Benefits

Mapping Out Maternity Leave

Gretchen Van Vlymen is pregnant and head of HR at a Chicago-based HR consulting firm. It provides unique perspective to offer advice on how new working parents can plan for leave.

When I found out I was pregnant, I was elated. I couldn’t wait to tell friends, register for baby stuff I wouldn’t need, sign up for Amazon Prime diaper delivery, and start the so-called “nesting” phase. But then, anxiety about balancing a new baby and work hit me like a bad wave of morning sickness. Most working parents, moms especially, will…

Rash of Food Allergies Prompts Education Push

Employers should prepare for an influx of younger workers with food allergies, as many kids grow older and enter the workforce without growing out of them.

Food allergies are on the rise — particularly among children — and that poses challenges to employers who are likely to see more employees struggling to manage their symptoms in the workplace Laurel Francoeur, attorney and founder of the blog Allergy Law Project Approximately 15 million Americans have food allergies and their numbers are growing each year, according to Food…

This Week in Controversial Workplace Benefits

Employers get under employees’ skin; a paid leave policy shouldn’t have to be complex; and don’t dismiss telemedicine just yet.

Writing about benefits can get dry sometimes. “Employees like health care,” some survey found. OK, cool. I agree. Then there’s a week where you come across a lot wild, timely, meaty stories that bring up a lot of questions and frustration. And this isn’t even including everything that’s happened in the U.S. health care space. I’ve Got You Under My…

Employees Say They Like the Roth 401(k)

A new BofA Merrill Lynch survey reveals workers are realizing the benefits of the plan, which pulls taxes up front, not at retirement.

Brenda Mackey has been saving in a Roth Individual Retirement Account since she was 22 years old. She had no idea she could save this way in her 401(k) plan at work until she saw the option on her plan menu when signing up for benefits in her new job. “I didn’t know Roth 401(k) existed,” Mackey said. “I knew…

Younger Workers Eye Short-Term Financial Goals

Employers need to broaden their financial wellness efforts beyond retirement. Short-term financial goals matter as well, especially with younger employees.

When it comes to setting financial goals, younger employees are less focused on retirement and more concerned about meeting day-to-day expenses, and that should concern employers, according to a recent study by accounting firm PwC. About one-third of millennial and Gen X employees have withdrawn money from their retirement plans and about half think it’s likely they will need to…

The Next Generation of Benefits Leaders

Why do HR professionals "fall into" benefits? Employee benefits touch the health and financial security of nearly all Americans and millions of people globally.

Like many of you reading this article, I stumbled into HR as a career. As a journalism student who had never heard of employee benefits or HR or consulting, I was drawn to benefits because of the complexity and challenge of making sense of such meaty topics. But I soon discovered a much deeper sense of purpose in this work…

Dad-Friendly Work Policies Begin Growing Up

Companies should be certain that their parent-centric initiatives and benefits are clearly meant for all parents, not just moms. This will benefit both men and women.

Fatherhood isn’t just Brad Harrington’s work; it’s his life. As the lead author of fatherhood research at the Boston College Center for Work and Family, Harrington also has three children of his own. Brad Harrington, executive director and research professor, Boston College Center for Work & Family When a baby gets fussy or starts to cry, “It’s just so easy…

Digital Resources Help Balance Diabetes Management

Diabetes is a chronic problem, and online solutions paired with other workplace strategies can have a positive and encouraging impact.

Deb Dye wanted to make a major lifestyle change last year and lose some weight. A continuing lecturer at Purdue University, Dye had been prediabetic for several years. She had a family history of diabetes, and she’d always thought it was just a matter of time before she was a diabetic, too. The workplace can play an important role in…

Some Constructive Criticism on Wellness

It’s time to respond to an article titled, ‘How Wellness Became an Epidemic.’

New York Magazine just published an interesting — and fairly critical — article called “How Wellness Became an Epidemic.” I’ve been thinking about it for the past week. Now, I’ll note that this article focused on the wellness industry at large and not just corporate wellness, but I still think there were some solid takeaways for employers. Here’s a paragraph…

With Benefits, It’s Good to Get Back to the Basics

It’s easy to overlook the what and why of your benefits offerings. Here are 7 best practices to re-establish your comprehensive plan.

When faced with increasing employee health care cost, budgetary pressures and pending renewal deadlines, it is all too common for employers to make reactionary decisions about their employee benefits program. Given the integral role that benefits programs play in attracting and retaining top talent and their position as one of a company’s largest expenses, does it make sense that benefit…