Fringe Benefits

Published: 23rd July 2009
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Every company would like to keep their 'star employees' for long. Hence, they give them fringe benefits that are exclusive. Fringe benefits are extra compensations given to an employee beyond regular perks. Some fringe benefits are fairly standard, like offering sick leave or paid vacation. Others can be significantly greater, and fairly rare. Key executives in large corporations might also enjoy fringe benefits like paid continuing education, discounted or free health club memberships, discounted tickets, flexible summer work hours, quarterly employee appreciation events, etc.

It is a common trend today to offer fringe benefits to a full time employee in corporate companies. A typical example of good fringe benefit is offering health insurance to the staff. The employer pays part of the insurance. According to the laws in some states, companies of a certain size must offer health insurance some sharing of payment at least to a full-time employee. Some companies avoid this by employing more part-time workers.

Companies sense that fringe benefits like health insurance contribute to the well being of their employees. Whenever possible, they try to offer at least partially discounted insurance to an employee, even if they are not legally required to do so. These paid days off do tend to have a cap on them. For example, a new employee might get a week's vacation time to start, and eight to ten days of sick time for year. Employees entering higher-level positions may be offered greater fringe benefits as incentive to join a company.

However, with increase in needs is certain kind of skilled workers, some unusual fringe benefits may be offered to attract employees. A few unusual fringe benefits offered by some employers are, paid housing, or use of private health clubs.

Sometimes the fringe benefits turn out to be greatly needed. For example, the rising cost of private health insurance often makes obtaining a job with a good health plan highly desirable. Programs like 401k can help employees save money for the future. Where job compensation is not commensurate with money needed to live comfortably, housing allowances, or company housing can often make the difference between being able to take a job and looking elsewhere.

Some companies also pay fringe benefits for those night or swing shift workers. It's a 10 to 30% increase of basic pay for working a non-standard shift. This differential shift is quite common in medical field and manufacturing.

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