Benefits are an important part of an employee’s compensation package. Some elements of a benefits package are legislated, while others are offered to be competitive. Both can provide peace of mind for employees.
Legislated benefits are mandatory—all employers in Ontario must provide these benefits to employees. These benefits include:
While it’s important for Ontario employers to offer a competitive benefits package to attract and retain quality employees, a full suite of benefits can be cost-prohibitive for a startup. The costs of employee benefits will usually average about 15% of payroll in a small company, or as high as 30% in a larger one.1 Each potential benefit should be considered and defined carefully.
Before you develop a benefits package, take the time to understand:
Competitive employee benefits commonly include:
Employee benefits packages are becoming increasingly complex. There is more flexibility than ever before. It’s strongly recommended that employers enlist the help of experienced professionals to help them navigate the process of setting up a benefits program. Without leveraging specific expertise, employers often get caught by growing liabilities and steep costs.
Working with a benefits consultant or broker can help tremendously in defining a competitive benefits program, and costs are often little to none, as the consultant will be paid by the insurance companies they work with. A consultant can provide relevant data and expert guidance to help you get the most from your benefits investment. If you can, obtain at least three different proposals to assess the costs and value from different perspectives.
When designing the benefits program, employers can use strategies to limit or contain costs in the longer term. These may include:
1TechEdge. (2013). Ontario Technology Survey 2012/13. Retrieved from http://www.tech-edge.ca/content.php?doc=216.