Recruiting and retaining staff has always been a challenge for small business owners. More often than not, money isn’t the biggest problem for potential employees; it is the benefits that they lose when moving from a larger employer that can be a sticking point during salary negotiations.
Relief for this particular problem has been announced by Standard Bank, which already protects more than 240 businesses and provides a funeral and disability benefit for almost 3 000 workers to Small and Medium-sized enterprises (SME’s) that have accounts with the bank. To date, the benefit scheme has already paid out R1.5 million in worker claims. Now, says Felix Kagura – Head of Long Term Insurance Propositions, Standard Bank, the initial success of the solution has led to the bank extending its offer to all SME’s- whether or not they are Standard Bank clients.
“By their very nature, SMEs attract people who wish to work in smaller businesses. They enjoy being part of a company where there is a possibility of growing their roles as the company gains market share. In many small enterprises, colleagues work closely together and become part of an ‘extended family’ sharing work and social activities. Caring for their needs is therefore important as it increases the bond between an employer and their employees and helps keep employees loyal to the company.”
The reality is, however, that many SMEs do not have the financial resources and scale to offer a range of additional benefits to workers.
“Recognising this, we have developed a solution that has three components. Together, these three features help cover the immediate expenses that occur when a breadwinner working in an SME dies or suffers a disabling injury. The employer files a claim and the employee’s family are provided with a helping financial hand when they most need it.”
The three main benefits provided towards employees are:
- A contribution of R 15 000 towards covering funeral expenses.
- Death and disability cover worth R 100 000.
- Payment of R 3 000 over three months to assist the family with expenses.
Once a company claim on behalf of a staff member has been validated, the payment of the benefit takes place.
“For an employee of an SME, there is no better way for their value to the company to be expressed. For the employer, the benefit scheme tells the employee that they are part of a family and for the work they do,” says Kagura.