Minimum Core Benefit Standards – A Growing Trend in Global Benefits Strategy

Having a global benefits strategy may include a country wide harmonized approach with plan design reflecting market prevalence and norms. 

Having a global benefits strategy may include a country wide harmonized approach with plan design reflecting market prevalence and norms. The definition of market median varies greatly between countries, often creating equity differences in eligibility and access to coverage for employees from different countries but working for the same company. Some leading global companies are addressing these gaps by evolving their strategy to include an enterprise-wide minimum core benefits strategy.

What’s an Employer’s Business Case for a Minimum Core Benefit Strategy?

Here are common reasons why large employers consider implementing global minimum core benefits:

  • Global enterprise. There is a desire for some degree of consistency in key benefits offered. In promoting health and well-being among a company’s workforce, it is likely that what is important to employees crosses country lines.
  • Global mobility. The need to move employees around the world is increasing and their willingness or ability to relocate depends on the adequacy of benefits, especially medical coverage.
  • Equity across employees. In truly global corporations, employees may routinely work on cross-national teams, so it is important to minimize differences in what is offered from country to country.
  • Protection against catastrophic financial loss. Gaps in or lack of benefits such as life insurance or critical illness coverage can leave an employee’s family in financial ruin, which some companies consider unacceptable.
  • Alignment with company mission, values and brand priorities. If a company is committed to ‘being a great place to work’ supporting highly productive employees, benefits should support this aspiration. From the company brand point of view, a corporation with a community health agenda or product offerings in their portfolio, should assure that its own employees are not vulnerable in certain areas.
  • Align with company’s health and well-being strategy. Employers invest a lot of resources into global well-being strategies and strive for employee engagement. Yet if the underlying benefits have gaps or exclusions, the commitment to a culture of health may not be realized.
  • Social Responsibility. Globally social determinants can be a correlator to health. Offering minimum core benefit standards can help level the playing field among a company’s global workforce. Whether viewed as an equity issue or a business imperative to attract, retain and move talent, some core minimum coverage simply makes good sense.

For more information, Business Group members may review these minimum core benefits resources: