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The costs of offering domestic partner benefits can only be analysed if the company has a clear definition of a domestic partner. In the domestic partner package, the employee and the partner must be unmarried adults and are competent to contract. They must also not be related by blood. They must be in a close and committed relationship with each other. The employer should offer: health insurance, death and bereavement leave and also provide family and medical leave. The costs of offering these packages are minimal compared to their value to the company.
The costs incurred include addition expenses when offering health insurance. In health insurance package the domestic partner and the employee are both covered under a health insurance cover which is serviced by the employers/ the company. The participation rate for domestic partner plans tends to be very low. Frequently, the partners of unmarried employees have insurance through their own employers. Sometimes, too, gay and lesbian employees do not want to make their relationships known to others for fear of discrimination or to maintain personal privacy. Perhaps most significantly, pursuant to Internal Revenue Service Rulings, health insurance coverage provided to the unmarried partner of an employee is considered taxable income, which can be a significant expense to the employee. In death and bereavement leave package benefit and family and medical leave, the company incurs little costs in employing another employee to stand in place of the employee who has taken a leave in order to attend to the family issues. Hewitt and Associates is an international firm of consultants and actuaries which works with employee benefit and compensation programs states that cost of these packages increases range from 0.5 to 1. 5%.
The value of offering the domestic partner benefit package to employees revolves around the output of the employees as a result of motivation. Employees can be easily motivated by the extra benefits offered by the company and therefore they will provide quality work and hence increased output of the company. It is thus evident that the costs of these benefits programmes are outweighed by the value they add to the company.
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