Brown Borkowski & Morrow


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The fine art of offering great employee benefits

No doubt you feel energized about starting your own company, and one of your priorities is to hire top-notch employees. Most employees expect to receive company benefits. You will offer what the law requires, plus a healthcare plan and paid vacation, but will that be enough to attract industry superstars?

About the basics

To ensure you are in compliance with the law, you must provide employees with basic benefits:

  •         Offer workers’ compensation
  •         Withhold FICA taxes from employee paychecks, pay the company’s portion and ensure your employees have retirement and disability benefits
  •         Pay federal and state unemployment taxes
  •         Comply with the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)
  •         Provide employees with time off to perform military service, serve on a jury and vote

Staying competitive

In addition to company healthcare plans, paid vacation and sick leave, most businesses also provide employees with retirement plans and life insurance. You may also consider adding dental and vision coverage to the healthcare plan. You do not have to offer any of these, but employees expect to see them in a benefits package. Large corporations go several steps further, enticing top prospects with everything from free, chef-prepared lunches and a fully equipped onsite gym to dry cleaning pickup and delivery. Your company may not be ready to compete in the mega-benefits category, but as your business grows, boutique benefits may be something to consider.

Addressing costs

When launching a business, you can put your money in many places. In terms of benefits, explore your options from a legal point of view, asking for help so you do not make any errors. You may not think you can afford to offer much more than the basics. The healthcare plan itself will strain your budget, at least at first. However, you should consider the big picture. If you provide what employees today expect to see in a benefits package, you will likely attract the top prospects that help take your business to the next level.