Benefits for Working Parents
By Thomas Broderick
Every day they go to work, working parents sacrifice time that they could have otherwise used to make memories with their spouses and children. In return, they expect their employers to provide not only a salary but also benefits that help them and their families.
As benefits play such a vital role in employer/employee relationships, working parents should not only understand the benefits they and their families receive but also demand that those benefits match their families’ needs. At the same time, employers should take note of employees’ life situations and craft unique and attractive benefits packages that blend both traditional and voluntary options.
Traditional benefits are those that many employers began offering in the years immediately following the Second World War. As employers shoulder the financial burden, employees receive these benefits at no cost.
The most significant traditional benefit, health insurance protects employees and their families by paying for many medical services. Expecting parents should research their companies’ health insurance policies to ensure that their children have coverage from the moment they are born. Signing children up for dental or vision insurance may require additional forms.
Paid Time Off
Paid time off benefits working parents in many ways. For one, working parents can use this time for vacations or other significant events in their children’s lives. Most employees gain additional paid time off each year that they stay with the company.
401(k) or Other Retirement Plans
Although retirement plans benefit parents rather than their children, some retirement plans can reduce employees’ tax burdens, ensuring they have more money for their growing families.
Working parents with children of all ages appreciate when their employers offer voluntary benefits that improve their children’s lives. Unlike traditional benefits, employees – and not their employers – pay for them. However, as employees receive a group discount, they can both save money and choose the services that their families need.
Supplemental Health Insurance
Health insurance may cover most expenses, but up-front costs (e.g., premiums, the need for out-of-network specialists, travel, etc.) can still put a tremendous financial strain on families. Supplemental health insurance policies close the financial gap. Many policies allow enrollees to select the specific health benefits that match their financial and health needs.
Life Insurance Policies
Life insurance policies reassure employees that if something should happen to them, there will be money to take care of their surviving spouse and children. However, once an employee has children, the costs of these policies jump significantly. A cheap, long-term life insurance policy can put your employees’ minds at ease and increase their loyalty to your company.
Although employees may keep their supplemental health insurance and life insurance policies as their children become high school-aged, the complexity surrounding college admissions can put undue strain on parents and negatively affect their work performance. This challenge is one of the reasons that we at myKlovr designed the first virtual college counseling service that provides students personalized goals aimed at increasing their chances of college admissions success. At work, employees can review their children’s academic and extracurricular accomplishments at any time.
Employees’ benefits needs evolve each year after they have children. For this reason, your company should continuously monitor employees’ satisfaction with their benefits and research new ones you can offer in the coming years. Not only do benefits for working parents increase employees’ satisfaction and loyalty, but they can also, through word of mouth, help your company attract top talent.