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Posted by on Apr 2016 in All Stories, Features, Member Support, Slider | 0 comments

Employee health benefits bring competitive edge for recruitment

Two women at work talking at a table.Access to health benefits can impact a person’s long-term health and wellness, but there are consequences for employers and organizations as well. A recent ONPHA report found benefits programs not only give employers an advantage in recruiting new staff, they can also reduce staff turnover.

According to research from the HR Council, when staff don’t have access to health benefits, they are less likely to report being satisfied with their jobs and more likely to be searching for a new position outside of their organization.

More and more, employers are looking beyond the paycheque, and thinking about the other factors that can make their organizations an attractive place to work. Health benefits, in large part, contribute to what many job seekers consider ‘decent work,’ a concept coined by the International Labour Organization and explored in an ongoing research initiative by the Mowat Centre and the Ontario Non-Profit Network.

Decent work means “opportunities for people to obtain decent and productive work in conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity.” The ONN and Mowat Centre’s research has looked at how non-profits as employers can work to better achieve this vision.

The research cites “unpredictable cash flow,” as the main factor for a large proportion of non-profit staff (particularly contract or part-time staff) missing out on retirement and health benefits.

ONPHA’s recent research takes a closer look at the state of salaries and benefits in Ontario’s non-profit housing sector. Our 2015 Non-Profit Housing Compensation and Benefits Study found that while most member staff (around 90 per cent) receive some form of health benefits, there are some noticeable gaps:

  • 46 per cent of property managers don’t receive health care / major medical insurance
  • 25 per cent of non-profit housing employees don’t receive dental benefits
  • 22 per cent don’t receive prescription drug coverage
  • 31 per cent don’t have access to an employee assistance plan (EAP)

In our sector and others, it’s casual, contract and part-time staff who are less likely to receive health coverage and benefits. These same groups also tend to have lower salaries and wages and less employment stability.

Of the more than 2,000 staff covered by ONPHA’s 2015 Salary Survey, almost nine per cent were casual part-time or contract staff, with another 23 per cent in permanent part-time positions. Adding health benefits to a compensation package can be a cost effective way of attracting non-profit professionals to your organization. While these plans can seem expensive at first glance, purchasing through ONPHA’s Best Deals program can reduce the cost considerably.

As a sector, ONPHA’s membership houses a large portion of Ontario’s most vulnerable residents. Safeguarding and promoting tenant health and well-being is often part of that job description – but as employers, we have the opportunity to set an example by creating a culture of protecting the health and wellness of our staff.

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