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Employee benefits refer to the types of remunerations that employees gain by virtue of their employment. While the exact scope of such benefits vary according to the policies of the different employers, some are legally required employee benefits. The provision of the law may slightly vary according to the country in question; however, in most countries, some basic employee benefits are required under the provisions of the applicable labor and related laws. For instance, in the United States, the required employee benefits include such merits as workers compensation, family and medical leave, social security and unemployment insurance. Another inclusion in the legally required employee benefits is the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act of 1985 (COBRA) benefits.
Most employers have their own combination of employee benefits that will include all of the legally required employee benefits as well as some optional ones that they will add to the mandatory. Such benefits are a crucial part of business strategies, because the right mix of employee benefits will ensure that a company is able to attract as well as retain the right employees with desirable human capital. Employers are legally mandated to give their employees up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave if they need it to take care of pressing personal problems that may include ill health or taking care of family emergencies. This only applies to those employers who have at least 50 individuals in their company, and it serves as a sort of guarantee that such employees will not find themselves without a job if they ever have to take time off to take care of enumerated personal issues.
Another inclusion in the legally required employee benefits is the COBRA benefits, something that was created with the aim of ensuring that qualifying previous employees and their dependents will continue to receive discounted health insurance even if they no longer work for that company. One of the more familiar parts of the legally required employee benefits is the workers compensation, a benefit that is aimed toward providing for workers who may have been injured on the job. The necessity for this particular required employee benefit is pertinent when it is taken into consideration that workers who become sick or injured as a consequence of work-related activities or conditions may suffer physical or mental degradation that might make it hard for them to continue to work in any meaningful capacity.