Creative Benefits to Ask for when Negotiating Your Contract

flying-buddahWorking in an economic period where cutbacks are no longer the words of non-profits, and turnover is sky high, employers are paying on average 40% of an annual salary to interview, hire, and replace employees who are either let go, or walk out. This means that benefits are at a premium, highly coveted, and not easily given away. So when you are negotiating your employment contract, either for first time hire, or renewal, maybe suggest one or more of these to your employer.

Transit Pass

Companies can provide you with bus tickets and transit passes every month in compensation for other missing benefits. In reality, it is not an expense for the employer, however it helps to remove a heavy burden from yourself. Just be sure to negotiate the number of zones!

12% In Lieu of Benefits

Perhaps the benefits plan at the agency is geared towards long term disability leave and extended benefits. But these may not be the things you need. Negotiate receiving 12% increase in wages while opting out on formal benefits. For part time workers, the typical in lieu of benefits plan is 4%. This is best suited to full time workers.

Cost of Living Wage Increase, minimum $1k every 9 months

The cost of living goes up, and wages drag lifelessly behind. This is a good opportunity to pre-negotiate your wage increases. A common negotiation is $1k every 9 months, minimum. Of course, your job capacity may impact this. Typically this is for supervisor positions and managers. However, be creative.

Flex Time

Flex time is fabulous for employees who don’t mind kicking back every second Friday. Usually, an employee will work a half hour later every day, and take fifteen minutes off of their lunch break, in return they can get every second friday off with pay. Or, you can simply negotiate to work an hour more each day, so an 8hr day, as opposed to 7hrs and so forth.

Work Out of Office

Some employers, dependent on the work you do, will let you work from home, or once you check in at the office, for a change of atmosphere, wander down to the local coffee shop and do your online paperwork there. It’s not a bad option for people who have a hectic office environment, or perhaps too mundane, and desperately need a change of scenery.

A Day Off With Pay on Your Birthday

Enough said, right?

Mental Health Days

This was originally introduced in social services when front line workers felt as though if they were to see one more client, they would become a client at the agency themselves. Mental Health days are typically unpaid, however they are a great get out of jail free card. Why? Because you do not have to lie about anything. When you call in to work, as opposed to that fake cough into the phone because if you see one more invoice you’re going to scream, you simply tell your boss, I’m taking a Mental Health Day, and no questions asked. You can negotiate a certain amount paid by your boss, perhaps 1 Mental Health Day every 2 months or something of the sort.

Emergency Fund

You have the ability to negotiate with your boss, as a part of benefits, that they put aside a small percentage of money every pay cheque that can be used if lets say, you fall on tough times, or become suddenly ill. Recommended percentages are 4-9% per cheque.

Botox Leave

This may sound a bit crazy, but after a firm in Britain had employees taking a day off all within the same week before Christmas break, the executive staff learned that the employees were getting their beauty regiments done, (spa, haircuts, mani’s/pedi’s, and botox). So once they learned that the bulk of the staff was actually making appointments for botox, they dubbed it, “Botox Leave”, where everyone could have one paid day off before Christmas (date decided by management, and taken by everyone at once), so everyone could become beautiful for Christmas and not worry about lying to the boss for the real reason they were taking time away.



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