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How HR Leaders Can Ensure Hourly Employee Equity

Hourly employees and salaried ones both perform essential tasks for your business. But salaried employees often have better perks and benefits than hourly employees at the same company. Ensuring hourly employee equity is a critical task for HR leaders – here’s how to ensure that your organization is not only compensating these workers fairly but also treating them equitably. 

Offer Flexible Options 

One of the biggest disparities between hourly and salaried workers is access to flexible work options. Flexible options can include the ability to choose when they work, such as a compressed workweek or flexible hours to allow for work-life balance. It can also include remote or hybrid work options. 

Hourly workers tend to have less access to these options, and that can be unfair. To ensure hourly employee equity, be sure to consider allowing some or all of your hourly workers to have flexibility in when and where they work, as their roles allow.   

This equitable approach is good for retention rates as well – the top reason hourly employees leave their jobs is a lack of schedule empowerment, and 59% would leave a job for the same reason in the future. Treating all employees equally encourages your hourly workers to stay, and in a challenging hiring environment, this is an important benefit. 

Balance PTO Availability 

Salaried employees typically have paid time off, such as sick leave and vacation time, built into their compensation. But often, hourly employees do not – they’re only paid for the hours they work, so their time off for illness and rest is unpaid. 

That is a significant disparity. Not only does it mean hourly employees are more likely to come to work when ill because they don’t want to lose out on income, but it also means they’re less likely to reap the benefits of time off to rest and relax. 

Making sure that all workers have the same access to paid time off helps increase hourly employee equity. And it improves the financial standing as well as the health and wellbeing of your hourly workers as well. 

Access the Same Benefits 

While salaried employees tend to have benefits like matching retirement plan contributions, health plan options, and dental coverage, hourly workers lack those benefits at many companies. 

For example, if your company has salaried employees at the corporate headquarters in positions such as finance and operations, and front-line workers who deal with customers and are paid hourly, there may be a significant difference in the benefits offered to both kinds of workers. 

Your salaried workers could have a 401(k) match and full healthcare benefits, while your hourly workers need to pay for their own healthcare and don’t receive the same match. To increase hourly employee equity, you should consider making some or all of those benefits available to everyone. 

Ensure Perks Match 

Perks can seem small, but they can add up to significant disparities in the workplace between salaried and hourly workers. 

Do you have free coffee or free parking in the offices where salaried employees work, but not hourly ones? Or offer a summer outing for your salaried employees, but no similar paid time to have fun and bond for your hourly people?

Remedying these imbalances and making sure you offer matching or similar perks increases hourly employee equity. Even if the perks seem small, the intent and effort to reduce disparities can help your hourly workers feel they’re being treated equally. 

Looking for other ways to create a more equitable hiring process and workplace? Cangrade can help