Types of Employee Benefits and Perks

Types of Employee Benefits and Perks

Image by Theresa Chiechi. © The Balance 2019

What are employee benefits? What benefits and perks can you expect to receive when you’re hired by a company? An employee benefits package includes all the non-wage benefits, such as health insurance and paid time off, provided by an employer.

There are some types of employee benefits that are mandated by federal or state law law, including minimum wage, overtime, leave under the Family Medical Leave Act, unemployment, and workers’ compensation and disability insurance.

There are other types of employee benefits that companies are not required to offer, but may choose to provide to their employees. There are also some benefits and perks you may be able to negotiate as part of your compensation package when you’ve been offered a new job.

What Are Employee Benefits?

Employee benefits are non-salary compensation that can vary from company to company.

Benefits are indirect and non-cash payments within a compensation package.

They are provided by organizations in addition to salary to create a competitive package for the potential employee.

Employee Benefits Mandated by Law

The following are compensation and benefits that employers are required by federal or state law to provide. Be sure to confirm what is required in your state.

Consolidated Omni-Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA)

The federal government requires that companies with 20 or more employees continue to provide extended medical benefits to former employees (and their families) for up to 18 months (sometimes longer).

States may have additional requirements for extended medical benefits. Make sure to check your state for «mini-COBRA» laws that will protect you and your family in the event that you lose your job.

Disability & Workers Compensation

The purpose of both workers’ compensation and disability is to make sure that an injured or sick employee continues to get paid (usually a portion of their normal pay) until they are well enough to return to work.

Every state has its own workers’ compensation and disability requirements for employers. While some businesses are exempt from providing workers’ compensation, most payroll employees are eligible if they are injured on the job.

Only a few states require employers to provide disability coverage. However, many employers offer this benefit to employees of their own accord.

Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA)

The Family and Medical Leave Act requires some employers to provide maternity, paternity, and adoption leave, but it isn’t required to be paid leave.

Most states have their own labor laws pertaining to family additions or medical issues that include paid leave.

Beyond federal and state laws, many employers choose to be generous with paid leave for new parents.

Minimum Wage

The Fair Labor Standards Act sets the current federal minimum wage at $7.25 an hour. In addition, many states have their own minimum wage laws. The law stipulates that whichever minimum wage law is highest overrides the other. For example, New York’s minimum wage laws mandate a higher rate of pay than the federal minimum wage; therefore, the state’s minimum wage laws override federal minimum wage laws.


Similarly, overtime laws vary by state. The Fair Labor Standards Act also stipulates overtime pay requirements. Whichever law (state or federal) benefits an employee the most takes precedence.

Unemployment Benefits

The federal government requires states to manage all unemployment benefits for workers. If an employee worked a qualifying job and was laid-off due to a layoff, they are entitled to unemployment pay for a period of time. The amount of unemployment pay varies by state and job title. Employees who resigned or were fired for their misconduct are typically not eligible for unemployment benefits.

Types of Employer-Provided Benefits and Perks

In addition to benefits required by law, other benefits are provided by companies because they feel socially responsible to their employees and opt to offer them beyond the level required by law.

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Depending on the company, these benefits may include health insurance (required to be offered by larger companies), dental insurance, vision care, life insurance, legal insurance, paid vacation leave, personal leave, sick leave, child care, fitness, retirement benefits and planning services, college debt relief, pet insurance, and other optional benefits offered to employees and their families.  

These types of employee benefits are offered at the discretion of the employer or are covered under a labor agreement, so they will vary from company to company.

Who Gets Employee Benefits?

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average number of annual paid holidays is 8 for workers in private industry.   Federal government employees are entitled to 10 paid holidays.

On average, workers received 10 paid vacation days after one year of service. This average increases with tenure – that is, the longer the employee stays with their employer. Employees who have worked five years or more receive 15 paid vacation days. This increased to 20 days after 20 years.  

Among non-government employers, 87% offered health benefits according to the BLS. Another 67% offered their employees a pension or retirement program.  

In addition, more employers are using bonuses, perks, and incentives to recruit and retain employees. Many leading employers offer extra benefits, including health club memberships, flexible schedules, daycare, tuition reimbursement, relaxation classes, and even on-site dry cleaning.

Watch Now: 9 Benefits Employees Really Want

Employer-Provided Health Insurance Requirements

Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (Obamacare), minimum standards are set for health insurance companies regarding services and coverage. Most employers with 50 or more employees are required to offer healthcare plans or pay a fine.

Healthcare exchanges have been set up for employees who aren’t covered by employers or who elect to seek coverage outside their employer plans.

Health Insurance Coverage

Most plans provide coverage for visits to primary care physicians and specialists, hospitalization, and emergency care. Alternative medical care, wellness, prescription, vision, and dental care coverage will vary by the plan and employer.

Employers are required to provide healthcare to employees who work at least 30 hours per week. Some (though not many) part-time workers are covered by employer plans.

More Company-Provided Employee Benefits

These types of employee benefits are offered at the discretion of the employer or are covered under a labor agreement, so they will vary from company to company.

Dental Care Plan Coverage: Companies with dental care benefits offer insurance that helps pay a portion of the cost for dental treatment and care. Depending on the company’s policy for dental care benefits, dental coverage includes a range of treatments and procedures.

Paid Holidays: The law does not require employers to provide their employees with paid leave for holidays. However, many employers make sure that their employees get time off for holidays (paid and unpaid) or provide overtime pay for those willing to work on a holiday.

Pay Raises: Some employers increase wages for everyone a certain amount each year to keep up with inflation. There are also different types of incentive pay that allow employees a chance to earn more on a merit system. A common type of incentive pay is commission. Inside sales or customer service employers frequently try to motivate employees to upsell customers for a commission.

Severance Pay: Employers are not required to provide severance to employees that they lay off due to downsizing or redundancies. However, many employers want to help these employees who they would otherwise want to keep if their budget permitted. Therefore, they choose to offer severance pay and benefits to these employees.

Breaks and Flexible Schedules: To attract top talent, some employers offer flexible paid work schedules that include 30-minute (or longer) breaks for rest, fitness, and recreation. Also, employers may compensate employees for meals and events that include face-to-face time with prospects and customers.

Hazard Pay: Jobs in security, construction, military, and other dangerous professions usually provide hazard pay to any employees that must work in unsafe conditions. These may include extreme weather, dangerous equipment, violent environments, or working at extreme heights, for example.

College Debt Assistance: Because of the growing student debt crisis, some employers are granting debt repayment assistance. There are no current laws requiring employers to do this, but it is a great perk for employees struggling to make ends meet as they begin their professional careers.  

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Fringe Benefits and Perks

Other benefits can vary between industries and businesses and are sometimes referred to as «fringe» benefits. These perks, also known as «benefits in kind» can include bonuses; profit sharing; medical, disability and life insurance; paid vacations; free meals; use of a company car; pensions; stock options; childcare; gratuity; company holidays; personal days; sick leave; other time off from work; retirement and pension plan contributions; tuition assistance or reimbursement for employees and/or their families; discounts on company products and services; housing; and other benefits and perks that are provided by companies in addition to the employee’s salary.

Fringe benefits are not required by law and vary from employer to employer.

Review Your Employee Benefits Package

Whether you are job searching, deciding on a job offer, or happily employed, it’s important to review what benefit coverage is provided by the company and to decide whether the employee benefits package is one that fully meets your needs. It’s also important to take full advantage of what the company provides to employees.

Benefits Questions to Ask

There are employee benefits questions you should ask to ensure that your overall compensation plan is right for you and your family. Also, ask specific questions based on your needs and on the criteria that are important to you.

The information contained in this article is not legal advice and is not a substitute for such advice. State and federal laws change frequently, and the information in this article may not reflect your own state’s laws or the most recent changes to the law.


Why Religion Helps and Harms Families: A Conceptual Model of a System of Dualities at the Nexus of Faith and Family Life

Brigham Young University

School of Family Life, Brigham Young University, 2092B JFSB, Provo, UT, 84602 (

Brigham Young University

Kansas State University

Brigham Young University

School of Family Life, Brigham Young University, 2092B JFSB, Provo, UT, 84602 (

Brigham Young University

Kansas State University

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Evidence suggests that religion can both help and harm families. We posit that a central reason for these divergent outcomes is a system of dualities at the nexus of religion and family. We propose a conceptual framework of a dynamic system of religious and relational dualities. We propose eight dualities: (a) transcendent and mundane spiritual experiences may affect families, (b) families may experience God as a close confidant and an authority figure, (c) religion in families may involve accepting and refusing actions, (d) religion in families may include religious expectations and relational compensators, (e) religion in families may generate and address relational struggles, (f) religion in families may be relationally divisive and unifying, (g) religion in families may bring perplexing mysteries and profound meanings, and (h) religion in families may be a transforming and a maintaining influence. We discuss how these dualities lead to outcomes that help and harm families.

Appendix S1. Appendix. Sample, Coding Process, and Data Table

Table S1. Number and Percentage of Families Including Various Elements of Religious Duality

Please note: The publisher is not responsible for the content or functionality of any supporting information supplied by the authors. Any queries (other than missing content) should be directed to the corresponding author for the article.


Ladybug Facts for Kids

Children are naturally drawn to insects, especially ladybugs. Here are 20 ladybug facts for kids to share while observing ladybugs, while talking about them, while reading about them, or even during circle time. Maybe you even have a ladybug preschool theme in your preschool curriculum!

If you need a great fact-based ladybug book, we love “Ladybugs” by Gail Gibbons or a fun read-aloud book is “The Grouchy Ladybug” by Eric Carle.

On the hunt for preschool ladybug activities? These ladybug lesson plans by our friends at Preschool Teacher 101 have so many great ideas and learning activities.

My preschoolers and I recently witnessed 1,500 ladybugs being released into our greenhouse, and it was incredible. We are talking constantly about ladybugs now, also known as ladybirds, and I thought I would share our findings with you. It is great to have fun ladybug facts for kids to talk about as you are observing them! As you’ll see from my pictures, our ladybugs had a feast in our greenhouse.

20 Ladybug Facts for Kids

1) Ladybugs are a type of beetle.

2) Some ladybugs have no spots and others have up to 20 spots.

3) To help defend themselves, ladybugs play dead. They also can release a yellow fluid that other bugs find stinky.

4) The color of the ladybug sends off the message to its predators that it may taste bad or be poisonous.

5) Ladybugs cluster together as a way to “deter predators by increasing the concentration of their smell and their warning coloration.” Thanks to Professor Rick Lee for this fact!

6) When the temperature is near 60 degrees Fahrenheit or around 16 degrees Celsius, the ladybugs become active.

7) Ladybugs are both male and female.

8) A ladybug can live up to a year long.

9) There are two sets of wings. The outer set is the hard shell for protection, and the inner set are what it uses to fly.

10) Ladybugs are very helpful to a garden as they eat aphids and mites, which are bugs that are harmful to plants.

11) An adult ladybug can eat up to 50 aphids in a day.

12) Ladybugs taste and smell with their antennae.

13) A ladybug lays its egg on a leaf. They are yellow eggs that turn white.

14) They come out the egg as larvae (Lar-VEE). If there is just one, it is a larva.

15) The larvae resemble tiny black alligators.

16) The larva sheds its outer skin, which is called molting. This happens after it has eaten too much that it’s skin becomes too tight.

17) After the larva is done molting, it becomes a pupa.

18) The pupa sticks itself to a safe place where it will not move. The pupa breaks open as the ladybug comes out.

19) The ladybug’s body goes from being soft with no spots to the hardened and spotted ladybugs we are familiar with.

20) The inner wings used for flying must dry before the ladybug can fly.

If you need a great ladybug book, take a peek at these.

Here are some more educational resources when studying about ladybugs:

Feel free to read through some fun facts about spiders as well as facts about butterflies too.

Many of these fun facts were discovered as we read one of our favorite books called Ladybugs by Gail Gibbons.



How are Ladybugs Classified?
Kingdom: Animalia (All animals)
Phylum: Arthopoda (Invertebrates)
Class: Insecta (Insects)
Order: Coleoptera (Beetles.)
Family: Coccinellidae (Lady beetles)
Genus: Hippodamia ( Lady beetle type)
Species: Convergens (specific ladybug)

When you want to learn all there is to know about ladybugs, ladybug classification is just one thing you should know. For such small, whimsical insects, ladybugs are extremely interesting. For instance, many entomologists (people who study bugs) actually believe ladybugs should be called �lady beetles». That brings us to the first facet of ladybug classification � they are part of the Coleoptera Order. Coleopteran�s are beetles, so a ladybug is actually a kind of beetle.

Of course, the Order is not the only part of ladybug classification in which you should be interested. There are a number of other classifications to consider, such as the kingdom, the phylum, the class, and the family. Like every other creature on earth, ladybug classification is very intensive. Ladybugs belong to the Animalia Kingdom. They are a part of the Phylum Arthropoda. Their Class is Insecta. They belong to the order of Coleoptera, beetles, of course. Finally, their Family is that of the Coccinellidae. There are about 150 species of ladybugs in the United States, wow! That�s a lot of types of ladybugs!

Ladybugs come many colors and have different numbers of spots. You can read about them and look at images in our article Why Do Ladybugs Have Spots?. You can also read about what they Eat, their interesting Life Cycle and some really Fun Facts.


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