Pay and Benefits

They're not simply a means of rewarding employees for their time and performance anymore.

First published on Thursday, Jun 04, 2020

Last updated on Friday, Jun 14, 2024

Competitive pay and employee benefits are vital for keeping your staff happy, and attracting new talent.

A good pay structure doesn’t just include basic wages anymore – they can include benefits and bonuses which are on offer. Employee benefits are arguably more important for improving staff morale, far more than how much your staff get paid.

In this article, you will learn about the different pay structures you can offer your employees; and the benefits you are legally required to provide.

Designing a pay structure

The following pay scale structures below are all viable structures that are used by many companies. Choosing a pay scale structure depends on their business needs. Some pay structures can include:

  • Salary pay structure: Basic pay and any variables including bonuses, overtime and unsociable hours pay.
  • Grade pay structure: Pay based on qualifications, experience, skills, and career length.
  • Commission-only pay structure: Basic pay with any added commission made from sales or performance.
  • Skill-based pay structure: A pay system that determines your employees pay based on their specific skillset.

You should mention any bonus schemes or commission available when interviewing candidates. This will show clear progression opportunities and make the job more attractive.

Undertake pay reviews once or twice a year to make sure your pay is competitive. And make sure your progression and bonus scheme is achievable for your staff. If not, staff can become unmotivated, and might leave your company.

What are employee benefits?

Money isn’t the only way to motivate people. Non-financial benefits are often seen as more important to not only motivating people, but also improving staff morale.

Common employee benefits

Employee health benefits, including healthcare spending accounts are a common offering. There are a variety of other benefits that you can offer to create an attractive package.

Some employee benefits can include:

  • Training and career development.
  • Additional leave allowances.
  • Providing food, such as healthy snacks.
  • Fun activities, like nights out or dress down Friday.
  • Flexible working arrangements.

Employer benefits required by law

Some employee benefits are required by law in Canada. They are:

  • Pensions.
  • Paid time-off.
  • Employment insurance.
  • Eye exams – every 24 months as part of a healthcare benefit.

These required benefits must be included in the employment contract.

Do employee benefits differ across Canada?

In Ontario, British Columbia and Alberta mandatory benefits for employees are the same. The following benefits must be offered:

  • Employment insurance (employees and employers contribute).
  • Leave.
  • Paid time off.
  • Pensions.

How do benefits improve employee morale?

80% of employees who claim to be satisfied with their job benefits also rank their job happiness as extremely high (ERBI 2018). This surely isn’t a coincidence and something you must consider for your business.

Employee benefits and larger benefit packages will increase the work rate and output from your employees. By making performance-based financial incentives available for your staff, it’ll encourage them to work harder and improve morale.

Non-financial based incentives can also be attractive to your employees too. Flexible working, employee recognition, post-work drinks and dinners – they all go a long way towards improving employee morale.

How to offer benefits to employees

You should be clear with your staff regarding benefits and privileges. For example, an early finish on a Friday if they come in early on a Wednesday. These rules need to be laid out clearly in the employee contracts.

You need to specify what benefits are being offered and the rules your staff need to abide by to gain access to them.

There are several common benefits that qualify for an employee benefits deduction. To put it simply, some employee benefits are tax-deductible. They must primarily benefit the employee, and can include: life insurance premiums, travel expenses, accommodation, or company vehicles (Government of Canada).

Get help with your pay structure and employee benefits packages today with BrightHR

If you need any assistance with your pay and employee benefits, BrightHR has a range of tools which will help simplify offering employee benefits. Making sure you don’t lose your staff and attractive the best on offer.

Our payroll navigator will help you to manage your employee pay, creating payroll reports in seconds.

Contact us on 1 888 220 4924 or book a demo online today.

Janine Lennon

Head of Payroll Services

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