Although a surprising number of American businesses may not provide benefits such as health insurance coverage to their full-time employees, some new studies suggest that trends may be toward better accommodation of the average employee.
A report by Clutch, announced Jan. 18, shows 25 percent of full-time employees in the U.S. do not receive important benefits that many of us see as being among the perks of a 40-hour work week. One example is health insurance, which is vitally important to nearly all U.S. families. Another is the provision of a retirement savings plan, which provides for living expenses in the worker's golden years. Even vacation days are not always part of a full-time package.
In an interview with HRDailyWire on Jan. 18, study writer Elizabeth Ballou said one of the reasons companies can avoid giving full-timers these benefits is a rule that firms with fewer than 50 employees do not have the same legal responsibilities to offer a range of benefits.
"We're thinking that's one of the reasons for the high numbers," Ballou said.
Businesses, she said, do have choices when it comes to insuring workers. Ballou mentioned companies like AFLAC that may offer customized company plans.
"There certainly are options that employers can choose from," Ballou said. "They can help employees to sign up for these plans."
As for the ability of workers to demand benefits for full-time work, Ballou said her research indicates businesses are likely to step up their games in order to attract and retain good talent and foster higher productivity.
"The data and the interviews (with respondents) show how important the benefits are in terms of the business' bottom line." Ballou said. "There is a financial incentive."
Studies from groups like the Kaiser Family Foundation are showing that, in general, the rates for "non-elderly" citizens covered by employer plans has dropped from 1999 to 2014, so it's essential that the above-mentioned pressures bring employer coverage rates back up -- although now families do have the choice of working with the Affordable Care Act program to purchase family plans on state exchanges.
The future will show how companies respond to the consensus in the workforce that money's not everything -- benefits matter, too.