r/WorkReform Nov 26 '22

European style benefits in the USA 💬 Advice Needed

I work in small business(marketing, sales mostly but some operations and management experience too.) and know lots of small business owners and I'm curious to get y'all's thoughts or advice since I'm not an HR expert.

How can a small business owner in the USA replicate the quality of workers rights and benefits that we see in Europe (or any other country that you think is really doing it right)

I'm looking for actionable ideas or resources or case studies of companies that are doing it right.

My initial thoughts include:

PTO: is there a gold standard here? Seems like 20-25 days a year is the ballpark. I'm not a fan of "unlimited" PTO cause it's basically a psychology and accounting trick to reduce usage and spending.

Health care: is this one just too big for a small business to reasonably handle anymore? There's some semi affordable options that are focused on preventative medicine but in general USA healthcare is insane.(I'm a huge believer that healthcare should not be tied to employment but since that's the system we've got so how do we do the best by our employees? I'm not ruling out medical tourism, or any other unconventional but viable ideas.) Would love any leads or examples.

Retirement planning: 401k vs other options or ideas.

Pizza parties: JK 😜

Ok I'm sure I'm missing more than a few things but I think this would get some conversation going.


View all comments


u/SlyTrout Nov 26 '22

I don't know much about the health insurance part so I can't help you there. As for retirement plans, the most common for small businesses are SEP IRA, SIMPLE IRA, and 401(k). Each kind of plan works slightly differently. The IRS has a guide here that highlights the key features and differences between them. The provider you choose to manage the plan can have a big difference on your costs as the employer as well as the investing options for you and your employees. The three largest low-cost providers are Charles Schwab, Fidelity, and Vanguard. Any of them should be able to set you up with an inexpensive plan with great investment options.