On Dec. 7, 2021, a Georgia federal judge blocked the federal contractors mandate nationwide. This new order comes right after a Kentucky federal judge issued a preliminary injunction effectively blocking the implementation and enforcement of President Biden’s COVID-19 vaccine mandate for federal government contractors and subcontractors for Kentucky, Tennessee, and Ohio on Nov. 30, 2021.
Federal Contractor Vaccination Mandate – On Nov. 10, 2021, the Biden administration updated its guidance for the Safer Federal Workforce Task Force, clarifying that federal contractor employees must be fully vaccinated by Jan. 18, 2022. This update was released in conjunction with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) vaccine mandate for private employers and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) vaccine mandate for health care workers, both of which have also since been blocked in federal court.
Many employees look forward to year-end workplace holiday celebrations. These events allow employees to celebrate with their colleagues and sometimes even family and guests. Importantly, these celebrations can also be a great way to drive employee engagement. While these events are often a long-standing company tradition, many organizations canceled holiday parties last year or found ways to connect virtually due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
This year, holiday parties—including in-person celebrations—may be making a comeback. Some key COVID-19 vaccine developments like widespread vaccine availability and workplace vaccine mandates may be driving change in the second holiday season of the pandemic.
The COVID-19 pandemic forced businesses to adapt and test their operational capacities. One of the most common pivots has been remote work.
Now that workplaces are reopening, a significant number of employees want to retain their remote status. In fact, 58% of workers said they want a fully remote position, and only 3% said they wanted to return to fully in-person work, according to a recent FlexJobs survey.
So, how does a business that wants to utilize its in-person workspace deal with employees who want to stay home? For some, the answer is a hybrid work model.
Employers across the country are facing an unmistakable issue right now: too many open positions and not enough workers. On its face, it might seem like there are not enough workers available for jobs—hence all the openings. But, confoundingly, that’s not the case.
The unemployment rate is still hovering just below 5%, translating to around 7.5 million unemployed Americans, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Additionally, several key COVID-19 initiatives ended at the end of summer—expanded unemployment benefits ceased, and children returned to in-person classes. As such, many economists expected workers to be spurred back into the workforce this fall. That’s decidedly not been the case; while some individuals are returning to work, others are quitting in record numbers.
On this month’s podcast Rob, Scott, and Jason discuss upcoming changes for employers in the new year. They cover minimum wage updates for various states and cities, new 401(k) contribution limits, the Illinois Secure Choice plan, employee tip credit requirements, vaccine mandate holds/updates, merit pay increases vs inflation, and more.
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In this video, Rob and Jason discuss workplace holiday parties. From virtual to back in person, they discuss the dos and don’ts, policy reminders, COVID changes and precautions, best practices, and more.
‘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.”