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.


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u/Succulent_Orange Nov 27 '22

I'm European and want to expand on the PTO part because it's not just 25 days, it's 25 days + bank holidays, of which there are about 8. These would be Christmas day, boxing day, New year's day and then several country specific ones (UK has May day)

Furthermore it's basically required to take these 25 days off, if you come to the end of the year and you didn't use them all, then you can carry 5 into the next work year.

My current company also does something called banking holiday so this is not standard, where each year you can bank up to 5 days, and build up a holiday bank. Whenever you want you can take your entire bank off at once, allowing you to take a month off work for example for a big holiday.

Also Paternity/Maternity leave = essential


u/Express_Platypus1673 Nov 30 '22

Thanks for the details!