Employee Benefits in Utah
In 2022, Utah’s unemployment rate hit an all-time low of 2.0% (well below the national average of 3.6%), and in 2021 its gross domestic product (GDP) growth surged to lead the nation at $182.88 billion.
There’s no denying that Utah employees are earning their pay. But what about those benefits that go beyond a simple paycheck? What are the standards for employee benefits in Utah and what additional benefits can help bring in top talent? Here, we take a closer look at the employee benefits for Utah, and what you can do to ensure that you’re giving your Utah-based employees the compensation they deserve.
But first, let’s take a look at what defines an employee benefit.
Employee Benefits: Definition
What are employee benefits? Broadly speaking, employee benefits are any form of compensation other than wages provided by an employer to an employee. Benefits can carry any amount of monetary value or no monetary value at all, and may or may not be subject to taxation.
Of course, there’s a difference between ‘definition’ and ‘meaning,’ and when you discuss employee benefits in Utah, it is fairly well understood that you’re talking about health insurance, paid time off, and pension plans. These are generally considered the standard in employee benefits; full-time positions that fail to offer these benefits may have a difficult time attracting and retaining valuable employees.
At the same time, many companies take their benefits further by expanding or improving upon basic insurance benefits (such as providing life insurance and disability insurance or discounts on home and auto insurance). Others take a more comprehensive approach, offering things like caregiver support, work-from-home flexibility, adult education and training options, financial assistance, and physical and mental health benefits programs. And of course, there’s nothing wrong with a top-tier employee-bonus program.
Employee Benefits: Utah Requirements
Some full-time employee benefits are so common that they seem as though they must be legally mandated. But the truth is that federal and state governments tend not to get too involved in dictating the kinds of non-wage compensation employers are required to offer.
The US Bureau of Labor Statistics identifies five “legally required benefits” applicable to businesses that operate anywhere in the US (including Utah).
These benefits include:
The Affordable Care Act (ACA) enacted in 2010 made it a legal requirement that any US organization employing 50 or more full-time employees must provide sufficient, affordable healthcare coverage as a benefit.
Medicare and Social Security Contributions
Medicare and Social Security are federally mandated plans that help provide for aging US citizens after they’ve left the workforce. Employers are required to make a specific amount of contributions to these benefits programs.
Workers’ Compensation Insurance
Workers’ compensation is a form of insurance purchased by the employer to help protect and support their employees should any of them become injured or ill in a situation related to their job. This form of insurance can help cover the costs of medical care, treatment, rehabilitation, paid leave, or replacement income.
Employers and employees must pay towards unemployment compensation insurance. If an employee involuntarily loses their job, unemployment insurance will provide them with short-term partial income replacement.
Family and Medical Leave
The Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires that US businesses with 50 or more employees provide their workers with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave, provided the employee has been employed by the company for 12 months and has worked at least 1,250 hours before the start of the paid leave. This helps protect the job security of employees who may find themselves having to take extra personal time to recover from illness or support family members.
Employee Benefits: Utah Employee Expectations
With so little in the way of legal requirements, how can you be sure that you’re offering competitive employee benefits in Utah and meeting your workers’ expectations? Consider a few statistics:
- Utah has the highest percentage of people covered by group health insurance of any state: approximately 60% of residents.
- 89% of Utah employers offer time off for vacation.
- Approximately 32% of Utah employees work remotely.
When it comes to employee benefits, Utah stands out as an example of attractive compensation packages. But ensuring that your workforce remains loyal and engaged for years to come means taking things beyond what’s expected.
If you’re trying to get a better idea of what your employees and prospective hires value in a benefits package, why not ask them? Employee surveys supplemented by competitor research can provide the insight you need to give your workforce the non-wage compensation they crave.
After all, Utah has among the most hardworking and dedicated employees in the country — if you can give them the right employee benefits, Utah workers will be an invaluable asset in helping your business reach its goals.
Employee Benefits Are Essential to Stay Competitive. Let’s set you up for success.