Podcast: 2020 Benefit Planning

Rob, Scott, and Jason discuss 2020 benefit planning; from the history of group health insurance and employer benefit plans to wellness programs, member education, open enrollment, the Affordable Care Act, retirement plans, strategies for non-traditional benefits (flex-time, student loan repayment, pet benefits), and more.

2020 Benefit Planning

Contact us with any questions you may have, we’re here to help: hr@employco.com

What the New Overtime Ruling Means for Employers

Employment expert explains the recent DOL decision

DOLThe U.S. Department of Labor’s recent decision on overtime extends to 1.3 million U.S. workers. The number is much lower than what the Obama administration tried to accomplish during President Obama’s tenure in office.

“Since 2016 when President Obama signed an overtime law which made employees who earned less than $47,000 a year eligible for compensation, many small business owners were fearful that they would not be able to keep pace with new requirements for overtime compensation. When a Texas judge blocked that ruling, it offered a small reprieve until President Trump took office,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and employment compensation expert.

In the following years, both Republicans and Democrats have struggled to agree on an overtime solution, until revealing their new decision last week.

Previously, workers were automatically entitled to overtime pay only if they earned $23,660 or less a year, says Wilson. But, starting on Jan. 1, 2020, that salary ceiling will be raised to $35,568.

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Paid Family Leave Debate Heats Up

Employment expert discusses pending family leave proposals

Paid Family LeaveMany large employers are starting to consider offering their employees paid family leave, but currently only 17% of workers have access to paid leave. Senator Marco Rubio (R-Florida) is seeking to ease this burden on American families by co-sponsoring a bill which would allow new parents to borrow from their Social Security benefits in order to take time off work.

“Paid family leave has stalled in Congress for years, despite the fact that surveys show that most Americans widely support paid family leave for mothers and even fathers,” says Rob Wilson, employment expert and President of Employco USA, a national employment-solutions firm with clients across the country.

Rubio’s bill would allow new moms and dads to borrow against their Social Security for up to 3 months of retirement benefits, whether they adopted or birthed a child.

“Rubio’s plan would not put any additional burden on taxpayers, and it has received support from both sides of the aisle,” says Wilson, “But it has not gone without criticism. Since the Social Security system is already so overburdened, many Americans fear that this is a plan that will fall apart quickly.”

President Trump has also stated that he supports paid family leave, and promised his 2020 fiscal plan would include up to 6 weeks of paid leave for new parents as well as improved childcare programs.

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‘Entitled’ Millennials May Have the Right Idea

Employment expert explains how younger workers are demanding more from bosses – and getting it

MillennialsMillennials often get criticized for having an ‘entitled’ attitude, and this appears to hold true in the workplace as well. Recent reports reflect that younger workers do appear to demand more than their older counterparts.

“Previous generations used to be happy to have a steady paycheck and a gold watch upon retirement,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA. “But younger workers don’t approach employment the same way. Research shows that Millennials change jobs more frequently than previous generations, and they also have a lower opinion of corporations. In other words, they don’t want to commit years at companies which they see as purely self-interested.”

Wilson says that employers would be wise not to give up hope when it comes to engaging and retaining younger workers.

“Yes, these workers are more prone to dissatisfaction and more apt to leave jobs that don’t make them happy, but research shows that when companies approach Millennials as individuals and try to appeal to them on their own level, they do so with great results.”

When Millennials are engaged by their employers, and companies make an effort to reach out to the younger generation in the workplace, they see a vast improvement in both agility and innovation.

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Improving Job Market Means Employees Have Options: Don’t Let Your Top Talent Get Poached

Employment expert shares “The Three E’s” which will keep employees happy and hard-working

Leaving EmployeeAs the job market improves, so too does employers’ risk of losing employees. It is estimated that around 60 percent of employees are either actively or passively searching for a new job, or they are being approached by other companies who want to ‘poach’ them for their own team.

Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and employment trends expert says, “Losing an employee is a serious financial blow. It will cost you about 6-9 months of salary to replace a salaried employee, and this does not even include the soft-dollar cost of lost knowledge. This includes technical and institutional knowledge as well as lost productivity as other employees have to pick up the missing employee’s slack, which can in turn cause lower morale, lower employee engagement and other financial concerns.”

Wilson says that employers would well to remember the three E’s (economics, employee engagement, and environment) when it comes to attracting and retaining top talent.

“From an economic standpoint, you need to think in terms not only of salary and health insurance, but also a total compensation package,” says Wilson. “There are many benefits which today’s employees are looking for, including whether you match a 401k, what is the value of the paid time off offered, along with medical, dental, vision and life insurance.”

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Employees Quit in Record Numbers Over Perceived Poor Pay

Employment trends expert explains how to manage the tricky topic of raises

QuitA record number of people are leaving their jobs because they are not happy with their current pay. In fact, nearly half of the employees who recently quit their jobs did so because they wanted a raise.

“Employees are being advised that the job market is improving, which makes them believe that this a good time to ask the boss for a raise,” says Rob Wilson, President of Employco USA and employment trends expert. “However, not every employer agrees.”

Wilson goes on to point that salary increase levels are uncharacteristically low given how good the unemployment numbers have been.

“We expect national salary levels to increase 3.1% in 2019,” says the employment trends expert. “The vast majority of our clients are expecting to increase their 2019 salary budgets by that same target.”

So, given that raises will be a hot-button topic that many employers will face in the coming months, how should they approach this topic with their workers?

“We recommend that employers review not only employees’ performance to set 2019 salary levels, but also review that position’s pay against internal and external salary data to ensure their top performers are compensated appropriately,” says Wilson.

The employment trends expert also says privacy can be a good idea when it comes to a person’s pay.

“In very few organizations is it a good idea to openly communicate salary ranges for each position to the entire employee population.  We’ve seen this go very poorly in companies without strong total compensation philosophies,” says Wilson.

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.

The Don and Mike Show: Health Care Benefit Costs

Jason Eisenhut, Vice President of Human Resources at Employco USA, joins Don from the Don and Mike Show for a podcast interview on health care benefit costs. Jason’s interview comes in at the 13:30 mark.

“Don does an extensive interview with Jason on health care benefit costs, trends, what to look for to make the best cost decisions and more. Mike reports from SGIA 2018 in Las Vegas while Don is live in San Francisco at Moscone Center with news from their recent renovations.”

Contact us with any questions you may have, we’re here to help: hr@employco.com

The Don and Mike Show

Should You Be Paid for the Time You Spend on Your Commute?

Employment trends expert discusses new research and how it could apply to American employees  

CommuteResearch has shown that the American commute keeps getting longer and longer, with the average worker now traveling 26 minutes to get to their place of employment. No wonder a new survey has found that American workers now say that they should be considered ‘on the clock’ when they are commuting, and that their pay should reflect the time they spend traveling to and from work.

“According to this new research, when Wi-Fi is available to commuters who are traveling by bus or train, these employees use their devices to accomplish work tasks and prepare for their work day,” says Rob Wilson, employment trends expert and President of Employco USA, a national employment-solutions firm. “As a Chicagoan, I have seen this firsthand, as many hard-working individuals taking the El, the Metra or the bus often log-in and start accomplishing work tasks before they even set foot in the office.”

However, the question is, should employees be compensated for this time they spend working while in transit?

“There are many things we need to consider when it comes to this discussion,” says Wilson. “Is the employee hourly or salary? Is their work being monitored? Will employers be able to verify that work duties are completed during a commute? Is there a higher risk of errors or miscommunications when a person is working on a crowded, bustling train as opposed to sitting quietly in their cubicle? And, if the employee is hourly, what potential impact would compensation present to overtime?”

Wilson says we also need to consider the changing landscape of employment as it relates to technology and remote employees.

“As many job tasks can be accomplished with nothing more than an internet connection and a smartphone or laptop, and as more employees are working remotely, it is not far-fetched to assume that an employee can complete valuable and timely job functions while sitting on the train,” says the employment expert.

However, financial compensation might not be the only benefit to consider.

“If an employee works remotely on the train and thus finishes their tasks early for the day, perhaps it would be beneficial to consider letting workers have flexible schedules,” says Wilson. “In essence, you will be paying employees with more free time, rather than higher pay.”

For more on this topic, please contact Rob Wilson at rwilson@thewilsoncompanies.com.

The Senate Will Soon Vote on Reversing a Critical Part of Obamacare

Group employment expert explains upcoming vote on H.R. 3798 and why it’s a shame that more Americans aren’t aware of this crucial bill

ACAThe Senate could vote this week on a bill which would take apart a good deal of President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, including a key piece of legislation which required employers to offer health insurance to all employees who work 30 hours or more per week.

“The average American doesn’t know too much about H.R. 3798, and that’s a shame, because I can’t think of a vote which would have a larger impact on employees’ pay and their workdays,” says Rob Wilson, group employment expert and President of Employco USA, a national employment-solutions firm which helps companies of all sizes to run more effectively.

Wilson says that H.R. 3798 will reverse President Obama’s prior legislation which required all full-time employees to be offered health insurance…and, then defined full-time employment as workers who put in 30-hours a week.

“Many people in the industry were surprised with the thirty-hour-a-week legislation,” says Wilson. “Forty-hours-a-week has always been considered full-time in American businesses of all industries, so it seemed a bit arbitrary. Unfortunately, it also had a negative impact on employees. Employers slashed workers’ hours to keep them under the 30-hour mark and avoid paying for their health insurance, meaning that these workers had to supplement their pay by getting another job. In essence, many employees wound up working 2 nearly full-time jobs, and still without company-provided health insurance.”

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