Offering Employee Benefits: The Flow-On Effects On Families

Over the years, there’s been plenty of research into the effects that a happy, healthy and stable family life has on work satisfaction, productivity, career advancement and more. However, little research has been done that looks at the effects of job satisfaction on an employee’s family dynamics – until the last few years when a range of studies have been published on the issue post-COVID.

The overwhelming results? When employees have greater work satisfaction, paired with the presence of family-supportive supervisors (or benefits that are designed to better support families), the home dynamics improve, and the family-to-work conflicts reduce. In practical terms, as a business, this means that offering employee benefits or initiatives that are designed to support families in some capacity has the potential to lead to a healthier and happier employee in more domains of their life than just their careers – the effects of which can lead to greater productivity, reduced presenteeism and absenteeism, greater morale and leadership – and much more.


Which Benefits Are Designed To Support Families?

Some of the family-supportive benefits are clear: considering paid parental leave (or topping up the government contributions), more carers leave days, and even childcare contributions if your business is big enough to have a centre in the building. Others are less obvious, such as hybrid working options, allowing a parent to work from home when a child is unable to attend school without forcing a family member to take the day off work, which may lead to lost income and financial strain.

There’s another benefit, however, that can help support employees and their families not only immediately, but for many years to come: employer aid payments. Employer aid is a periodic (often annual) financial contribution or ‘allowance’ for an employee to use on health and medical-related services and products (and is carefully set up to ensure this is the only area where the funds can be used). The payments are redeemed via a digital card on your employee’s phone at an eftpos terminal. 

Unlike ‘reactive’ health spending that is used when a person is notably sick to seek GP care or specialist services, with employer aid, your employees are free to spend the funds on proactive healthcare, consulting with professionals that can help them make changes and learn the right steps to pursue their health goals and take the best care of their health for the long-term. Not only does this inevitably have a positive impact on the health of the rest of the family, but it also doesn’t cause any additional financial strain on the family unit – with finances often being a point of contention in today’s cost of living crisis.


Practically, this can look like:

  • Consulting a nutritionist or dietitian to learn about achieving a healthy lifestyle and nutrient density across meals, whether that’s to work towards weight goals or other health goals
  • Seeing a musculoskeletal practitioner to address a minor pain or injury before it worsens and starts to impact family life
  • Working with a psychologist to discuss mental health issues or past trauma that may be affecting your family life, general life and your workplace
  • Seeing an exercise physiologist to gain the knowledge to help you achieve your fitness goals


Employer Aid For Families

A feature of employer aid that many Kiwi businesses are also taking advantage of is the ability to broaden the use of employer aid funds to the entire family. Employers who are choosing this option are recognising that a person’s overall health and well-being are very much interlinked with the health of their partner and their children. Having a partner that is struggling with illness or injury can take a great toll on us, and having sick children means we may miss work altogether, or take several chunks of time taking them to appointments to get to the cause of the issues. 

Businesses that have chosen this option are seeing rises in employee satisfaction, as well as their overall health – and feel confident that it also plays a role in their staff retention, and even the hiring process.


Want to learn more about how easy it is to support your team using employer aid? Get in touch with HealthNow today.


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