How to Setup An Employee Benefits Program For Your Small Business

A small business employee benefits solutions overview.
A detailed overview of small business employee benefits offerings.

Know what employee benefits are required by the law.

  • Social Security and Medicare benefits: All employers, regardless of size or employee headcount, are required to match their employees’ Social Security and Medicare (FICA) contributions. Failing to withhold appropriate taxes can result in steep fines and legal consequences.
  • Healthcare Insurance (ACA): Companies composed of 50 or more full-time employees are legally obligated to offer “acceptable” health insurance to their employees who render 30 hours or more work per week. For more details about the ACA tax provisions, visit the Affordable Care Act Tax Provisions page.
  • Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) Benefits: This legal requirement covers employers or businesses with 20 or more employees. This gives employees insurance coverage at the company’s group rate for a maximum of 18 months.
  • Workers’ Compensation Insurance: Regardless of size or employee headcount, businesses are required to provide their employees protection in case they get injured while in the workplace or while performing their work.
  • Unemployment Insurance: All businesses are required to pay into the state’s unemployment insurance fund. These funds are used to provide compensation to unemployed workers when they are moving from one job to another.
  • Family Medical Leave (FMLA) Benefits: This federal labor law entitles eligible employees of privately-owned companies to take unpaid, job-protected leave due to family or medical reasons. Eligible employees must have continued group health insurance coverage under the same terms and conditions as if the employee had not taken the leave of absence.
  • Disability Leave Through the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): This act requires companies to consider and arrange reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities.
Next we’ll look at budgeting for your new benefits offerings.
Next we’ll look at budgeting for your new benefits offerings.

Create a budget for your employee benefits program.

Plan your company’s “total compensation”.

  • Bonuses
  • Commissions
  • Paid leave or time off (includes holiday, vacation, and sick leaves)
  • Retirement savings options
  • Flexible (FSA) or Health (HSA) Savings Accounts
  • Profit-sharing distributions
  • Insurances such as medical, dental, disability, and/or life
  • Educational assistance
  • Child Care assistance
  • Public transit credits or reimbursements
  • IT reimbursements (if employees work from home and use their home wifi, cellphone, personal computer, etc., then those costs can be reimbursed)
  • Employee assistance programs (EAP) to provide employees with financial and legal advice, counseling, retirement planning coaching, etc for free.
  • Gym or club memberships
  • Flexible or remote work options
What’s the overall impact to employee satisfaction?
What’s the overall impact to employee satisfaction?

Conduct employee surveys for benefits ideas.

Pick the best and most cost-efficient fringe benefits.

  • Health insurance (may include dental or vision insurance)
  • Life and disability insurance
  • Retirement plans
  • Paid time off
  • Paid holidays
  • Travel reimbursements
  • Work-life balance (i.e. flex time or remote work)

Discuss the benefits plan to all employees and candidates.




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Jake Milkerson

Jake Milkerson

Just a dude that loves to write about anything and everything under the sun!

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