Around this time each year, we report on all the promised and potential new changes and updates to payroll requirements. 2023 is no exception, and it's quickly approaching. We compiled the following extensive list of items that may result in some payroll changes for your organization. We understand that this is a very long list to review, but we hope that the annual update provides a valuable reference guide for your organization. You might start thinking about these so that you can act sooner than later.
Who is dreaming about the days of getting back to a normal version of crazy? You know, kids back in school, too many scheduled social gatherings, a day packed with back-to-back in-person meetings, watercooler talk with co-workers, sporting events to cheer at, too many toilet paper options at the grocery store, and bumper-to-bumper traffic in the morning and afternoon. Okay, maybe not so much the traffic.
These are definitely uncharted times that we are going through. It’s such a strange feeling to take that pause that keeps our family members, friends, co-workers, and even total strangers a little safer by staying distant from them.
With all the constant, fast-breaking news pertaining to COVID-19, you may not have heard that yesterday, President Trump signed the “phase two” stimulus legislation. The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) provides paid leave for certain workers, enhances unemployment insurance, and ensures free testing for infection by the Coronavirus. Unemployment eligibility requirements have been eased by waiving the work search requirements as well as the waiting week before benefits can be claimed. This measure also helps take care of small businesses (those with fewer than 500 employees) by providing reimbursement through tax credits for offering the qualified paid leaves.
Following his a very high overview of the paid leave benefits. For additional, detailed information, we encourage you to refer to the H.R. 6201 Act passed by Congress.
Employee benefits has to be one of the industries with the highest number of acronyms. Things like ACA, COBRA, ERISA, HIPAA, STD, LTD, HSA, HRA, FSA, EOB, and so many more are common in conversations. Most HR professionals need a cheat sheet just to talk the language. Imagine trying to help employees understand each of the terms, not to mention understanding and administering the compliance and regulations that go with each of these.
Our knowledge is your knowledge! That is the common expectation in the HR world, right? It's all about sharing resources, training, updates, and knowledge with employees, clients, and even other human resource professionals in our network. We do it because everyone in this role knows what a constant challenge it can be to keep up with changing legislation, benefit offerings, trends, policies, and compliance requirements. You can never have too many tools in your toolbox of HR information.
- Can and should we screen social media accounts as part of the hiring process?
- We have good reason to believe an employee has been stealing from the register. What should we do?
- How do we keep an employee at-will but require them to give notice before leaving?
- Can we ask an applicant why they are leaving their current job?
Where do you turn for answers to these and other HR questions? Google? Colleagues? A coin flip?
Businesses spend an average of 25 hours per month trying to understand and resolve HR issues, and in too many cases much of that time is spent guessing or following poor advice. There's a better way to get reliable information faster, and we're inviting you to see how it works.
The Department of Labor (DOL) has made it easier for small employers (i.e. generally 50 employees or less) to join together to buy health insurance coverage with big company benefits and potential large group savings. The DOL's recently released Association Health Plan (AHP) final rule expands access for these organizations. AHPs have been around for many years, but the rules on them have now been loosened a little with the newly adopted legislation. AHPs have a better negotiating position due to the health risks being spread over a larger pool than if the members participated individually. The final rule also bestows upon them the ability to self-insure without being required to meet all of the essential benefit mandates of a small employer.
Employee benefits are typically an employer’s second largest expense after payroll. They are also a critical tool for attracting and retaining top talent. The Bureau of Labor Statistics issued a very interesting News Release: Employer Costs For Employee Compensation – September 2017. The study estimates that employee benefits make up 31.7% of an employee’s total compensation, on average.
"Why do I need Long Term Care Insurance? I already have health insurance!"
This is a common response when people are asked if they have considered Long Term Care Insurance (LTCI). What people don't realize is that their health insurance will typically not cover long-term care needs in a nursing home, assisted-living facility, or in one's own home. Another common misperception is that it's just the elderly population that has these needs. Unfortunately, this is not true, as young people also experience accidents as well as chronic and debilitating illnesses, all of which can create a need for long-term care.
Over the last few years, employee wellness programs have been a common topic of conversation in all size organizations and at multiple levels. Employers have a lot of questions when creating or modifying plans. What follows might help answer some of those questions.