Let’s face it, most of the time, people are looking for jobs, either, because they don’t have one, or are searching for one that offers higher pay.
However, for many Canadian job seekers, higher pay isn’t always the most attractive incentive for choosing one company over another. Employee benefits can in many ways outweigh a bump in salary or rate per hour.
In this article, we will look at five employee benefits that can on many occasions be more appealing than a pay increase.
5 Examples Of Additional Benefits For Employees In Canada
All Canadian employers are legally entitled to offer their employees benefits such as contributing to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), job-protected and paid legislated and parental leaves, Paid Time Off (PTO), Employment Insurance (EI), and eye exams and vision care.
However, there are many supplementary benefits that an employer can offer to help sweeten the pot. Benefits such as medical and dental coverage, life insurance, an additional tax-free retirement saving plan, extended health care, child care, educational benefits, and more can all help entice the best candidates possible to fill a job position.
Offering these employee benefits can also help an employer improve retention rates, and create a happier and more productive working environment for their employees.
So, let’s take a look at these benefits in more detail and see whether they would be a viable fit for your business.
Medical & Dental Coverage
Offering an extended health coverage plan has become increasingly popular amongst employers. Canada’s government health care program doesn’t cover medical expenses including prescription drugs, hospitalization costs, ambulance services, and dental coverage.
This is the main reason why more than 90% of Canadian employers offer an extended private group health plan to employees. An extended health coverage plan covers medical expenses not included in Canada’s provincial health plan. These plans can also include partial or full dental coverage making them hugely appealing.
What’s the most important thing that is common for almost all employees? Their families, of course! This is why many Canadian employers offer a life insurance plan to employees as the continued financial security of their family is always going to be a top priority.
By contributing to a life insurance plan employers help safeguard the future of employee families offering them further peace of mind.
Apart from life insurance, some Canadian employers also offer disability insurance and other mental health benefits. These added perks can go a long way in attracting the best talent, especially, for dangerous and highly stressful jobs.
Employee Stipends For Fringe Benefits
Instead of offering a wide range of benefits that can be overly complicated for employees to understand and seldom used, many employers now prefer to offer employee stipends instead.
This form of benefit offers an employee a monthly allowance that can be used to cover health, wellness, and lifestyle expenses such as gym memberships, spa/massage therapy sessions, and tuition fees for various skill-enhancing courses.
Stipends are a great way to offer flexibility in your benefits package as employees have free reign over how they want to spend that money. An example of a stipend could be a Health Care Spending Account (HCSA) which allows employees to spend tax-free money on medical expenses.
For employers that have a diverse workforce demographic, offering a stipend instead of a traditional benefits package can be an excellent way to accommodate the varying needs of all their employees.
If you have a workforce that predominantly consists of parents, adding a childcare plan to your existing benefits package can be hugely appealing to your current and future pool of employees.
Childcare in Canada can be quite expensive, so an employer that offers childcare can be a highly attractive incentive, especially for young parents.
Registered Retirement Saving Plans (RRSPs)
While Canadian employers and employees are both legally obligated to pay 5.25% of their salary to the Canada Pension Plan (CPP), or the Quebec Pension Plan (QPP), many employers offer additional retirement saving plans to attract highly skilled employees.
The RRSP is the most popular of these employer-sponsored retirement contributions. An RRSP is a tax-free retirement saving account where employees can save up to a maximum of CAD $27,830 annually.
Any RRSP contribution an employee makes is often matched 100% by the employer. This can make this a hugely attractive and lucrative benefit for highly paid and highly skilled talent.
Different Ways To Structure A Benefits Plan
Now that you have a fair idea of the additional benefits that could prove attractive for your workforce, it is time to choose a structure that compiles these benefits into a comprehensive benefits package that will help attract and retain top talent.
There are essentially two types of structures that can be used; an organization-oriented benefits structure, and/or a consumer-oriented benefits structure.
In an organizational-oriented benefits plan, employees are offered a select list of employer-defined benefits. The employee then has a choice of whether to opt for the plan or not. Examples of such a structure include traditional group health insurance plans, retirement plans such as 401(k), and employer-chosen wellness programs.
In a consumer-oriented benefits structure, the employees have free reign over what benefits they would like to spend on. Employers offer a stipend or monthly allowance and employees are free to use that money on whatever benefits they see fit. Examples of consumer-oriented benefits include HSAs as discussed earlier, as well as medical reimbursement plans such as a Health Reimbursement Arrangement (HRA).
Choosing A Group Benefits Plan That Works For Your Firm!
Whether you are a large business or a startup, having the right benefits plan in place can make all the difference when it comes to attracting the best talent.
This is why it is highly recommended that you speak to a reputed employee benefits brokerage company, such as McIver Insurance, that specializes in creating group benefit plans that meet the demands and needs of your employees without burdening business finances.
To learn more, give us a call at 1-902-220-3279.