Employee benefits are the extras or perks a person receives from his employer. These perks are in addition to the basic pay an employee receives in exchange for his work. For example, some common benefits include vacation pay and personal leave. Some types of employee benefits are required by law while others are optional. The list of legally required employee benefits varies from place to place.
In many places, employers are required to provide certain employee benefits. For example, employers in some places are required to pay certain taxes for the benefit of their employees. Often, employers are required by law to carry certain types of insurance as well. An employer may be required to have insurance that provides coverage if an employee is hurt on the job, for instance. Sometimes employers are also required to carry disability insurance to provide at least some income for employees who become disabled, even if the disability is not the result of a work-related injury.
Often, employers provide benefits that are beyond those required by law. Employers often do this because good benefit packages help them attract qualified employees. For example, a person may receive similar job offers from two different companies. If the pay is about the same, the job candidate may choose the company that provides the best benefit package. In some cases, benefits are seen as so important that a job applicant may consider taking a lower-paying job if the employee benefits are very attractive.
For many people, health care coverage is among the most desirable benefits. There are countless people who do not have medical coverage and have to pay out of pocket for doctor and dentist visits. A single hospitalization, even for something relatively minor, has the potential to cost an uninsured person a great deal in medical fees. If an individual has a family to care for, the potential costs may be even higher. As such, companies that offer generous medical coverage benefits may have an easier time attracting and keeping employees.
Another in-demand employee benefit is vacation time. Many companies offer paid vacation days for employees who have worked for them for a significant period of time. These days can be used for any purpose the employee sees fit. He may use them to travel around the world or even to simply loaf at home in his pajamas. Some companies offer each employee a set number of days, while others increase vacation time as employees gain seniority.