There are four types of Income Protection plans: workers’ compensation, disability, life insurance and unemployment benefits. Two are mandated by the Federal government (workers’ compensation and unemployment insurance) but are administered by the states, with various provisions and differing state to state requirements. Employers take the primary responsibility for paying for these two programs through premiums and taxes but employees and government can also fund these programs. Short and Long Disability and Life Insurance are provided by the employer voluntarily.
Questions to answer:
Workers’ Compensation is a no-fault insurance program that covers workers in a job-related accident or for a job-related illness. This is the case even if the worker is careless and has unsafe behaviors causing the accident or illness. At the same time employers who allow such unsafe behaviors to occur (or may even motivate such behaviors through incentive programs that emphasize speed over safety) have limited liability for the consequences. In these cases parties who are primarily responsible for accidents/illness are protected and those who are more conscientious suffer. Should changes be made to the program to solve that problem? If so, what changes would you recommend? If not, why not?
As you think about Worker’s Compensation, the benefits, the structure and the issues that confront it, provide 3 or 4 HR opportunities that can help alleviate or lessen the problems for an organization?
Why do employers offer disability insurance to employees, especially when many times the coverage is heavily subsidized or the employee is not required to contribute at all?
Does just providing short term disability insurance and limiting the liability to 26 weeks seem a more reasonable approach than providing unlimited long-term disability benefits? Why or why not?
From your perspective, list and explain 3 or 4 advantages as well as 3 or 4 disadvantages of an employer offering life insurance to employees as a benefit?
Most employers lay off employees for economic reasons. Economists now generally agree that laid off employees with extended Unemployment Benefits are less likely to try to find work until their benefits have almost expired. Do you agree? If so why? If not, why not?
In your opinion what responsibility, if any, should an employer have to support those employees it terminates? Provide 3 or 4 reasons for that responsibility or alternatively, reasons why there is no need to be responsible.
In many countries income protection benefits are run by the government and supported by taxes on citizens and businesses.
What 3 or 4 arguments would support, as well as reject, income protection benefits being provided through the Federal Government as they are in other countries?