In March of 2020, working from home became the new normal for many people. Organizations may not have been prepared for this new normal, but ready or not, the transition needed to be made. Some employers went with the Band-Aid approach of doing what they needed to do to get by temporarily, while others fully embraced the challenge and sought the potential long-term advantages that it offered to employer and employees alike. Most employers did not expect this new normal to last as long as it has, or for it to bring so many unforeseen challenges.
On November 6, 2020, Oregon OSHA issued final temporary rules to help prevent the spread of coronavirus in workplaces by requiring employers to implement a comprehensive set of risk-reducing measures. The rules will take effect November 16th, with some tasks phased in, and are expected to remain in effect until May 4, 2021. These new rules affect all employers and include additional requirements for high-risk jobs.
The following is a summary taken from the final temporary rules requirements for all workplaces:
Here we are. The first of October. Does everyone know what that means? Yes, it means the leaves are falling and changing colors, and the holidays are quickly approaching. Payroll/Accounting departments know what it means, too: it’s time, once again, for quarter end.
At the end of September, the IRS issued an updated Form 941 and instructions to be used beginning third quarter of 2020. The Form 941 has been revised to allow employers, who have elected to defer the withholding and payment of the employee share of social security tax on wages paid on or after September 1, 2020, to include the deferral on line 13b. The following additional guidance was also released on completing Line 16, to avoid failure-to-deposit penalties:
Okay, not really. It's inconceivable that any company can create a comprehensive solution to its workplace health and safety concerns in just two minutes. However, two minutes is plenty of time to watch a reliable overview about specific aspects of workplace health and safety as well as obtain some basic direction about how to proceed towards creating a safe, compliant environment. We actually call this video library 2-Minute HR, and it's just one of the resources that can be found in the HR Support Center section of People Savvy HCM Essentials. Here's how it works.
If there has ever been a year that employees and customers feel insecure and unsafe, 2020 is definitely right up there. It seems as though around every corner there is a new challenge. Businesses are trying to support the feelings of uncertainty all the while trying to keep the doors open and make financially responsible decisions. Daily questions continue to include: when is it safe to bring employees physically back to work; is it legal to reopen my business; am I doing everything possible to protect everyone.
On August 8, 2020, President Trump signed an executive action that postpones the collection of employee payroll taxes from September 1st through December 31st. This affects the Social Security FICA taxes. The idea behind taking this action is that, during these difficult economic times due to the COVID pandemic, deferring tax withholding has the potential to put more money in working Americans' pockets to help boost the economy. This action of the Executive Branch results from Congress being unable to arrive at a compromise regarding another round of stimulus assistance.
While the presence of the Coronavirus in the United States stretches into its fifth month, the pandemic continues to impact employers, their businesses, and their workers. Three of the latest developments are below.
As your business continues addressing these items, please remember that Bennett/Porter & Associates is here to continue supporting you, your employees, and your organization. We strive to keep you up-to-date on all the latest HR, payroll, and employer-related technology changes that impact your company. If you are not currently signed-up to receive our Blog posts, we encourage you to do so in order to avoid missing important updates such as these. Please don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions or technology needs you have.
A couple years ago, Gallup conducted a survey that categorized employee engagement into three levels. The results showed that, in any given organization, 30% of employees are actively engaged in propelling the company along, half of the employees are just coasting on the efforts of the others, and 20% are actively attempting to disrupt progress within the business. Do you know which of your employees fall into which categories? More importantly, do you know how to improve these conditions?
Months into the COVID-19 pandemic, employers are asking questions like how and when is it safe to re-open their organizations. Meanwhile, local governments are working through very confusing phases of re-opening regulations. And as if that's not enough to think about, OSHA updated the rules for employer obligations of reporting COVID-19 as a workplace illness. Lions, and tigers, and bears, OH MY! Could this be anymore overwhelming? In this post, we will attempt to help make sense of some of the latest updates, and we're also offering a free webinar on COVID-19 workplace safety as well as a policy template so that you have two valuable resources to assist your progress in these safety-related tasks.
Many counties are working through the required phases to get people back to work, and that leaves employers trying to figure out how to safely return to the new normal. Employee safety is generally a number one priority for employers. As businesses face post-COVID-19 reopening, following are some key factors to consider: