Other Types of Compensation

As you already know, there is more to a compensation package than just pay. There are many other aspects to the creation of a good compensation package, including not only pay but incentive pay and other types of compensation.

Some of the benefits are mandatory, and they are provided by the employer due to the laws and the provincial regulations. These include Canada and Quebec pension plans, Employment Insurance, leaves without pay (Compassion leave or other) as well as those that are governed by the Employment Standards (ex. holidays). These can be seen by direct deductions on your paycheck. Every pay has a deduction that is taken for the pension plans and for employment insurance. These deductions are there to protect the employee in the future during retirement or any loss income due to  lose of job. By contributing to Employment Insurance if the employee would unfortunately lose their job, they would be entitled to unemployment benefits.

Other benefits are voluntary and are at the discretion of the employer. Many different benefits can be offered by the employer. The most common ones will be highlighted here. Most employers will offer health benefits, such as extended medical plans and dental coverage, with different providers such as SunLife or others. These can include private medical consultations, eye doctor examinations, private professional consultations, dental consultations and procedures etc.

In addition to the standard Quebec and Canada Pension Plans, some companies allow employees to contribute even further to their retirement plans. This can be done with a defined benefit or defined contribution plans, or Registered Retirement Savings Plans (RRSPs).  (Employer-sponsored pension plans – Canada.ca).

Depending on the company/industry, some paid time off provisions are legislated (e.g., ESA), while some employers may offer additional paid time off (e.g., personal days). This will vary from organization to organization, and the details will be highlighted in the company policy and procedures.

More and more employers are also offering employees wellness programs that include access to mental wellness and alternate programs such as gym memberships, yoga, Employee Assistance programs and so forth.

Furthermore, some also allow educational assistance programs where they will reimburse for courses taken.

Another key benefit that some employees look for and that may be supplied by the employer includes childcare services and elderly care.

The range of offers depends on the employer, their size, and their capability to offer the benefits.

One aspect to note is that once these benefits are offered, the employer should not remove them as this will cause employees to feel unmotivated.

A Final Note on Compensation and Benefits Strategy

When creating your compensation plan, of course the ability to recruit and retain should be an important factor. But also, consideration of your workforce needs is crucial to any successful compensation plan. The first step in development of a plan is to ask the employees what they care about. Some employees would rather receive more pay with fewer benefits or better benefits with fewer days off. Surveying the employees allows you, as the HR professional, to better understand the needs of your specific workforce. Once you have developed your plan, understand that it may change to best meet the needs of your business as it changes over time.

Once the plan is developed, communicating the plan with your employees is also essential. Inform your employees via an HR blog, e-mails, and traditional methods such as face to face. Your employees might not always be aware of the cost of the benefits to the company, so making sure they know is your responsibility. For example, if you pay for 80 percent of the medical insurance premiums, let your employees know this. This type of communication can go a long way to allowing the employees to see their value within the organization.


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Human Resources Management - 2nd Ontario Edition Copyright © 2022 by Elizabeth Cameron is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International License, except where otherwise noted.

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