Are employee benefits on the way back?

Are employee benefits on the way back?

In the past few decades, employee benefits have been on a drastic downswing. Long gone are the days where employers offered fair and affordable benefits to their workers. Now at many businesses employees are expected to sacrifice much of their personal life just to be able to collect a paycheck. Combine that with the cost of living greatly exceeding the average employee’s wages and you have a recipe for disaster. Now, one of the nation’s largest employers is offering new benefits to their employees that somewhat harken back to previous eras.

In an attempt to retain their best employees Target recently announced increased benefits for their employees. The new benefits include paid time off for child or elder care and an expanded parental leave program. Target already paid their employees a better starting salary than WalMart and now with this new benefits package, they may also attract applicants who may not otherwise apply for retail positions.

While this may sound great in the surface, Target has been vague about some of the more important details of their new benefits. For example, while Target says that “employees will have access to up to 20 days a year of subsidized in-center or in-home care for either children or elders” those subsidies don’t come from Target but from the employee. Target hasn’t released how much that will cost one of their employees but only describes it as ‘affordable’.

However, this could be a sign of positive change for employees. If more businesses start offering more competitive benefits packages in order to attract better employees maybe will see the return of better benefits for all.