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Compensation and Benefits

Compensation and benefits topics – whether it’s minimum wage, workers’ compensation laws, or employee pay – if properly handled, can help you retain workers and recruit new ones.

Use our advice to craft independent contractor agreements that keep independent contractors – and your bosses – happy.

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This year’s merit increases will hover around 3%, according to a survey of 270 large multinational companies by compensation consulting firm Empsight Inter­na­tional. Say farewell to across-the-board pay hikes and years-of-service bumps. Instead, look for renewed emphasis on raises linked to meeting or beating organizational goals. Here are the compensation trends to watch in 2013.

A recent decision by New York’s highest court highlights the value of spelling out the terms of employment in a written offer letter.
Good news for employers that hold off on firing an employee for an act that would otherwise be willful misconduct, making the employee ineligible for unemployment compensation benefits. As long as you can explain why you delayed actually terminating the employee, she won’t receive unemployment benefits.
Lockheed Martin employees who lost homes and other property to Colorado wildfires over the summer got a little help from their employer—in the form of cash. Its Employee Disaster Relief Fund is maintained by employee and company donations and offers emergency, short-term assistance for food, temporary lodging and clothing.
Annual premiums for employer-sponsored family health insurance are averaging $15,745 this year (up 4% from 2011), while worker-only coverage is averaging $5,615 (up 3% from last year), according to a new Kaiser Family Foundation report.
A coalition of small business owners is calling on Congress to increase the federal minimum wage to $9.80 per hour, or $2.55 more than the current rate. The goal: to increase poor workers’ spending in hopes of stimulating the economy.

When you think rewards that retain employees, you might see dollar signs—lots of them. But keeping morale high doesn't have to cost a fortune. There are plenty of low-cost or even no-cost perks you can offer to help keep employees engaged and committed.

Employers that fire a worker for being caught sleeping on the job may not be liable for unemployment compensation benefits. On-the-job snoozing can be considered willful misconduct if it’s clear it violates company policy.
To thrive in today’s economy, employers must focus retention efforts on their highest performers. Here’s how:
Absenteeism costs American businesses approximately 9% of payroll, according to several estimates. Here are a dozen ways to keep employees coming to work as scheduled, reserving sick leave for health problems—not as a catch-all bank of time off.
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