Employer-sponsored benefits haven’t always been a part of the new hire process. In fact, most of the legally required employee benefits that candidates have come to appreciate as part of their onboarding process, weren’t developed until the early 1900s. Employee benefits, as we now know them, are the accumulation of different programs, research, plans, and policies, that were all put in place deliberately to improve the lives of employees and strengthen the bond between the employer and employee.
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Traditional benefits include everything from paid time off and holiday pay, life insurance, retirement benefits, and healthcare, while voluntary benefits can include everything from tuition reimbursement and stock ownership, to child care stipends. Benefits required by law include employer contributions to programs like Social Security, Medicare, and workers’ compensation.
Check out this timeline for a high-level history of how employees went from paying all benefits out-of-pocket to employer-sponsored benefit plans.