POSTED: February 15 2024
Eligibility for Family in Employee Benefits
Taking a closer look.

Exploring Eligibility for Family in Employee Benefits

Lucy Irvine, advo’s Head of Employee Benefits, gives an overview at the increasing trend of including family members on staff benefit packages.

In a significant shift toward fostering a more inclusive and family-friendly work environment, companies are increasingly examining the feasibility of extending employee benefits to include family members. This move is seen as a response to the evolving dynamics of the modern workplace and a recognition of the importance of work-life balance.

One of the primary benefits under consideration for expansion is healthcare such as cash plans, private medical and dental insurance. While employees have traditionally been the sole beneficiaries of such coverage, employers are now considering the option to include partners and children, who might otherwise need to purchase separate coverage.

In a time of financial uncertainty, employers may be concerned about the potential increase in cost to the business. This is where careful consideration should be given to the various options available; striking the right balance between budget, benefit to the employer and the employee.

It is best advice to have clear eligibility criteria in place with employees and the benefit providers for such cover. It may be that length of service or staff grading could determine when and which benefits are offered to family members. If rulings are clear from the offset, it is easier to proactively manage and ensure that the benefit is made available at the right time, to the right people.

It may also not be feasible for the employer to cover the cost of the dependants as a business, instead allowing them to be added to the employees policy via payroll deductions. Some providers will even allow employees to make the payment directly via direct debit, resulting in no additional administration for employers.

Whichever option is preferred, a robust process is essential for effective management of employee benefits.

advo’s advisory team work with our clients to establish qualifying criteria for employees and any family members at the point of inception of benefits. Costs can be confirmed ahead of each enrolment, either for payroll purposes or to provide the employee with the relevant details to make an informed decision.

For our multi-service clients who also have HR and / or Payroll services via advo, complete automation will take place from the moment an employee joins the payroll – removing the administrative burden, ensuring successful enrolment, payroll deductions and clear communication for employees and their family members.

Please reach out if you would like to discuss in more detail with one of our Advisers.