An excellent group benefits package can act as a great incentive for attracting potential talent as many employees, especially after the recent pandemic, put greater value on employer benefits that include health insurance, disability insurance, life insurance, and even retirement benefits. In fact, many employees would consider taking a pay hit if it means landing a job that offers a comprehensive benefits package.
A benefits package is essentially something that is added to your base salary but it can in many ways be a lot more valuable in the long run. Certain companies may offer a much better base salary but with few or no benefits, whereas other organizations may offer a lesser base salary but with an excellent benefits package.
How do you decide what’s the better offer? Well, it is important to first break down exactly what is included in a benefits package being offered by an organization in order to gain a better understanding of its true value.
If you are an employee looking for a job or have offers from different organizations but are confused as to which one would be the best fit for you we are here to help. In this article, we will break down exactly what should be included in a benefits package to make it more attractive and valuable.
What Should Be Included In A Benefits Package?
Not all benefit packages are the same. In fact, each plan offered by a company can be tailored differently and include different types of benefits that may or may not be relevant to you and your needs.
Most standard benefits packages include basic health insurance, some form of retirement saving plan, and vacation pay.
Comprehensive benefits packages offer a lot more and are much more valuable. They include full health coverage for dental, vision care, prescription drugs, and medical emergencies. These benefits packages also include paid time off, disability insurance, life insurance, and various retirement packages.
However, that’s not all! Some companies also offer additional perks and benefits such as stock options, profit-sharing, housing assistance, child care assistance, tuition reimbursement, and much more on top of the basic or legally mandated benefits.
Comprehensive benefits packages are therefore a lot more valuable than a basic group benefits plan and can greatly incentivize employees to stay loyal to an organization as the longer they work there the more they have to gain.
Legally Entitled Benefits That All Employers Must Provide In Canada
Full-time employees in Canada are guaranteed the following legally entitled benefits.
- Paid Time Off – Includes a minimum of two weeks of paid time off per year for employees with at least one year of employment. This increases to three weeks’ pay after five years, and four weeks’ pay after 10 years of employment.
- Canada Pension Plan – Both employers and employees have to legally contribute to the CPP. Employees have to pay 5.25% of their total salary to the CPP with another 5.25% being matched by their employer.
- Minimum Wage & Overtime Pay – An employer is entitled to pay their employees at the very least minimum wage as well as any overtime pay. If an employee works over 40 hours or 48 hours in some provinces, any time worked over that limit will be paid out at a multiple of 1.5x.
- Personal Leave – Employees that have worked for an organization for over three months are entitled to take any form of personal leave if needed and be paid for this leave for up to 3 days.
- Maternity Leave – Employers must provide female employees with at least a minimum of 15 weeks of maternity leave and 27 weeks of shared parental leave. Employers do not have to pay for the leave as Canada’s government programs cover the expenses.
Additional Benefits That You Should Be Looking For
Legally entitled benefits are the bare minimum that every employer has to offer to their employees. However, most businesses in Canada offer their employees a lot more than just legally entitled benefits.
Private Health Insurance
Even though Canada offers public health care plans for all its residents these plans do not cover a lot of medical expenses such as certain prescription drugs, hospitalization, dental care, vision care, and even paramedical and ambulance services.
This is why many employees only seek employment with companies that offer excellent private health insurance plans that offer full coverage of almost all types of medical expenses for both themselves and their loved ones.
Long-Term Disability Insurance
Comprehensive benefits packages often include long-term disability insurance that helps protect employees from a case of loss of income in the event of a permanent disability.
Health Care Spending Accounts (HCSA)
Many employers also offer their employees an HCSA that allows them to pay for medical expenses not covered by their private health insurance or group plan with tax-free money.
Retirement Savings Account
The most popular benefits package offered by employers also includes an employer-sponsored retirement saving plan such as the Registered Retirement Savings Plan (RRSP). Many employers encourage employees to deposit as much as possible in their RRSP accounts by offering incentives such as matching their payments which in turn enables them to double their retirement savings.
Tailoring The Best Benefits Package For Your Canadian Business
Why are benefit packages becoming increasingly popular in Canada’s labour market? Well, the answer to that is simple. A comprehensive benefits package offers employees peace of mind knowing that if anything were to happen to them their loved ones would be taken care of financially. Providing additional benefits can also be the key to attracting the best talent and retaining highly skilled and valuable employees.
However, the more benefits an employer offers the greater the premiums or the costs attached. Therefore, the right balance has to be struck between what a business can afford and what’s most important for that business’s employees. To help strike the best balance it is always best to consult with the experts and for Canadian business owners, especially, the ones in and around Nova Scotia there is no one more trusted or renowned than McIver Insurance.
We offer insurance plans for businesses of all sizes and work with business owners to offer the best benefits possible to their employees. Give us a call today to speak with one of our experts and help set up the best group medical insurance plan for your Halifax business!