News & Insights
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By Tom Starner, October 26, 2020
While many U.S. employers are struggling with layoffs, others—primary in retail, e-commerce and delivery—are looking to hire. And big time.
According to a recent report from CNBC, in fact, employers in those industries and related sectors are preparing for the upcoming holiday season like never before, as consumers abandon on-location buying sprees for virtual settings, due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The result, CNBC reports, is that employers will be taking on hundreds of thousands of workers to meet the expected shopping demand.
By Sarah Green Carmichael, October 28, 2020
The Great Work From Home Experiment of 2020 has gone on for nearly eight months, and preliminary results are coming in. Overall, surveys suggest that most of us like it most of the time, except for one thing: We feel lonely. “Camaraderie” is the No. 1 thing people look forward to about an eventual return to the office. “Loneliness” is often at the top of the list of downsides to remote work.
Feeling lonesome is not only a side effect of working from home. Our social interactions outside work have also been curtailed. Normally, a teleworker can liven up her day with coffee-shop meetings or dinners with friends. Not during a pandemic. Nor are we working remotely entirely by choice right now. Many are banished.
By Stephen Miller, CEBS, October 30, 2020
Starting Jan. 1, 2021, the maximum earnings subject to the Social Security payroll tax will increase by $5,100 to $142,800—up from the $137,700 maximum for 2020, the Social Security Administration (SSA) announced Oct. 13. The SSA also posted a fact sheet summarizing the 2021 changes.
The taxable wage cap is subject to an automatic cost-of-living adjustment (COLA) each year based on increases in the national average wage index, calculated annually by the SSA.
Social Security and Medicare payroll taxes are collected together as the Federal Insurance Contributions Act (FICA) tax. FICA tax rates are statutorily set and can only be changed through new tax law.
“Once we go back to normal…” has become the catchphrase of the day at the virtual watercooler. But instead of waiting for some imaginary day in which we no longer have to work remotely, business leaders and managers should be thinking about how to embrace the remote work paradigm shift for the long haul. Like it or not, it’s here to stay. And if you’re not prepared to adapt your long-term work practices, you’ll regret it when you discover that your competitors are.
People analytics and data science in general can be a bit confusing if you’ve not dedicated a good amount of study to it. Part of figuring anything complex out is surrounding yourself with people who can help you understand it better, but short of having a data science expert on hand, HR professionals will have to turn to analytics SMEs on social media for advice and a steady stream of relevant people analytics commentary.
A federal court in New York recently struck down four federal Department of Labor (DOL) rules related to the leaves provided by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). As a result, certain aspects of the FFCRA are now more favorable to employees. Unfortunately, it’s not clear if the ruling applies nationwide or only in the Southern District of New York, where that court is located. Until there is further activity in the case—which may clarify whether the rules remain intact throughout the rest of the country—we recommend that employers err on the side of caution when administering FFCRA leaves and assume these particular rules no longer apply.
- How to consult your Live Team of HR Experts
- Coronavirus (COVID-19) resources (sample communications, training courses, webinars, etc.)
- How to easily create your Employee Handbook that's never out-of-date
- How to assign training to your employees from a catalog of hundreds of interactive courses
- How to navigate a multitude of resources in your Comply database
- Plus much more!
July 23rd Insurance Trends will feature guest speakers Barb Gavitt and John Meurs from A.D.Banker as we discuss the introduction of remote testing for those seeking their insurance license. We will be updating everyone on which states so far are enacting the Annuity Best Interest producer training requirements and what options will be available to fulfill that training.
Having just finished a couple exciting days in Washington D.C. at the National Association of Health Underwriters (NAHU) Capitol Conference, I could not help but share my thoughts about what exciting time this is regarding all of our futures.