Ask the expert benefits
Q. How can I offer part-time employees health insurance? A. This would be a matter of changing your plan design. Health insurance is increasingly more important to employees, yet it creates a financial dilemma for employers because of the skyrock...
Q. How can I offer part-time employees health insurance?
A. This would be a matter of changing your plan design. Health insurance is increasingly more important to employees, yet it creates a financial dilemma for employers because of the skyrocketing costs. Many employers rely on part-time staff and would like to offer some benefits to retain their part-time work force. You may design a separate part-time plan that includes some of the following to help reduce costs: Employee-only coverage (no family plan). Implement deductibles. Change the cost sharing, i.e. if the full-time premium is split 20-80, perhaps the part-time benefit could be 50-50.
Check with your plan administrator to find out the costs to implement, as well as the financial impact to the business. It just might be the right thing to do.
Q. I hear businesses are moving from vacation to paid time off. Is this true? If so, what are the advantages and disadvantages?
A. Yes, many employers are moving to paid time off. Today's workers enjoy flexibility, and a paid-time-off plan is a great way for employers to give employees time off without the restriction of traditional plans. For example, if someone needed a day off, and didn't have any vacation days left but had two weeks of sick time, that employee might be inclined to call in sick. A paid-time-off plan doesn't distinguish between sick and vacation balances. One of the pros is that it gives employees more privacy and flexibility as to why they are taking off. One of the cons is that employees may end up taking more days off. By designing a paid-time-off plan that takes your business needs into account, you can provide a valuable benefit to your employees.
This column is written by the Northland Human Resource Association, a local chapter of Human Resources Professionals. Please send your questions to info@ northlandhra.org or NHRA, P.O. Box 16336, Duluth, MN, 55816-0336. The Web site is www.northlandhra.org . Disclaimer: This is not legal advice; contact your attorney with specific legal questions.