Top Tips for Global Benefits Management in Your HRMS

Benefits are found in a variety of types and flavours around the world. They are often a large part of an employer's costs but vary country to country and continent to continent. With this in mind, Is it possible to implement benefits management within your HRMS? Do you even want to capture all of the data, is the potential ROI a positive one?

Define the Benefits Case and Value of Storing This Data

Benefits are often a very local concept. While some employee paid plans such as life insurance may be similar internationally, global locations will often store other items such as childcare vouchers, company cars, or a variety of allowances that they consider to be ‘benefits’. What is the driver to store the data internationally? Is it for costing purposes, to promote standardization, streamline vendor interfaces or to provide global visibility? Rather than creating a patchwork of benefits management here and there in your HRMS, it is essential to create your own strategy for why the data should be stored in the HRMS.

Recognize Local Benefits Management May Not Fit into Your HRMS Footprint

A standard US benefit program such as health or dental will be very different in other parts of the world. Some countries such as Sweden and India offer universal government provided healthcare that is paid for by citizens via taxation. If you attempt to store details in the HRMS for employees in these countries, it will look the same across the country. Other countries, such as Germany, may offer a public/private mixture, with deductions happening via payroll, so a multitude of plans may need to be set up in the HRMS as an employee can choose any.

If you have a strategy and can be creative in your use of the HRMS, benefits data can provide a more complete picture of your employee landscape and costs.

In other countries such as the UK, government legislation requires that employees of acquired companies may keep their levels of benefit coverage, so you may need to set up non-standard options for such populations. Further, on a more complex note, a UK company may offer private health coverage as a taxable benefit provided by the company. An employee may qualify based on grade for a certain level of private health, e.g. family coverage, but may choose to only take single coverage, thus qualifying for a lower taxable benefit. All of these configurations may challenge your HRMS benefits management functionality, especially if it is a US-focused application, so be sure to compare the global capabilities of HRMS products.

Benefits can be a complex topic when it comes to HRMS data storage, if you have a strategy and can be creative in your use of the HRMS, benefits data can provide a more complete picture of your employee landscape and costs.

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Heather Batyski

About the author…

Heather is an experienced HRMS analyst, consultant and manager. Having worked for companies such as Deloitte, Franklin Templeton and Oracle, Heather has first-hand experience of many HRMS solutions including Peoplesoft and Workday.

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Heather Batyski