Employees work hard, and so, they must be rewarded for their work, dedication, and time to the organisation. Yes, you get compensated, but, there are other offers that companies provide to keep their employees motivated and feeling well-paid. These benefits are called Employee Benefits. Corporate discounts, insurance policies, retirement & pension schemes, and overtime pay are a few corporate employee benefits that you can avail yourself of.
A consumer survey by Voya Financial Inc in 2021 noted that 54% of millennials do not understand their workplace benefits. Around 66% of the working population turn to their employers for education, support, and guidance to have a better idea of their employment benefits. A report by Care.com states that 98% of the employers plan to offer or expand at least one employee benefit like a child and senior care benefits, flexibility around work hours, and expanded mental health support.
However, 1 isn’t done! We need to raise a generation of people who are aware of their rights, rather than depending on what’s handed. So, to help you know your employee benefits, we are presenting to you a list of what’s available. There are a lot of ways to know these benefits. But, before that, the question is, who is entitled to these benefits?
- A full-time employee working around 40-45 hours a week is eligible for these benefits. In fact, employees are entitled to statutory benefits during their probationary period also.
- Contractual workers are not entitled to such benefits.
Keep in mind that employers might choose to offer the benefits entirely, partly, or not at all. No rules mandate them to offer these.
What are the benefits offered?
- Overtime pay: Employees are allowed to work only 3 hours of overtime in a day up to a total of 10 hours in a week. This can extend to 15 hours for only two months in a year subject to the agreement with the employer. According to the labour laws in South Africa, overtime rates are 150% of the regular wages.
- Paid leaves: You get 15 days of paid leave in a year. There are 12 public holidays each year. You are entitled to get a payout for your unused paid time off (PTO).
- Health Insurance: Large organisations work with benefits providers to provide group policies to all their employees. Small organisations prefer to pay stipends that allow employees to choose their own programs.
- Retirement & Pension schemes: Certain employers are allowed to make it mandatory for employees to participate in their retirement and pension schemes.
- Unemployment Insurance Fund: Employers are needed to register their employees for UIF.
- Skills Development Levy: This is also paid by the employer on a monthly basis. The funds in SDL are used to improve the employee’s skills.
- Compensation for Occupational Injuries and Diseases (COIDA): This fund is for occupational injuries and diseases that employees might face at work. It operates on a no-fault basis.
So, now that you know all you can get, how do you get it?
1. Know your benefits: Take the time to sit and read through employee benefits documents. Understand the terms stated, and figure out the policies apt for your current situation.
2. Consult: Talk to a friend or someone more experienced who could help you analyse the policies offered by your organisation.
3. Doubts? Clarify them: Contact your employer or the HR department of your organisation and clarify your doubts and issues.
5. Corporate Discounts: Watch out for where SHOULD you use your corporate discounts. Keep a track of those places and commodities.
6. Health plans: Do not ignore the high-deductible health plans. Yes, insurance is important but it should only constitute 2-5% of your salary.
7. ITR: Even if you do opt for high-deductible health plans, do not forget to seek exemptions from the government while filing your Income Tax.
Companies are offering more than just baseline compensation to their best talent. These offers cover you against uncertainties. It caters to available investment opportunities and maintains your cash flow management. Do not fall prey to these offers due to a lack of knowledge. Enlighten yourself and make the best of what these companies have to offer.