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November 2018  Volume 16, Number 11        

Newest Benefit Offerings Focus on Pets and Health

Employers who want to attract the best talent are going beyond traditional benefits and looking at employee needs. With millennials accounting for half of the worldwide pet owners and their growing interest in health concerns, it may not be surprising that two new benefits are "pawternity" leave and stem cell storage.


Pawternity allows employees to spend time taking care of their new pets to help them adjust to new surroundings. Time off can range from paid leave to the opportunity to work from home.

Some companies also allow employees to bring their pets to work.

Before adopting any of these benefits, ensure you get legal advice and talk to your human resource department. For example, should you grant paid or unpaid time off, for which events and for what pets?

Another option: you could adopt a "bucket leave" policy which includes all paid time off so that the employee can use it for any situation, even the adoption or death of a pet.

Also, check with your insurance broker concerning liability if you decide to allow pets at work. Pets can cause injuries or allergies.

Stem Cell Storage

The tech industry is an early adopter of providing stem cell storage. The idea behind stem cell storage is to keep healthy stem cells to treat certain diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's. The catch is that science hasn't yet found a way to use the cells to treat these diseases. Scientists still are researching the use of stem cells. And for diseases that are treated using stem cells, such as blood cancers, most people don't need to use their own.

The stem cells are gathered through a bone marrow collection procedure. Employers who offer this benefit must pay the storage fee until the employee quits or gets fired.

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In this issue:

This Just In ... Possible Changes Ahead for Employers and 401(k) Plans

Taking Away the Barriers in the Workforce to Improved Mental Health

Employee Student Loan Assistance Enters the Retirement Arena

Optional No More — The Growing Popularity of Voluntary Benefits

Newest Benefit Offerings Focus on Pets and Health



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