When we enter the job market, we might see the term “benefits” for permanent jobs. These can include “dental’ or “healthcare” – and even sometimes company cars. Incredible benefits are no longer as widespread as they used to be, given the economy and the competition for jobs. Generally speaking, we tend to see big benefits for those who are more senior or specialised, in bigger companies.
While some aspects of employment are mandated by law, others – for example bonuses – are decided upon by the employee. However, in South Africa, there is an ongoing issue when it comes to how businesses negotiate benefits and contracts. When we enter the job market, we should be aware of this.
Who cares about teeth?
One common benefit we might spot in jobs is “dental coverage”. While many of us might not blink at companies covering “health”, we might wonder about the concern for teeth. After all, why would a company care about your teeth’s condition? Yet, what we’re ignoring here is that dental health can be costly.
As Bankrate notes (though they’re speaking about America): “the real benefit is being covered for bigger-ticket procedures, such as fillings, root canals and crowns.” We still might wonder why a business would cover this – but then we must recognise if something happens to an employee, a business suffers. After all, it means they will be without an employee and one who is unable to take care of themselves. Though the chances are not high that every employee will require expensive dental procedures, it is better to be prepared for the few that might.
Thus, instead of viewing dental cover as “teeth”, we should rather view it under the general umbrella of health.
Benefitting employees and employers
Though this might appear to be a cynical outlook, no business decision is made without it benefiting the business somehow. After all, a business has to survive in order to keep paying its employees. Without a business earning well, there’s no way to pay the salaries of its staff – many who have families dependent on their earnings.
And the benefits go beyond even the company, as an IOL report from 2013
“Edward Kieswetter, chief executive of Alexander Forbes, says that if employers introduce proper employee benefits, not only will their companies gain, but so will the economy, primarily because employees will have less debt and will save at a higher rate.”
When entering the job market, we must be aware of all these aspects if we hope to secure a better future for ourselves.