Benefits in any form will delight and make an individual to definitely lookout for what’s there for him/her before taking up an offer or buying any product/service in the market. When we talk about employee benefits, it is certainly more than the salary which one would get upon joining a particular organisation. And, why they should not be there as you are going to spend more time and energy at the workplace than at home.
The standard work day has a minimum work requirement of 9 hours in any private or a public/government sector that shall include the rest time while at work. At times, the work goes beyond 9 hours as deliverables at work demand more time and attention. So, it’s kind of fair to expect and know what perquisites (perks) or benefits one would get post taking up a role in an organised sector where employment terms are fixed for the skilled labour. The job is regular with fixed working hours with the employer being a government organisation, a start-up or an established multinational company (MNC)/private organisation.
What are Employee Benefits?
Anything above and beyond the monthly take home salary or wages, that an employee gets from an organisation shall be classified as ‘Benefits.’ In other words, any indirect and non-cash compensation paid to employees is ‘Employee Benefits.’
Why are Benefits offered?
Recruitment is a time consuming process. After all, you have scanned uncountable Resumes to fill a particular role or a critical position. The process isn’t complete without having the employee on-board. At times, the employees may leave the organisation during the probation period which varies from 15 days to 3 months or at times after years switch across companies due to better job offers and better security outside the organisation. Of course, the probation period is for both the employee and the employer to see the fitment of the employee in the culture code, organisation’s set up and check the initial behaviour and adherence to protocols and the initial performance pace. But, it is critical for an organisation to ensure that they don’t lose their new employee to competition due to inadequate employee benefits for the full time employment. So, ensuring a proper strategy for employee benefits becomes crucial.
It is critical for an organisation to ensure that they don't lose their new employee to competition due to inadequate employee benefits for the full time employment. So, ensuring a proper strategy for employee benefits becomes crucial.
Employee Benefits: Types
There are several types of benefits which an employee could get but broadly they can be categorised as:
Employee Stock Ownership Plans (ESOPs)
Usually, trending in start-ups in India and across the world as a part of compensation, ESOP is a way to reduce attrition and offer a stake to the employees in the organisation. All big MNCs such as Accenture and Genpact and even the start-ups have the ESOPs. However, at a selected category of employees based on their ability and impact on the organisation. They usually get ESOPs at a reduced value than the market share price. In start-ups, ESOPs are offered to attract the best talent without having to pay huge salaries. Thus, making the employees and the executive a shareholder in the company by subscribing to the shares at a future date and at a predetermined price.
Medical costs for any treatments can be huge so a company usually ties-up with the vendor to provide it as a benefit to the employees. A minimum premium amount in the salary of an employee is added. And in case of any emergency the hospitalisation expenses as listed in the paperwork are covered by the organisation.
Accidental Death Coverage/Life and Disability Insurance
Companies as a benefit provide life insurance, disability insurance (disability while performing the duties) and an accidental death allowance as financial compensation to the dependant/beneficiary. In the case, of a married employee, the dependant or beneficiary is the spouse and if unmarried, they are dependant parents.
Concessional family coverage
Some companies also provide an option to add the parents as dependant even if the employee is married by paying a minimum premium amount.
Employee Benefits in Public Sector
Child Care Leave
It is generally granted to women employees for a maximum period of two years during the entire service. The age of the child has to be less 18 years to avail the benefit.
The government sector or public sector still provides the housing facilities on application and approval basis to the education institute staff, government officers and gazetted officers.
Work Travel and Stay
Business trips are usually covered by the private organisation as the employee travel requirement is for work. So, the accommodation and stay arrangement is usually taken care of by the companies.
Maternity Leave Policy
26 weeks of Maternity leave for women employees to take care of the new-born is a law and a benefit to female staff.
Paternity Leave policy
15 days of paternity leave upon the birth of the child can be availed by the male employees.
Provided in case, an employee completes the service period of 5 years in an organisation.
Because of the changing trends in lifestyle, millennials (Generation Y) is very focused on healthy lifestyle but long working hours may be straining. Hence, a lot of start-ups provide the basic gym equipment and facility to its employees.
Employee Benefits in Private Established Organisation and Start-ups
Apart from Maternity, Paternity leaves, Gratuity and Work travel and Stay Facilities, an employee working in a private organisation gets the following benefits:
7-15 days’ stay at company guest house or company accommodation for out-stationed employees.
Intercity/Interstate movement for the Job offered. New employees get the benefit of relocation allowance where the charges for broken packages during relocation is covered.
Work from Home
This benefit is one of the important factors for an employee to stick with the company as it gives the flexibility to balance work-life. It is more of a necessary factor for any to join an organisation.
Joining Bonus/Statutory Bonus
Joining and Statutory Bonus ensure the shortlisted candidates take up the offer and stick with the company for long.
Employee Discount Program
Corporate employees get exclusive discounts for products or services or Food and Beverage items at some selected place as a part of the program. Some companies also provide meal coupons to employees that also helps them to save some tax.
Crèche facilities are a great relief for a working parent and having the kid in the close vicinity to check upon in between if required gives a mental freedom to work efficiently at the workplace.
In addition to the above, you shall notice the below listed benefits are more prominent in start-ups:
Gym at Workplace
Because of the changing trends in lifestyle, millennials (Generation Y) is very focused on healthy lifestyle but long working hours may be straining. Hence, a lot of start-ups provide the basic gym equipment and facility in addition to the other standard services in any private organisation.
Flexible working hours and Sleeping Room
Working in start-ups definitely gives flexible working hours. However, the work sometimes demands long hours so to ensure employees get proper rest, a sleeping room or bunker is set up for employees to take rest and rejuvenate.
Apart from the insurance policies, an organisation big or small/start-up plan for a healthy environment for their employees. Thus, dedicated wellness programs are conducted from time to time to avail the benefits along with Health Care facilities, emergency medical room with a doctor’s visit and periodical physical and eye check-up facilities are available through different camps programs.
Private companies including start-ups provide this benefit to buy out the notice period in case he/she is required to join the new organisation asap. Hence, the compensation to the previous employer to break the contract is taken care of by the new organisation.
Should high performers get more Benefits?
To be fair, one would want to get compensated well for something which they are really expert at. After all, they have showcased their higher skill set in the previous job and performance reviews that reflect in the incremental process from time to time. You would want to pay better for better work to keep the motivation high. You would not want to lose a potential employee or an existing employee who really adds value to the organisation. So, you take care of such cases with a differentiating factor for what they have achieved, will possibly achieve and in turn benefit the organisation with higher productivity.
Any one joining a start-up would expect these above stated facilities now as they are simply the necessities. An employee may want to stay in the job for long term when these basic necessities are taken well care of by the companies.
As a business owner or an entrepreneur, you don’t want to fall behind in attracting the right talent and retaining your existing workforce so why not take the opportunity especially in corona times to ensure the best of the benefits to the employees to keep them involved, motivated and of course to make their work experience from home as productive as possible. Providing offerings or continuing the offerings like the allowances for the internet, furniture, and even power backup inverters is a big relief and great benefit for the employees across the private sector and the start-ups.