Hiring Your First Employee – Creating a Benefits Package

Without a doubt, a solid benefits package is one of the most effective ways to attract and retain a good employee. 

And after the many steps you’ve taken to find and hire the right person, you want to make sure you’re providing them with everything they need to feel fulfilled at your company. Contrary to popular belief, a comprehensive benefits package includes so much more than just wages – it can encompass health coverage, vacation days, and more. 

Are Any Benefits Required By Law?  

There sure are. There are some benefits that you absolutely must provide as they are required by law. 

This includes holiday pay (which will vary, depending on the province your business is located in) and worker’s compensation, in the event your employee is injured while on the job.  

What Is In a Benefits Package? 

Aside from the wages and mandatory benefits you’ll be providing, you might also choose to include other benefits for your employee. This could include: 

  • Additional vacation time 
  • Health care and dental plans 
  • Life and disability insurance 
  • Flexible working hours or telecommuting options 
  • Other perks, like discounts on goods and services (streaming service discount, gym memberships, etc.)  

It helps to think about the employee you’ll be creating this benefits package for. A younger employee might be more enticed with extra vacation days and a Netflix discount, while an employee with a growing family might value a more comprehensive health plan. These extra perks can go a long way. 

Managing Vacation, Personal Days and Time Off 

In Canada, all provinces guarantee employees at least two weeks – 10 working days – of paid vacation. (The exception is Saskatchewan, which guarantees employees three weeks.) How vacation days accumulate for employees also differs according to province, but accruing usually starts after the employee’s first day of work.  

An attractive benefit option is unlimited time off. This, of course, is up to your discretion as a business owner. Employees enjoy the flexibility an unlimited time-off policy can provide as it can help them maintain a desirable work-life balance… which is a great way to retain talent.  

How Much Is Vacation Pay? 

Generally, employers calculate vacation pay at 4% of each pay cheque towards vacation. You can, of course, opt to increase this percentage if you desire. Also, keep in mind that after a number of years of employment, your employee is entitled to an increase in both vacation pay and time; you can check your province’s guidelines for more details.  

Tracking Vacation Days 

It’s important enough to deserve its own callout: track your employee’s vacation balances and be sure to share that information with them. Whether that’s through any payroll services you use, or just a simple spreadsheet, tracking vacation time is vital. It helps prevent any future payroll errors, and also holds employees accountable for their time off.   

Health and Dental Benefits 

As a small business, you’re not required to offer health or dental benefits to your employees,  and it can be tough to meet insurance requirements if your business is just starting out. While it’s not required, keep in mind that health benefits are a great way to show employees you value them. 

How Much Do Health Benefits Cost? 

The cost of health and dental benefits for your business will largely depend on your provider and the plan you’ve enrolled in. It’s also worth noting that many small business plans require a minimum number of employees in order to register. You’ll need to speak to an insurance representative who, based on your needs, can give you a quote for a health and dental benefits package.  

What is a health spending account? 

A health spending account, or HSA, is a kind of self-insured health plan; as an employer, you would arrange for an account on behalf of your employee, where benefit dollars are submitted. Your employee has control of this account, giving them more discretion in how that money is spent.  

It’s an attractive option for many employees because it gives them more flexibility in how their benefits are spent. It helps you as an employer too, putting the responsibility of managing benefit dollars on the employee, and lets you provide tax-free health and dental benefits. You can read more on HSAs here.  

Additional perks 

Depending on your specific business, any additional benefits could include a regular sampling of any goods you offer, a discount to a local business you’ve partnered with, or even a free streaming subscription.  

None of these perks are tangible wages, but it adds value to your benefits package and makes an employee feel appreciated.  

PayEvo Benefits

If you’re interested in providing your employees with a comprehensive benefits plan, check out PaymentEvolution’s benefits page for a free live quote to get started. Our integrated platform allows you to tailor a benefits plan depending on the needs of your business and your employees. 

Employees are the heart and soul of any company. It’s important to take care of them.