While providing employee benefits is largely optional and seldom required by law, employee benefits greatly help the household employer attract and retain high-level employees. To get and keep the most talented employees, employers must treat employees like professionals. Therefore, offering employee benefits is an important consideration for all household employers. By providing an attractive employee benefits package, the employer is helping to maintain a satisfied workforce. Satisfied employees equal a happy workplace, which in turn equals a happy family and life for the employer.
The most popular household employee benefits include medical or dental insurance, paid time for vacation, holiday, sick or personal leave, bonuses, and annual pay increases. But there are several unique benefits for nannies and other household employees that you can offer.
Flexible Work Hours
Although this may not suit all household schedules, employers willing to consider flexible working arrangements (when requested in advance) are likely to establish a more loyal, stable, and happy household workforce. Recognizing and remembering that employees have a personal and social life outside of work is important to any employer-employee relationship. Many household employers allow for part-time work, time off during the week if the employee worked during the weekend, or time off for the occasional personal commitment or infrequent sick day—with each potential circumstance being discussed in the work agreement, in the employee handbook, and at the start of employment. Clear communication is essential for mutual understanding. Therefore, employers offering permanent flexible work arrangements should carefully plan schedules with the employee, particularly if the household help member is tasked with dependent care. Employers should be aware of their state’s policies on mandatory time off, especially when considering a flexible working arrangement.
Prepaid Legal Services
Some employers offer employees prepaid legal services as an employee benefit. Prepaid legal services may involve citizenship, divorce, adoption, and so on, and create a unique value to employees who require legal advice and representation. Prepaid legal services may be available through a subscription plan. Employers need to clearly state in the work agreement and the employee handbook the premium requirements for prepaid legal services, and if such services are provided at the employer’s discretion.
Use of Employer’s Personal Property and Facilities
Use of personal property and facilities normally unavailable to the employee outside of work can be considered a great employee benefit. This may include use of the home computer, television, exercise equipment/gym, swimming pool, and so on. The employee handbook needs to clearly list what is available for employee use and to whom this can extend in terms of friends and family of the employee. The employee handbook must also clearly state which parts of the property and facilities are off limits. Employees should be reminded that the employer owns the property/facility, and that the employer has the right to inspect and monitor usage—including, for example, user history files on the internet and sent email messages. The employee handbook should outline procedures for reporting needed repairs or any damage or misuse of property and facilities to the employer.
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