What to Look for in Job Benefits
Whether you’re searching for a job or deciding if you want to stay at your current position, the benefits a company offers are important to analyze. Although monetary compensation is what many job seekers look into when applying for jobs, benefits are a great way to better understand how an employer takes care of its employees.
There are certain types of benefits every business needs to offer its employees, as required by law. If you suspect a company isn’t providing employees with these required benefits, seek legal advice on how to pursue action against the employer. Review the information below to learn more about the benefits you should consider with a current or potential employer.
Employers that offer retirement plans, such as a 401(k) or pension plan, show they’re invested in their workers’ futures. As an employee, one of your main goals may be to eventually retire from working while remaining financially stable. A generous retirement plan makes it easier for you to achieve this goal in a comfortable and timely manner.
Most employers offer some form of health insurance to full-time employees. If there’s a health insurance plan available, the employer must offer it to all workers, regardless of their health history or medical conditions.
While an employer may request that an employee pays for a portion of their medical coverage, medical discrimination is illegal. Most employers offer several different health insurance policies to choose from; some are basic while others are more comprehensive.
If you develop a long- or short-term disability, this type of insurance provides money to help with monthly expenses while you can’t work. Some employers pay for disability insurance while others only pay a portion of this premium and employees are responsible for the rest of the monthly premium.
As a new or current employee, your employer may offer a life insurance policy at no cost to you or at a minimal monthly expense that’s taken directly from your paycheck. This insurance provides your family with a lump sum if you pass away. Your employer is the policyholder on this coverage so if you leave your job, the policy ends.
Your employer may be required to carry workers’ compensation insurance in your state. This insurance covers you as the employee if you’re injured on the job. It may help pay for your medical expenses and lost wages if you suffer from a covered injury. It’s important to understand the coverage your employer carries so you’re aware of what’s covered and which workers’ compensation claims may be denied.
Paid Time Off
Paid time off (PTO) is the time an employer allows you to be away from work while still paying your salary. A generous PTO policy allows you not to worry about making personal appointments or taking vacations. Some employers give you a certain number of vacation days each year, and some dictate that your leftover days can’t be rolled to the next year so it’s important to review these policies.
In some cases, you may be offered a shift on a holiday or you may be required to work. Your employer may offer you holiday pay for working on this day, which is usually higher than the regular hourly rate you’re paid. This allows you to earn extra money for a regular shift, although you may miss out on celebrations or family time.
Similar to PTO, some companies also allow you to take holidays off from work while still getting paid. This allows you to spend holidays, such as Christmas or Easter, with your family. Your employer should provide you with a schedule of the holidays you have off but still receive pay. When an employer offers several holidays off with pay, it gives you time away from work without using your PTO.
Welcoming a new addition to the family can be stressful. Many employers are known to offer maternity or paternity leave to ensure you have the time you need at home to settle in. In most cases, you’ll receive your salary or a portion of your salary during your leave, making it easier to keep up financially while taking this time off for your family.
Laptop/Mobile Phone Reimbursement
If you need to use a phone or computer at home or while traveling, your employer may reimburse you for your investment in this equipment. This is a helpful added benefit because it ensures you have the tools you need to do your job properly without paying for them out-of-pocket.
Employers that invest in their workers’ health and wellbeing may offer wellness benefits or packages. The benefits included may vary but could include the following:
- Discounts on alternative medicines, such as acupuncture.
- Stress relief programs.
- Nutrition consultations.
- Gym membership reimbursements.
When an employer provides financial assistance for wellness-related activities, you’re more likely to focus on your mental and physical health.
Commuting to work can be a hassle, especially if you have a far drive or also need to pay for parking at the office. Employers that require you to report to the office may reimburse you for commuting expenses, such as car insurance, fuel, or vehicle maintenance. They may also provide you with a free parking pass or reimburse you for some or all of your parking expenses.
It’s common for employers to invest in employee education and training because when workers learn new skills, they’re likely to move into leadership or advanced roles. If your employer offers tuition assistance, you may be able to pursue a degree or certification with financial assistance.
While it’s tempting to simply consider the salary a potential employer offers, looking into the benefits of the job is also helpful. When an employer provides an extensive benefits package, you’re likely to save money on expenses and feel more appreciated as an employee.
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