The cost cutting and staff reductions may not be completely over, but as the economy begins its recovery, HR will be dealing with new challenges in 2010. Here are 10 trends to expect in the coming year, plus tips and tools to help you respond to each:
Employee Benefits Program
A strong employee benefits program – including low-cost employee incentives, employee recognition programs, and employee appreciation programs – can help you improve morale and retention.
We provide employee appreciation day ideas, help you with employee retention strategies and employee benefits management
As a small business owner, you have plenty of options if you want to provide a qualified retirement plan for your company. But now there’s a new kid on the block: Consider the defined benefit 401(k) plan (DB(k)). This hybrid plan blends advantages of a traditional pension plan with a regular 401(k) and becomes available on Jan. 1, 2010.
In rapid-fire succession, the Senate and House passed significant new legislation in early November, extending unemployment benefits and adding certain tax-based incentives. On Nov. 6 the president officially signed the fast-track new law—the “Worker, Homeownership, and Business Assistance Act of 2009.” Among the key tax changes, the new law expands and extends the tax credit for “first-time homebuyers” and the longer carryback period for NOLs.
An Arizona technician lost 100 pounds in a weight-loss competition to snag the grand prize: his first skydive. Read about that and other employee wellness initiatives from across the country. They're keeping employees healthy, and helping employers keep health benefits costs down.
Just in time for the holidays, President Obama on Dec. 21 signed legislation to extend the government’s popular 65% subsidy of COBRA benefits. Laid-off workers are breathing a little easier—and so are HR pros, who would have had to untangle a logistical knot if the extension hadn’t been enacted.
Pennsylvania’s unemployment compensation system—dealing with unprecedented demand during the recession—gets an assist this fall thanks to a $6 million grant from the U.S. Department of Labor.
Q. I’d like to know if our company needs a HIPAA form for employees to sign when we release personal information to others. Is HIPAA only for the medical field?
Generally, employees can appeal if they’re denied unemployment compensation because they were fired for cause. To win, they must show they were fired without just cause. However, the rules change when an employee is fired for a positive drug test.
Q. What is the Illinois Employee Classification Act? I’m not sure if it applies to my company.
With federal COBRA subsidies for laid-off workers set to expire Dec. 31, Congress is getting ready to consider an extension—and HR pros are getting ready for administrative headaches. Timing is everything on this issue, and when Congress decides to act will affect laid-off workers and benefits administrators alike.