Economy Slowing, but Benefits Growing

Hewitt Associates, the global management consulting and outsourcing firm, has released a survey of 1,020 major U.S. employers, showing that in spite of the recent downturn in the economy, companies are increasing their focus on providing work/life benefits to employees.

Companies surveyed included 85 percent of the Fortune 100 and 58 percent of the Fortune 500 companies.

According to the report, the programs that have experienced the most growth over the past year include:

  • On-site personal services
  • Group purchasing discounts
  • Personal/professional growth programs and stipends
  • Financial education/planning
  • Child care
  • Elder care
  • Flextime

The report showed the following benefits in place at U.S. companies:

  • Child Care Assistance - available at 91 percent of companies. Benefits include dependent care spending accounts (offered by 89 percent of employers), resource/referral services (43 percent), sick/emergency child care programs (16 percent).
  • Personal/Professional Growth Programs - available at 78 percent of companies. Benefits include education reimbursement programs (77 percent), on-site and off-site developmental seminars/workshops, and career counseling.
  • Flexible Scheduling Arrangements - available at 73 percent of companies. Benefits include flextime (58 percent), part-time employment (48 percent), work at home options (29 percent), job sharing (28 percent), compressed work weeks (21 percent), and summer hours (12 percent).
  • Casual Dress - available at 66 percent of companies. Benefits include full-time casual dress (43 percent), casual Fridays (15 percent), summer or special occasion casual dress.
  • On-Site Personal Services - available at 57 percent of companies. Benefits include ATMs, banking services, travel services, and dry cleaners.
  • Elder Care Programs - available at 49 percent of companies. Benefits include resource/referral programs (34 percent) and long term care insurance (20 percent).
  • Financial Security - available at 41 percent of companies. Benefits include financial planning and scholarship programs.
  • Group Purchasing/Discounted Purchases - available at 39 percent of companies. Benefits include reduced-price entertainment and travel, group auto insurance (24 percent), and group homeowners insurance (23 percent).
  • Adoption Benefits, including reimbursement plans - available at 32 percent of companies. The average maximum reimbursement is $3,209.

The Hewitt survey, Work and Life Benefits Provided by Major U.S. Employers in 2000, is available for $100 from Hewitt Associates, 100 Half Day Road, Lincolnshire, Illinois 60069, (847) 295-5000, or e-mail

You may like these other stories...

A recent study of lateral hiring trends in the accounting industry by the Chicago-based executive search practice the Koltin Consulting Group (KCG) has found that in the first half of 2014 firms continue to lure top talent...
Without getting into all that's been written about the jobless recovery and record high corporate profits without the accompanying hiring, there has indeed been a fundamental shift in how corporate America is working...
Read more by Rita Keller here.I recently read a tweet by my music-teacher son regarding his fifth-grade musicians: “My fifth-grade flutes and clarinets just exhaust me. They have so much energy and ask sooooo many...

Already a member? log in here.

Upcoming CPE Webinars

Sep 9
In this session we'll discuss the types of technologies and their uses in a small accounting firm office.
Sep 10
Transfer your knowledge and experience to prepare your team for the challenges and opportunities of an accounting career.
Sep 11
This webcast will include discussions of commonly-applicable Clarified Auditing Standards for audits of non-public, non-governmental entities.
Sep 24
In this jam-packed presentation Excel expert David Ringstrom, CPA will give you a crash-course in creating spreadsheet-based dashboards. A dashboard condenses large amounts of data into a compact space, yet enables the end user to easily drill down into details when warranted.