What benefits can I expect from a new job?

Published: 07th January 2006
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When choosing a new job, of course the salary offered is an important part of whether you accept the job or not, but increasingly it is the add-on benefits that employers are using to lure you to their organizations that may be the final deciding factor as to whether you accept the job or not.

When thinking about a job, considering the salary and the employee benefits offered by an employer is important. Many benefits play a critical role in the lives of employees and their families by assisting in health needs, future financial security, needed absences from work, and more. Benefits may include programs like paid time off, medical insurance, dental insurance, disability, life insurance, retirement benefits, family leave, education and training programs, bonuses, commissions, and stock options.
If a company doesn't provide medical or dental insurance, you may have to pay for these health benefits out of your own pocket. This cost could increase if you have additional family members to support.
If a company doesn't pay you for sick days when you are unable to work, you simply give up your salary for those days. If you have paid sick leave, you would receive the same salary whether you worked or not (within company limits).
If the company you work for does not provide benefits, you will be responsible for paying for the medical services you receive. Benefits are useful not only for the programs they provide, but also for the money they can save you in the long run.
Questions to ask about employee benefits
When thinking of accepting any job, take some time to find out about the benefits. A specific job may offer benefits that are important to you; these benefits could make things easier, less expensive, or just give you peace of mind. Some questions to keep in mind when considering a job offer include:
What benefit programs does the employer offer?
Are the programs offered important and helpful to you?
What percent of benefit costs does the employer pay for? What benefit costs are you responsible for paying?
Is the workplace family-friendly? For example, does the company offer family benefit programs, is it open to working around family issues, and/or is it supportive of family needs?
Is there room for flexibility in working hours?
When do you have to sign up for different benefit programs? Are you able to sign up for benefit programs when you first start working, is there a waiting period, or can you only sign up for benefits at certain times during the year?
Look out for enlightened companies that give 'fun' benefits too a day off on your birthday, free lunches and staff day trips away!
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