Nontraditional Benefits Rise in Workplace

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There is a growing trend today for businesses to augment their core benefits packages with “wellness and convenience offerings,” according to a study released by the Cable and Telecommunications Human Resources Association.

The online survey, conducted in spring 2007, polled 16 companies: Advance/Newhouse Communications, A&E Television Networks, Cablevision Systems, Charter Communications, Comcast, Cox Communications, C-SPAN, Discovery Communications, ESPN, Hubbard Broadcasting, Scientific Atlanta, Scripps Networks, Time Warner Cable, Turner Broadcasting System, The Weather Channel and Yankees Entertainment & Sports Network.

The survey revealed that 56% of participating companies offered employees an on-site gym, cafeteria or daycare.

Other benefits included an on-site credit union or ATM; car detailing; wellness centers; laundry pickup and dropoff; car-repair pickup and dropoff; DVD rentals; and concierge services to help employees find the best deals on consumer products.

The study also found that 69% of companies offered a cash reward (from $100-$1,000 per hire) to employees referring an applicant who is hired by the company; and 44% of companies provided adoption assistance or reimbursement.

While none of those surveyed provided separate elder care plans, the CTHRA predicted a growth in the popularity of such plans in light of the aging baby-boomer population.

As for rising healthcare costs, all but one of the companies surveyed increased employees’ share of medical premiums in 2007, and many cited increased co-pays. Prevention has also become a priority, with 63% of companies subsidizing wellness or preventive care plans and many offering on-site vaccinations.

All companies surveyed provided the core benefits of paid time off, paid holidays, medical insurance and a 401K plan with a company match on employee contributions.

In addition, 63% of companies offered life insurance, accidental death and dismemberment insurance, a dental plan, a vision plan and long-term disability insurance.

More than one-half of the companies also offered tuition reimbursement and short-term disability insurance.

The CTHRA plans to release the results of two more studies -- "The Annual Compensation Survey" and "Human Capital Metrics Survey Highlights" -- at its Achieving HR Excellence Symposium in Atlanta Oct. 23.

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