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How to Stay Up to Date with Year-Round Benefits

Your employees are the heart and soul of your business, and they mean a lot to you. Keeping them happy, motivated, and fulfilled is a top priority – and their benefits package is a big part of your strategy. But above and beyond this being an attractive perk, you need to be crystal clear on any benefits that you’re legally required to provide. Otherwise, the penalties and damage to your reputation can be irreparable.

Which benefits are required by law?

Benefits that you are legally required to offer include:

  • Worker’s compensation: This insurance is different in every state. Some states have an added requirement that employers purchase disability insurance, as well. To find out what your current needs are, go to this page.
  • Unemployment: Like worker’s compensation, unemployment rules vary from state to state. Your first step is to register your business with your state’s workforce agency. This guide is also where you can find your latest state unemployment law details.
  • Social security taxes: These taxes must be paid on every employee. Find out more here.
  • FMLA benefits: The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires companies with 50 or more employees to provide 12 weeks of unpaid time off to eligible employees during a 12-month period to protect them from losing their job if they need to care for themselves or immediate family members. This act includes the birth, adoption, or foster care of a child.  
  • COBRA benefits: As mandated by the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA), companies with 20 or more employees must allow their workers to continue health insurance coverage at their business’s group rate for up to 18 months after  a qualified loss of coverage. Other state”mini- COBRA” laws may apply, in addition to Federal COBRA requirements.
  • Certain employers are required to provide healthcare coverage under the Affordable Care Act (ACA). The ACA generally applies to companies with 50 or more employees.
  • In several states  short-term disability and paid family leave benefits are legally mandated.

Which benefits are not legally required?

Although these benefits are not necessary for legal compliance, they are advisable when it comes to recruiting and retaining top talent:

  • A retirement plan
  • Life insurance
  • Dental and vision coverage
  • Long Term Disability

Among helpful resources when it comes to staying up to date with benefits for your workforce is the Small Business Administration website.

How can you be sure you get it right?

It can be confusing and stressful to figure out all the legalities of hiring employees and providing them with the required benefits. To ensure that you stay compliant and, even more importantly, do what’s right for your team members, consider outsourcing your benefits management functions to a trusted business partner. 

HR Works, Inc. provides comprehensive benefits administration to provide the best options for your workforce, ensure cost efficiency, and maintain legal and regulatory compliance. Our services include new hire benefits education and enrollment support,  claims advocacy, COBRA and leave administration, Open Enrollment support, and more. Contact us today to set up an informational session on what we can do for your business.

HR Works, Inc., headquartered at 200 WillowBrook Office Park in Fairport (Rochester), New York, with an office in East Syracuse, is a human resource management outsourcing and consulting firm serving clients throughout the United States. HR Works provides scalable strategic human resource management and consulting services, including: affirmative action programs; benefits administration outsourcing; HRIS self-service technology; full-time, part-time and interim on-site HR managers; HR audits; legally reviewed employee handbooks and supervisor manuals; talent management and recruiting services; and training of managers and HR professionals.