know about it along with the suggested changes as per post pandemic operations. To know all about what employee benefit is and what it covers, read on!

Three excited professional receiving good news about employee benefits on line in their laptops at office

What is employee benefit? 

Employee benefit consists of the indirect pay an employee receives in exchange for their services rendered. It forms a part of the complete salary package but is a non-cash “benefit” granted by the organization. An employee benefit program is established for employees at various levels of the hierarchical structure of the company, with them receiving employee benefit options as per their pay scale and designation. These may include stock options, health insurance for the employee and their family, or a variety of facilities that they can avail throughout their employment. Employment benefit plays a crucial role while acquiring new candidates because these facilities are often competitive even though the salary paid can be the same. An employee naturally chooses the organization that provides a sound package as well as a great employee benefit plan to go with.  

What are the types of employee benefits?  

Employee benefit options can consist of a variety of facilities that make up the entire employee benefit plan. There are four primary types of employee benefit categories, namely:

  • Life insurance benefit
  • Medical insurance benefit
  • Disability insurance benefit
  • Retirement package and plans

Other than these, organizations have added more types of benefits in their employee benefit program, such as:

  • Benefits for health: Gym memberships, access to sports centers, clubs, and sports events. This category also covers health check-ups and free or discounted consultations.
  • Benefits at the workplace: Covers working hours and days off, refreshments, skills development, employee recreational clubs and other activities.
  • Financial security benefits: Commissions, bonuses, and ESOP options in the company’s shares.
  • Benefits pertaining to lifestyle: Promoting work-life balance as well as flexibility.  

Types of employee benefit every Human Resources professional should know about during COVID-19? 

  • Life and medical insurance: Revising the employee benefit plan to fit according to the situation faced during the global pandemic and post-pandemic should be the primary concern of the Human Resources department. This is because conventional medical and life insurances did not originally cover any costs incurred to cure a patient that has contracted COVID-19, nor did it cover the event of a COVID-19 death. Revising their life and medical insurance clauses with the service provider to cover your employees during a global pandemic is of foremost importance. Organizations operating in the essential services sector came up with new insurances of amounts ranging between 10-50 Lakhs to compensate their employees in the event of a COVID-19 death due to the high-risk job they perform.
  • Financial and lifestyle benefits: Now that most of the employees from non-essential sectors have been working from home, several of their expenditures have shot up considerably. Keeping in mind the salary cuts all employees suffered, changing the financial and lifestyle benefit plans to provide them some relief is a step in the right direction.
  • Mental and holistic health benefits: Even though there were counselors on board of organizations pre-pandemic, they are more in demand right now due to the immense stress employees are under. Facilitating a benefit program that covers therapy and holistic health plans for all employees, especially those suffering from anxiety, depression, and other disorders, especially learning disabilities will help keep their morale up and thus their productivity.

Wrapping up, we would like to remind you that these benefits are also specific to the generation your employees belong to. So, creating an all-inclusive employee benefit program that can be modified according to the specific requirements of your employees to give them the best package along with their compensation. If you would like to read more blogs based on the human resources department careers and recruitment during COVID-19, head over to our hirers blogs!

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