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Do You Know The Basics of Employee Benefit Requirements?

Benefits for your employees can be a step in a positive direction for growth and employee satisfaction. Good employees often feel undervalued without a robust benefits package; something that most employers would hope to avoid. The issue for employers is often only the expense; though it must be measured against long-term benefits of keeping valued employees, attracting a high level of job applicants and the growth of their company. 

The most "in-demand" type of benefit? Medical; even after the changes created by Obamacare. Applicants also cite retirement plans, disability insurance and life insurance as valued benefits, even calling them non-negotiables when it comes to job hunting.

Experts in the field of human resources believe that if you give employees the benefits they value, they will be more satisfied, miss less work, be less likely to leave, and have higher commitment to meeting the company's goals. Research also shows that employees are more productive when they feel satisfied with their benefits and their employment needs are met.

The law does have some requirements about what must be offered and is not required from employers. The most basic requirements, like allowing time off to vote or serve on a jury, must be given regardless of an employee's position. Employers must also pay workers compensation, pay Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) taxes, unemployment taxes and comply with family and medical leave standards (FMLA). You do not have to provide retirement plans, health plans, life insurance or paid time-off.

If and when you do decide to make the jump to providing health insurance to employees, there are a couple common mistakes to watch out for. The most common is the exclusion of certain employees (like part-timers and custodial staff) from the plan. The reason behind this is that if you offer tax-advantaged benefits to one person, you must offer it to all of them. While there are some special cases in which this is not the bottom line, it is not worth the risk of penalty if you're wrong. Be sure that when you decide to offer health insurance, you consult with a lawyer that specializes in Labor and Employment Law.

If you have questions about setting up benefits at your business or other employment-related matters, please contact Danz & Kronengold, P.L. at www.danzlaw.net.

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