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Do Healthy Workers Create a More Profitable Business?

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From workplace politics to government compliance issues, businesses are presented with a slew of challenges, but one that often times goes unnoticed is the health of your workers. Did you know that the Health and Safety Executive reported around 27 million working days were lost in 2011 and 2012? Of those missed days, 22.7 million were due to work-related illness and 4.3 million were due to workplace injuries. How is a business supposed to stay in the black, improve their bottom lines and increase employee retention?

The first place to start is looking at the health of your employees and asking, “What am I doing to promote wellness in the workplace?” Offering a wellness program that manages employees’ long-term conditions with the intention of driving action within the company is healthy for both the business its staff members.

It is no coincidence that organizations taking better care of their employees generally see increases in productivity because employees can stay on the job longer, take fewer sick days and are both mentally and emotionally available. While no one can say for certain that ROI and employee health are directly related, studies show that companies recognized for their employee health and safety cultures outperform the Standard & Poor’s 500 by 3.03% – 5.27%. It may be that these companies have it all figured out. Healthy employees are more alert, prepared and focused; it’s that simple.

While studies suggest a healthier workforce makes for healthier earnings, companies still have to decide if wellness programs are worth the investment. The capital needed to start a health and wellness program for your business may be what’s holding you back, but the returns from a healthier and happier workforce may just be worthwhile. Making this pivotal change to promote healthy behaviors could potentially lend to impactful results.

Are you doing enough to promote a healthier workforce?

If starting a robust program isn’t in the cards for you, the good news is that there are small steps you can take to promote wellness. Here are a few ideas to bring health to your business:

  • Offer fruit or veggie trays once a week in the break room as opposed to cookie trays (a small gesture with big benefits).
  • Bring vaccinations to the workplace. Encouraging and even funding vaccinations for employees is a great ROI.
  • Encourage exercise. Offer on-site gym classes such as Pilates, Boot Camp or create secure bike stations for commuters. If structural changes are too significant, consider starting a walking/running group in the office or offer discounts at a local gym.
  • Stress taking over the office? Bring in health experts to speak on these issues and discuss ways to be healthier. Have a brown-bag luncheon filled with healthier food options while someone speaks about the benefits of clean eating.
  • Have incentive programs or winner-takes-all programs. At Paycom we have a Biggest Loser contest and participants put in $10 to join and after a span of several months the winner collects the money. Weekly updates are posted to keep employees motivated.
  • Be the advocate of clean eating. When you’re busy at work it’s easy to quickly grab something to eat, which typically comes from a vending machine. Offer employees healthy options opposed to chips and candy.
  • Mental Health is a serious issue. Sleep deprivation, stress, depression all lead to inefficiency at work. Bring in massage therapists one day and allow employees to sign up for mini sessions or simply encourage them to take short breaks to catch their breath. Step outside for some fresh air, talk with a mentor or go on a walk.

Still not sure why you should care?

Before you disregard the idea of adding a wellness program to your organization let’s consider the benefits. A study by Towers Watson Staying at Work 2009-2010, revealed greater performance trends among companies with effective health and productivity programs. Specifically, these companies experienced:

  • 11% greater revenue per employee;
  • 28% higher shareholder returns;
  • 1.2 percentage points in lower medical trends and
  • 1.8 fewer reported absences per employee.

The take away is that companies are experiencing financial gains from investing in wellness programs and you can too. Whether its small investments or large reconstructive projects, a wellness program benefits both the employer and the employees. Start planning today.

 



Author Bio: As a Human Resource Professional with over 20 years of experience, Jenny has extensive experience in management, mentoring, policy development and recruiting. Jenny's team player mentality and leadership abilities make her an elite HR Director who is always on top of the latest HR trends. She relentlessly directs associates and executives to achieve their maximum potential for both themselves and their companies.

IRS Continues to Enforce Affordable Care Act

IRS Continues to Enforce Affordable Care Act

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The IRS recently released an information letter indicating that the IRS continues to enforce the Affordable Care Act (ACA).

Dated June 30, Letter 2017-0010 was sent to a member of Congress who reached out to the IRS at the request of a constituent, a tax-exempt entity concerned it may owe an employer shared responsibility payment (ESRP) because it did not comply with the ACA rules on offering health insurance to its employees, for both financial and religious reasons.

The letter first provides a brief summary of the circumstances that might lead to a large employer owing an ESRP, and notes that there is no provision in the ACA that provides for the waiver of an ESRP.

The letter then addresses the effect of the president’s Jan. 20 executive order on the enforcement of the ACA. Titled “Minimizing the Economic Burden of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act Pending Repeal,” the order directed federal agencies to exercise discretion permitted to them by law to reduce potential burdens imposed by the ACA.

However, it did not change the health care law. The legislative provisions of the ACA are still in force until changed by Congress; therefore, taxpayers remain required to follow the law and pay what they may owe.

For more information on the executive order and the current tax filing season, visit https://www.irs.gov/tax-professionals/aca-information-center-for-tax-professionals.

What This Means for Employers

Since Congress has not yet passed a bill that would repeal the ACA, and Republicans have struggled to draft a bill that would receive majority support, employers should use caution and plan to comply with the law’s requirements unless and until the ACA is repealed and any new law’s provisions actually go into effect. Continued compliance may be required for a transition period, following passage of an ACA repeal bill, depending on the language of that legislation.

 

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Posted in ACA, Blog, Featured

Erin Maxwell

by Erin Maxwell


Author Bio: As a compliance attorney for Paycom, Erin Maxwell monitors legal and regulatory changes at the state and federal level, focusing on health and employee benefits laws, to ensure the Paycom system is updated accordingly. She previously served as assistant general counsel at Asset Servicing Group in Oklahoma City. She holds a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Oklahoma and a J.D. from the University of Oklahoma. Outside of work, Maxwell enjoys politics, historical mysteries and spending time with her family.

Missouri minimum wage

Missouri Minimum Wage to Decrease from $10 to $7.70

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An overwhelming trend in the U.S. is cities and states increasing the minimum wage employers must pay their employees. However, St. Louis, Missouri is bucking this trend – although not willingly – by decreasing its minimum wage from $10 to $7.70, effective Aug. 28.

Court Battle

In 2015, St. Louis passed an ordinance raising its minimum wage to $10, with an automatic increase to $11 scheduled for January 2018. This prompted the Missouri legislature to pass legislation to pre-empt the ordinance from taking effect. The legislation was quickly enjoined in a lawsuit that went all the way to the Missouri Supreme Court.

In May of this year, St. Louis prevailed in the lawsuit and the minimum wage increased to $10. However, three months after the $10 minimum wage was implemented, the Missouri legislature passed another law disallowing any city in the state from having a higher minimum wage than the state, which is currently $7.70, this forcing St. Louis to reverse.

States vs. Cities

State governments dictating cities’ minimum wages is not altogether uncommon. In 2016, Alabama’s legislature shut down the Birmingham City Council’s efforts to raise its minimum wage. Similar efforts were undertaken by Ohio to block the City of Cleveland.

Other states have preemptively prohibited localities from passing minimum-wage ordinances – even before cities have commenced such efforts. Some of these states include:

  • Colorado
  • Idaho
  • Indiana
  • Kansas
  • Kentucky
  • Michigan
  • North Carolina
  • Oklahoma
  • South Carolina
  • Tennessee
  • Texas
  • Wisconsin

 

Although the St. Louis minimum wage decrease runs counter to the national trend, state legislatures prohibiting local increases is not uncommon. As more cities begin to adopt higher minimum wages, expect some state legislatures to push back.

Disclaimer: This blog includes general information about legal issues and developments in the law. Such materials are for informational purposes only and may not reflect the most current legal developments. These informational materials are not intended, and must not be taken, as legal advice on any particular set of facts or circumstances. You need to contact a lawyer licensed in your jurisdiction for advice on specific legal problems.

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Posted in Blog, Featured, Payroll

Jason Hines

by Jason Hines


Author Bio: Jason Hines is a Paycom compliance attorney. With more than five years’ experience in the legal field, he monitors developments in human resource laws, rules and regulations to ensure any changes are promptly updated in Paycom’s system for our clients. Previously, he was an attorney at the Oklahoma City law firm Elias, Books, Brown & Nelson. Hines earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of Central Oklahoma and his juris doctor degree from the Oklahoma City University School of Law, where he graduated cum laude. A fan of the Oklahoma City Thunder, Hines also enjoys exploring the great outdoors with his wife and daughter.

WOTC Tax Credits

What Tax Credits Are You Leaving on the Table?

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Federal tax credits for businesses are far from easy if you aren’t familiar with the program, and business leaders may find themselves in unfamiliar territory when it comes to their company’s eligibility for tax credits. As a leading provider of comprehensive human capital management software, we have found that the Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC) is one Federal tax credit many leaders underutilize, meaning that they are leaving money on the table when it comes time to do their taxes.

In fact, one Paycom client in the fast-food industry found $447,000 in government-appropriated funds available once they took full advantage of the tax credits available to them. Read more about this client’s experience in our recent case study.

Is your organization is leaving money on the table?

The Purpose of WOTC

WOTC was designed to encourage employers to hire people from segments of the general population who have “consistently faced barriers to employment.”

On average, one in eight new hires potentially qualifies for the WOTC, and that number increases when it comes to the fast-food industry, in which one in four new hires is potentially eligible for the credit.

What WOTC Means for Your Company

Depending on which target group your new hire represents, the number of hours they work and the wages they earn determine the amount of the credit, you can receive up to $9,600 for each eligible new hire.

Like the client in our case study, you may find, that many of the people in your hiring pool are already eligible for the tax credit. They received an average of $1,128 per certified employee.

Who You Can Hire

Qualifying new hires can be full- or part-time workers. They must belong to specific “target groups” designated by the U.S. Department of Labor. These target groups are populations of people who are able and willing to work, but have found barriers to employment for a variety of reasons. Target groups include:

  • veterans
  • Temporary Assistance for Needy Families recipients
  • SNAP recipients
  • designated community residents (living in empowerment zones or rural renewal counties)
  • summer youth employees living in designated communities
  • long-term unemployed

 

 How You Can Receive These Tax Credits

To receive these tax credits, 8850 and 9061 forms must be completed on or before the job offer and sent to your state employment agency within 28 days of the employee’s first day of work. The client in our case study was able to save 75 hours (nearly two weeks of work!) by working with Paycom to process their available tax credits.

If you’re intimidated by or unaware of Work Opportunity Tax Credits, you’re not alone. But you might be missing out by leaving money on the table. Paycom clients using its tax credits service pay nothing for the search if they are found to have eligible employees. Want to learn more about WOTC? Sign up for our August 3 webinar “What’s New With WOTC” to learn the most up-to-date information on WOTC and ask questions specific to your business.

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Posted in Blog, Compliance, Featured, Franchises, Hospitality, Restaurant

Rich Stupansky

by Rich Stupansky


Author Bio: Rich came to Paycom in January of 2010 from Cleveland Ohio and is the Director of Tax Credits at Paycom. Rich was instrumental in developing and creating our tax credits program. Rich has more than 12 years’ experience with federal tax credits and an extensive background in working with companies of all sizes to maximize their full tax credit potential.

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