Sunday, November 4, 2012

An Employee Benefits Advisor Can Help Your Business

By Tonia Michael

The role of an employee benefits advisor is to manage employee rewards, including statutory benefits and incentive schemes. In a tough economic climate small to medium size employers especially are looking for effective ways to reduce the overheads for their business. Many are choosing to out-source their support services and are turning to an employee benefits advisor to provide many of their Human Resource related tasks.

Out-sourcing means there is less pressure on owners or senior managers to keep on top of complex employment and benefits legislation. They can rely on the external supplier to bring expertise, industry knowledge and support to managing the terms and conditions of employment for their workforce. Allowing them to devote their valuable time to running the business.

In a small sized company with only a couple of employee, it can be difficult to maintain a professional distance and sometimes make harsh decisions. Bringing in an advisor can help to support you in making the best decision for the business, with a fresh and unbiased view. They can be brought in on a purely advisory basis, or to help design, implement and manage your service.

Employers that exceed the mandatory requirements for employees, can use their benefits package as a major recruitment tool. Potential employees will expect to receive the minimum legislative requirements. However, additional rewards in areas such as enhanced health benefits, additional holiday entitlements, retirement and discount schemes will attract and retain the right people for the business.

Consultants from an external service provider will be up to date with all the current rewards and packages being used at a local and national level. Part of their role will be to provide you with advice and support to ensure you are complying with legislative requirements. They can advise on developing and improving packages to ensure you can hire the best people for your business.

Ensuring your employment package is on a similar level to those offered by your competitors helps to attract better candidates when recruiting. Providing a good rewards package for your employees can improve morale. Management often use new and improved rewards package as a bargaining tool when it comes to negotiating pay deals or what changes that may prove to be unpopular with the workers.

Your company saves money because you do not have the employment and recruitment costs involved in hiring an in-house rewards advisor. Instead, you contract to pay an agreed amount for the level of service you receive. In general, your written contract with the service provider should state clearly the areas of responsibility and the amount per hour you will be charged for services.

The degree, to which you may require the services of an employee benefits advisor, will depend on the size and type of business your run. If you are a small company with few employees, you may find that an advisory service is sufficient for your needs. However, if you are a medium to a large-size company, you may require a more hands-on input and management of your benefits scheme.

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