Employee Benefits – Lesson for Group Study
Learn which Employee Benefits are most important to attract & keep good employees.
Two men crossing a desert. Tired, exhausted, with the sun directly overhead, out of water for the day. Then like a sniper attack, they get shot unexpectedly with a high pressure fire hose. The blast last but a fraction of a second. It knocks them off their feet. Now, covered with sand and disoriented, they lick their lips and suck a little water out of their sand covered clothes to wet their tongues before resetting their direction and continuing their trip.
Such may seem to be the case when evaluating Employee Benefits from the business perspective. Why does it have to be so difficult? So many demands, so many options. And in a very tight labor market, how do we set ourselves apart from other employers?
Medical benefits, social security, 401K plans, unemployment, life insurance, paid time off. More and more options and expectations every year. How in the world did we get here?
In Richard J. Butler’s book: “ The Economics of Social Insurance and Employee Benefits ” he notes several points in history that nudged along this trend, to where today Employee Benefits play a significant factor in the attraction and retention of good employees.
Based on Butler’s book, it began in the 1880s when Germany mandated a national fund for sickness, accident, and disability in what amounted to a national insurance program. It was funded by employees and employers with the funds processed through government agencies. Britain was next to implement a similar national employee compensation plan in 1897. Various states in the U.S. followed their lead in 1910, with Mississippi bringing up the rear in 1949 to become the last state to implement workers’ compensation regulations.
In the 1930s, the Wagner Act significantly increased the ability of labor unions to organize workers and bargain for better wages, benefits, and working conditions. Labor unions since then have used collective bargaining to negotiate for additional Employee Benefits.
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