The Hidden Paycheck

Clean Talk with Rose
By Rose Galera, CEH
Hawaii Hospitality Magazine, Nov/Dec 2010

Hi Rose,
Some years ago you presented a budget workshop that briefly covered the “hidden paycheck.” You indicated that it enhanced employee morale and productivity. Given the economy today, training on the topic may be a morale booster. Please share any updates in an article.

Aloha PL,
The “hidden paycheck” information shared since the mid-1980s was and still is one of my favorite “Did You Know?” training topics. So many today are still not in the know!

What is a hidden paycheck? A hidden paycheck is the cost of benefits and perks that are either required by law, a result of employment or union negotiated contract, or employer choice to provide, that employees receive, paid for by the employer and are not fully reflected on paychecks or stubs.

Not all companies have the same benefits or perks. There are company variations. The following are examples: temporary disability insurance (TDI), unemployment contributions, workers’ compensation, FICA (Social Security, 6.2 percent), Medicare (1.45 percent), and medical insurance – all of which are required by law, as well as vacation and sick leave pay, life insurance, uniforms, laundering/dry cleaning of uniforms, meals, paid lunch break, bonus, profit sharing, retirement funds (401K) and others.

When a person questions negatively on pay rates received, being informed of the hidden paycheck will raise informative insights on an employer’s responsibilities, challenges and care of operating a business. One may not see the amount in a regular paycheck, but all that is provided and paid for as the burden rate are definite financial benefits for as long as one is employed. Depending on one’s employment status, the cost of a hidden paycheck to the employer may range from 20 percent to 60 percent or more, so a $10 hourly rate of pay may represent an additional amount of $2 to $6 per hour. Consider the following questions: 1) Would I as an employee be willing to pay for the hidden benefits that I receive from my employer on my own? 2) Do I know what the real dollar cost factors that are in my hidden paycheck?

More often than not, good things come in “hidden” packages! Happy Holidays!

Mahalo, Rose

Posted in Clean Talk Columns.

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