OCALA, FL — Though an ailing economy has sent business owners fleeing down a cautious path, as they tighten up their purse strings and cut back programs wherever possible, one of the few perks companies should hang onto is employee benefits. And, while this may seem just a minor investment, it could carry major benefits for both the employee and the employer.
A website resource, aboutemployeebenefits.com, encourages employers to offer their staff a benefits package. For one thing, a benefits plan can help enhance salaries that are uncompetitive without one. You will ease your cash flow, while providing a positive bargaining tool for keeping salaries at a reasonable level, especially during an economic downturn.
Does My Business Qualify?
It doesn’t matter if your firm is a large, thriving business, or if it’s a fledgling company testing the waters of the corporate pool. Both small and large businesses can offer benefits packages fitted to their own situation. A big plus is that a nice benefits package will help entice the most qualified people to apply for the job.
Employers are not required to offer benefits, but those who do must comply with state and federal laws that regulate wages and oversee hiring and termination practices. Some employee benefits are mandated by law. These include: minimum wage, overtime, family medical leave, unemployment, worker’s compensation and disability. Then there are optional benefits employers might want to offer.
Here are some of the most popular options:
- Vacation — The average employer gives about two weeks of paid vacation every year. For many positions, the vacation time increases with tenure.
- Sick Time — Most employers will grant sick time for the occasional flu, sick child and other short-lived health crisis. Many also provide short-term and long-term disability benefits.
- Medical/Dental/Vision — These can be offered in a package or individually. The national average cost for medical premiums paid by employers is approximately $500 per month.
- Employee Health — This is particularly important for healthcare workers who work in a hospital or clinic. The employer often covers the cost of some preventive health tests and annual vaccinations, such as a flu shot.
- Education — Many employers will assist their employees in keeping up with changes in their profession. This could include college classes, seminars, online study and reading materials.
- Holiday Pay — The average number of paid holidays is approximately six. Some employers also give a birthday holiday to employees.
- Retirement Plans — There are generally two types of retirement plans. One type falls entirely on the shoulders of the employer, who contributes to a pension plan every month. Another type, a 401K or 403B retirement savings plan, requires matching contributions by the employee and the company.
- Social Security — This also requires matching contributions by the employee and the company.
Sources: aboutemployeebenefits.com; Weblocator: Guide to Florida Law; healthcaresalaryonline.com; About.com.
Employee Benefits in Ocala or The Villages: Get a Quote
The McDonald Agency offers employee benefits and other financial services to small business in Ocala, the Villages and Summerfield. To schedule a consultation, please call (352) 622-2333.