Inflation affects us all in various ways, including higher prices at the gas pump and increased prices on everything from rent to groceries and utilities. One of the critical effects of inflation that significantly impacts businesses is how it affects your employees’ bottom line. Inflation has a direct effect on everyone’s purchasing power, and that has a direct impact on the value of your employees’ compensation packages.
Current wages have less value Inflation has a direct impact on the value of your compensation packages. Inflation lowers the value of a raise or compensation package. With prices up 7.9% to 8.4%, the typical annual raise of 3%-4% is not enough to counteract the effect of inflation on the overall cost of living. It means that your compensation has less value and can leave your employees in the negative financially because their current wage may not be enough to cover their expenses.
Today Uber drivers from around New York will gather together to protest outside Uber’s Manhattan headquarters. Soaring gas prices and lack of benefits have led many ride-share drivers to protest their status as gig workers instead of employees, and Uber drivers in Illinois and California have also staged similar protests.
Rob Wilson, employment trends expert and President of Employco USA, a national employment solutions firm with locations across the country, says that Uber drivers are not the only workers who are decrying astronomical gas prices and its impact on their take-home pay.
“With gas prices this high, the sad reality is that a minimum wage worker can end up spending an entire day’s wages just to fill up their gas tank,” says Wilson. “If employers want to keep their workers satisfied and in the office, they need to get clever about how they can help employees survive inflated prices.”
‘Tis the season to get new health insurance rates! Rates are dramatically on the rise, with some companies seeing increases in premiums from 20 to 40 percent. Due to COVID’s impact, hospitals need to pay their workers more than ever before, just to retain employees and ensure that they stay staffed. And, supply chain issues mean price increases across the board, even in the healthcare industry.
Here is what employers need to know:
“Inflation is higher now than it has been in years,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and group health insurance expert. “Wages are going up, benefits are going up, taxes are going up. Businesses are already stretched to their utter limit. And health insurance companies are hedging their bets for all the upcoming claims coming up in 2022.”
Employment trends expert Rob Wilson discusses Biden’s Rescue Plan and what it means for companies
President Biden’s ‘American Rescue Plan’ includes several key changes to employment-related categories. It’s crucial for employers to become educated about how these changes will impact their policies moving forward.
“Now is the time that employers should prepare for these upcoming changes,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and employment trends expert. “There are many modifications to the FFRCA ‘COVID Pay’ categories which will impact the way that you reimburse employees and approach things like sick leave.”
First, says Wilson, is the fact that employers now have the ability to offer employees paid leave through September 30, 2021.
Employment trends expert Rob Wilson discusses new study and how employers can facilitate a healthier work environment
A new study has found that nearly 50% of American workers are currently struggling with substance and alcohol abuse. The numbers illustrate the stark ways in which the pandemic has impacted the mental and physical health of Americans.
“The data shows that the number of workers who are reporting lower work productivity or missed workdays due to alcohol or substance abuse issues has more than doubled since 2019,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and employee trends expert.
Wilson says that employers can help to protect employees from substance and alcohol abuse by enhancing their wellness programs in 2021 and taking advantage of high-tech sober support initiatives.
Employment trends expert advises employers on how to handle hesitant employees
With vaccines rolling out across the country and millions of Americans preparing for a post-COVID reality, research suggests that many people would rather continue working from home than returning to the office. A new ‘Return to Workplace Survey’ from Envoy has found that 66% of employees say that they fear for their health and safety, and nearly 48% say they would prefer a hybrid schedule in which they can continue to work from home a few days a week.
But is the desire to continue working virtually rooted in a fear of the virus or is it a preference for flexibility and the ease of working at home?
“Previous Pew research from late 2020 found that 90 percent of people said they didn’t want to return to the workplace even after it was deemed safe to do so. So, I think employers need to prepare themselves for the reality that they are going to get a lot of pushback from employees about starting to go back to work in person,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and employment trends expert. “Even with the vaccines and other COVID safety measures in place, the reality is that many WFH employees have simply become accustomed to the lifestyle and don’t want to return to long commutes, business attire, and other obligations that come with working in person.”
Employment trends expert explains why increasing the min. wage could have a negative impact on workers
With Inauguration Day upon us, many people are looking ahead at the first steps President-elect Joe Biden plans to take when he gets into office. One of his first major proposals (which Biden introduced last Thursday in his $1.9 trillion relief package) will be to increase the federal minimum wage from $7.25 to $15.
However, this proposal to dramatically increase the minimum wage is receiving pushback from critics who say this could spell the end for struggling small businesses who are already struggling to stay afloat during the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Asking small business owners to begin paying their employees $15 an hour will be a hardship that could break many companies,” says employment trends expert Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA, an employment solutions firm with locations across the country.
Wilson says that the minimum wage hike will also lead to more job loss as business owners continue to invest in automation over workers.
Employment trends expert discusses FFCRA expiration date and employers’ obligations moving forward
On January 1, provisions for COVID-related sick leave under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act will expire. These provisions were created to help buffer the economic pain felt by people who either tested positive for coronavirus or may have come in contact with someone who tested positive for coronavirus, or for parents who needed to provide childcare in cases where daycares or schools were shut down due to virus exposure. But, in just two weeks, these protections will end.
“Under FFCRA, employees received up to 80 hours of emergency paid sick leave (EPSL) related to COVID-19 illnesses and school closures,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and employment trends expert. “But regardless of whether an employee accessed all of these hours, they will disappear at the end of this month. There’s a small possibility that President-Elect Biden will take office and add new COVID-related EPSL protections in 2021, to make up for these expiring provisions, but that’s a big maybe for now.”
Wilson says that this means employers will no longer receive FFCRA reimbursement from the federal government for any workers’ EPSL taken after Dec. 31.