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Employment Law Update

Paid leave for vaccine tax credit updated & employer ups premiums for unvaccinated

By Mike O’Brien Update to the paid-leave tax credit expansion—paid leave for employees to receive a COVID-19 vaccine  As previously described in these updates, the Treasury Department and the IRS announced that eligible employers could receive paid-leave tax credits under the American Rescue Plan Act (ARPA) for providing leave for each employee receiving a COVID-19 vaccine and for any time needed to recover from the vaccine. Generally, the tax credits are available for qualified leave wages an eligible employer provides with respect to leave taken by employees beginning on April 1, 2021, through Sept. 30, 2021, if the leave would have satisfied the requirements of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and the Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act, as amended for ARPA. An eligible employer is generally an… . . . read more

MANAGING STAFF

We suspect our employees gave us phony vaccination cards

By Lynne Curry Question: Our senior leadership team couldn’t believe the hostility that erupted when we told our employees if they weren’t vaccinated by Sept. 15, we’d consider they had voluntarily resigned. Several of them emailed lengthy rants to every member of the management team. Others came into our offices crying and went home in tears. Then, like magic, the protests stopped. We thought it might have to do with the FDA approving Pfizer, or someone talking sense to the 11 employees who hadn’t wanted to get vaccinated. We breathed a sigh of relief. A few days ago, our office manager got suspicious. She looked up phony vaccination cards. Is this really a thing? If so, this torques us. What can we do about it? Is it best to let… . . . read more

LEADERSHIP

Embrace on-job learning and listen to employees for more resilient teams

Leaders who encourage their employees to learn on the job and speak up with ideas and suggestions for change have teams that are more effective and resilient in the face of unexpected situations, according to new research from Rice University and the University of Windsor. “A Resource Model of Team Resilience Capacity and Learning” will appear in a special issue of Group & Organization Management. Authors Kyle Brykman, an assistant professor at the Odette School of Business at the University of Windsor, and Danielle King, an assistant professor of psychological sciences at Rice, studied what makes employees more resilient and fosters learning in the workplace. The researchers specifically examined the interactions of 48 teams from five technology startups. “Understanding what organizations can do to help employees become more resilient is the… . . . read more

WELLNESS

Worker well-being a priority for US employers, but program usage falters

Over the last year, workers around the world have been struggling with mental health issues—particularly burnout and isolation. As employers prepare for a post-COVID-19 world, a more holistic view of worker well-being is key to helping employees at all levels manage stress and remain engaged. A new report from The Conference Board, Holistic Well-Being @Work, examines what organizations are doing to implement more comprehensive well-being initiatives and offers recommendations for building healthier, resilient work environments. As the report details, while organizations recognize the importance of a holistic well-being strategy, many struggle to build a fully integrated approach, with low program participation and limited resources cited as the top barriers to success. Featured in the report are results from two surveys, including one of more than 200 practitioners responsible for their organizations’… . . . read more

MANAGING STAFF

Amid higher productivity, 43% of US workers question need to return to workplace

Are you having trouble convincing your staff to return to the office? So are many employers. More and more offices plan to reopen their doors in the coming months, but will their workers show up? Amid higher productivity, 43 percent question the wisdom of returning to the workplace at all. The new survey by The Conference Board reveals a notable shift in employees’ greatest return-to-work concerns. Once dominant fears of contracting COVID-19 or exposing family members to it now lag behind anxieties about returning at all, dropping by nearly half in the last nine months. Moreover, a clear divide among workers emerged, with lower-level employees, women, and millennials questioning the need to return to the office at higher rates than their counterparts, despite expressing more concern about mental health.  … . . . read more

The pandemic changed employees: Can managers adapt?

By Lynne Curry “The employees who return to the office after a year of remote work aren’t the employees their bosses remember” says a June 12 Wall Street Journal article.1 Remote work changed how employees want to work. Employees that tasted independence don’t want to give it up. Employees who felt betrayed lost trust in employers. What do managers and employers need to understand? Shift from managing to coaching: Even pre-pandemic, most employees preferred managers who outlined “here’s where we’re going and why” and set clear expectations and goals to those who micro-managed. “After a year of working in solitude,” notes the WSJ article, employees “expect more control over how, when and where their work gets done and to have greater autonomy relative to their managers and organizations.”1 This challenges… . . . read more

MANAGING THE OFFICE

The top 8 policies to include in your employee handbook

By Krystal Barghelame  What is an employee handbook? An employee handbook is an important living document for your employees that outlines your company policies, history, and culture for current and future employees. Although 87% of businesses with 10 to 200 employees have employee handbooks, HR experts agree that it’s best practice to start a handbook as soon as you hire your first employee, because it defines expectations and can protect you legally. Here are the main policies you’ll want to record in that employee handbook: Onboarding and joining the team One of the top motivations for businesses to create an employee handbook is to train new hires. So, kick things off by laying out the basics that every employee should know before coming through the front door. The employee onboarding section… . . . read more

CYBERSECURITY

16 online safety tips for your telecommuters

Some of your staff may have opted to continue to work from home. Here are 16 reminders about online safety practices. While it’s a convenient—and often, necessary—setup, it’s not without its challenges. Working efficiently when you have children, dealing with distractions, and fightung off feelings of isolation when you work remotely are all common issues when you clock in and out of a home office. But there’s another less-talked-about threat a lot of employees don’t consider: cybersecurity. Online safety has become an increasingly important topic in our ever-changing digital world, but people who work from home need to be especially vigilant in taking digital security seriously. Not taking necessary precautions could not only slow down your productivity, it could also have major business ramifications. Our guide explains everything you need… . . . read more

WELLNESS

Burnout is building for 43% of workers, research shows        

Many workers are worn out and ready to make up for lost vacation time, new research shows. More than 4 in 10 professionals surveyed (43 per cent) said they are more burned out on the job today compared to a year ago, up from 33 per cent in a similar 2020 poll. The new survey by global staffing firm Robert Half shows employees experiencing increased fatigue, with 42 per cent blame it on a heavier workload.  “For the past 14 months, many professionals have dealt with increased workloads, longer hours, minimal vacation time, and juggling personal and professional responsibilities,” said David King,  senior district president of Robert Half. “With burnout clearly on the rise, now is the time for organizations to encourage their employees to prioritize mental health and well-being,… . . . read more

Managing Staff

Performance reviews: Dread them? Ditch them? Replace them?

By Lynne Curry Do you dread filling out annual performance reviews? Do you wonder about their effectiveness? You aren’t the only one with doubts. A Gallup survey reports that only 14% of employees strongly agree their performance reviews inspire improvement.1 According to 58% of executives surveyed, their company’s current performance management system produces neither higher performance nor employee engagement.2 And 8 out of  10 (83%) of HR managers surveyed report that their company’s performance assessment systems need to be overhauled.3 What’s wrong with most reviews? They don’t fix poor performers. Some managers fear giving negative ratings and may give problem employees “meets expectations” or higher ratings. This leads some mediocre employees to feel “I’m doing everything right; I don’t need to change.” This can result in legal difficulty should the employer… . . . read more


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