Running head: TOTAL REWARDS

Total Rewards

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Total Rewards

Just like any other citizen, employees do have their rights and privileges. The Equal Pay Act, the Family Medical Leave Act, the Employee Retirement Income Security Act, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act, amongst many others, are some of the laws that protect the employee from any exploitation and unfair treatment (Rogers & Marcotte, 2010). On the employer’s side, these acts might serve as a disadvantage or advantage to the business depending on how the employer handles them. The best thing for employees to do is to first familiarize themselves with these acts in order to know how to enact these laws in the business.

The Equal Pay Act is a law that ensures that everybody doing the same amount of work, requiring similar skills and working under the same conditions is paid equally no matter the gender. This is a motivator to the employee. They are motivated to work harder and aim for the same positions as the opposite gender for they are assured that the one getting the particular position will get applicable pay and benefits no matter the gender. As an example, more women now than ever before are working hard and performing well as supervisors, managers, directors, chief executives and even presidents as they know that there will be no discrimination in terms of pay.

The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) enables the employees to be hopeful that they will still earn an income even after retirement. Employees are able to work with a more settled conscience and are therefore more productive as compared to those employees with no retirement income security (Rogers & Marcotte, 2010). This retirement income security includes pensions and health covers. In most cases, there are health complications that come with age. Such health problems can be taken care of by professional doctors as they are covered through these plans. To the employer, the employees’ productivity is advantageous as their concentration is in performing their assigned tasks rather than doing other additional work elsewhere in order to take care of their retirement.

The Family and Medical Leave Act is a major advantage as it is a motivator to the employee. According to the act, an eligible employee may take go on leave for up to three months within a twelve-month period in order to take care of a sick family member, give birth, take care of an adopted child or recuperate, if he has health problems/complications. Most employees lose their concentration or have less productivity if they are sick or they have close family members who are sick. Giving them adequate time off in order to recuperate is important because they often come back to work with the full concentration needed and tend to give their best. In case of any loss of a family member even after taking care of them, they are able to come back to work after adequate time off. In the case of mothers who have given birth, the leave is needed in order to facilitate recovery from the process of giving birth (WorldatWork, 2007).

The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act protects the employee’s medical cover even after he/she has moved to another job. This serves as a motivator as the employee knows that his/her medical cover is protected at all times and as long as they do their part in the health plan. The act also requires that there be an established way of standardizing electronic care dealings and national identifiers for givers, insurance plans dealing with health, and employers. Some of the advantages are that a patient has the right to privacy, his/her records should be well secured, and he/she must be consulted before decisions are made. With all these benefits, an employee who is also a patient can work without worrying that any of his/her medical information will be disclosed to other parties that might even jeopardize his/her career. For example, an employer cannot be told about the HIV status of an employee without the employee’s consent. In this way, an employee is able to work freely and confidently without worrying that their health conditions will be disclosed or that they will get sick and have no money to get medical attention (WorldatWork, 2011).

HIPAA and the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act almost serve similar purposes. The most beneficial aspect of the latter act is that insurance health plans in the private and the public sectors can cover employees who already have health problems. This major benefit allows even those employees who had health complications before getting their current jobs have medical cover. As in other cases, it is an advantage to the employee as he/she is able to put their maximum concentration in their work. If there are no other major work challenges, employees stay longer in such working conditions as compared to other employees with no such covers.

There are advantages that an employer experiences due to these acts. For example, the satisfied employees bring forth good results. These acts legally protect the employees from any exploitation or unfair treatment in the course of their work (Worldat Work, 2007). In this way, the employees keep their productivity constant or better still, they improve. This is good for the employer/the business owner. Implementing these requirements is quite expensive and hectic for any particular business. However, it reduces the employee turnover if other factors are considered. High employee turnover is an expense to any business and it is not good for a company’s image. Another obvious factor that comes with implementing these requirements is that the business will be free from court settlements/disputes. Court cases are not good for any business. They are costly, time-consuming and spoil the business image.

As there are advantages, there are disadvantages that come with the implementation of these employee legal requirements. As mentioned, earlier, they are quite costly and hectic on the side of the business. It is the responsibility of the business to find which plans will be less costly but still be of benefit to the employees. Dissatisfied employees bring dissatisfying results. In some worse cases, these same dissatisfied employees may end up taking the business to court or mobilizing strikes. All these are negative influences to any business. In some other worse cases, failure to follow these may result in closure of the business. In such cases, it becomes a loss to the business owners, shareholders, investors, and the employees, especially those who have no other source of income.

Consequently, it is only advisable that an employer implements the required laws in order to satisfy the employees and to be on the right side of the law. As stated earlier, failure to follow these legal requirements is an advantage to both the employer and the employee. On the other hand, following the required regulations is a benefit to both the employer and the employee (Graham, Roth & Dugan, 2008).

 

 

References

Graham, M. D., Roth, T. A., & Dugan, D. (2008). Effective executive compensation: Creating a total rewards strategy for executives. New York: AMACOM/American Management Association.

Rogers, S., & Marcotte, S. (2010). Communicating total rewards. Scottsdale: WorldatWork Press.

World at Work (2011). Total Rewards, Compensation, Benefits and Work Life. Retrieved from http://www.worldatwork.org/waw/aboutus/html/aboutus-whatis.html

WorldatWork (Organization). (2007). The WorldatWork handbook of compensation, benefits & total rewards: A comprehensive guide for HR professionals. Hoboken, N.J: John Wiley & Sons.

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