Issues and Trends in Human Resources
Instructor: Rickey Davis
October 25, 2010
This paper will address some of the issues and trends in employee benefits. It will cover employee services, financial services, health care, workplace flexibility and non-financial compensation.
“Employee benefits range dramatically between jobs and careers. Some jobs, such as those that pay minimum wage, do not provide employee benefits while others provide several benefits. Great employee benefits include a health insurance plan, dental insurance, vision insurance, life insurance and a retirement fund. Beyond the basic benefits, some careers provide a bonus for good work, vacation time and other small benefits. While great benefits are ideal, there are sometimes issues that come with the benefits.” (J, 2010) Employees receive a summary of the benefits provided by employees at the start of their work and an updated summary every few years while they work. The law requires a summary so that employees know the benefits they receive. The problem lies in the difficulty understanding the summary. Companies sometimes use technical terminology that makes it difficult to determine the exact benefits so the employees do not take advantage of the benefits. Providing whatever benefits can put you in a better competitive position to attract and retain seasonal employees. “A profit sharing plan could be adopted for all employees to share in the profit pool in proportion to their annual earnings relative to total earnings of all employees. The profit pool could be some percentage as 10-20% as determined by management of the increase in pretax profits over the prior year. (Heatherfield, 2010) On March 23, President Barack Obama signed the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act into law. A reconciliation bill was finalized March 26. The new health care law introduces a number of employer health plan changes that become effective Jan. 1 for calendar year plans. In this article, we will primarily address those issues that will affect employer plans in 2010 and 2011. Many of the provisions of the PPACA will not go into effect until 2012 to 2014. The changes described below apply generally to both insured and self-insured plans, except for those marked with an asterisk that indicate that they are not applicable to "grandfathered plans" (i.e., group plans or individual coverage in place as of March 23), according to current guidance. We expect that further guidance will be issued on grandfathered plans, including maintenance of grandfathered status. (Sheryl Gay Stolberg, 2010) Seasonal tax associates who work part-time during the off-season providing client service and teaching an income tax school work enough hours to qualify for the company's group health insurance plan. Group life and disability insurance and other benefits can be obtained through professional associations. Even if the employee pays the full premium, group rates tend to be lower than individual coverage. Provide eligible employees benefits of credit union membership. Provide some paid time off for its associates to volunteer for company approved charitable activities such as providing free tax service for welfare-to-work program participants and residents of homeless and battered women shelters. Be creative. Little perks, like buying pizza for the staff of the office on the busiest days of the work week, help to make your employees appreciate their jobs. Be creative! “The federal health care reform law will have a substantial impact on employers. Here are the main issues that employers will want to be aware of: 1. Keeping the same coverage
Employers will be able to avoid some of the law’s requirements by keeping their coverage the same after the law’s effective date (March 23, 2010). Changes that must be made to all plans include:
* Waiting periods for coverage...