Posts Tagged ‘benefit’

Healthcare Reform Intersects with 1099 Forms

Thursday, September 23rd, 2010

Many changes related to healthcare reform go into effect today, September 23, 2010, with more changes coming throughout 2011 and 2012.  One of the lesser known provisions of healthcare reform is a new requirement regarding submittal of 1099 forms.  Effective January 2012, the provision will require any business that purchases more than $600 worth of goods or services from another business to submit a 1099 tax form to the Internal Revenue Service.

 The Senate considered amending this provision as part of the Small Business Jobs and Credit Act of 2010, which passed just this week.  Neither amendments by Sens. Mike Johanns, R-Nebraska, and Bill Nelson, D-Florida, were able to achieve enough votes to move forward.

 The IRS is requesting public comment on how it can best implement the new law. Under the proposed regulations, businesses would have to report their payments to goods and other property, and payments to most corporations on Form 1099. Currently, most payments to corporations are currently exempt from this requirement. Purchases with debit cards and credit cards will remain exempt from this requirement because those are already reported by banks and other payment processors, the IRS said in a statement.  The public can submit comments by:

 •E-mail, with “Notice 2010-51″ in the subject line (Notice.Comments@irscounsel.treas.gov)
•Posting a letter to: Internal Revenue Service, CC:PA:LPD:PR ( Notice 2010-51), Room 5203, P.O. Box 7604, Ben Franklin Station, Washington, DC 20044; and
•Hand-delivering a comment letter to CC:PA:LPD:PR (Notice 2010-51), Courier’s Desk, Internal Revenue Service, 1111 Constitution Avenue NW, Washington, DC, between 8 a.m. and 4 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The deadline for comments is Sept. 29, 2010.

Employee Bill of Rights- Happy 4th of July!

Friday, July 2nd, 2010

In honor of the 4th of July holiday let’s take a moment to celebrate our rights as citizens here in the United States and also discuss what rights employees have the workplace.

1) Employees have the right (confirmed by a number of state and federal laws) to not be discriminated against or harrasssed in the hiring process and in the workplace.

2) Employees have the right to be paid for work completed and to have meal and rest periods as appropriate (the Fair Labor Standards Act and individual state law defines wage payment along with meal and rest periods).

3) Unless under contract employees have the right to leave employment that does not suit them (employers also have the right to fire employees “at will”  in most states except when under contract or because of discrimination or retaliation).

4) Employees do not have the right to paid holidays, sick time or vacation pay under federal Law (FLSA). Some states do provide for paid time off.   Check out the your state’s Department of Labor website  more information on paid leave laws.   Employees do have the rights to unpaid leave under Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and some state laws.

5) Employees have the right to reasonable accomodations for disabilities  under the Americans With Disablity Act (ADA).

Happy 4th of July to all employees and employers!

Meet with your Insurance Broker to Update Benefit Plans Before Fall Enrollment

Thursday, July 1st, 2010

Compliance Tip of the MonthMost open enrollment periods for benefits programs happen in the fall so use the summer months to get a head start. After researching what health care reform requirements will impact you, schedule a meeting with your insurance broker. Draw on the agent’s expertise to walk through your benefits plans, plan by plan, and make changes where necessary (such as to the dependent age coverage limitations, which are increasing to age 26). Be sure that the broker and insurance carrier work together to present you with revised plan documents, as necessary. You can also view list of binary brokers that could benefit these programs. KPA offers a free webinar and white paper on How Healthcare Reform Impacts Dealerships.

More benefits, less cost- consider childcare and dependent care programs

Tuesday, June 29th, 2010

Ever had to take a sick day not because you were sick but because a child or other dependent was?   Or how about when your childcare provider is sick, where does that leave you- and even if your children or other dependents can be left alone for a few hours so you went into work- you probably spent the whole day distracted and worried.  Wouldn’t it be be nice if you could just run downstairs or across the street and check on the kids- by the way employers, the ability to bring your kids to work with you on Saturday does not a childcare program make (although my kids have all spent some time coloring on my whiteboard while I just ran in for a “quick meeting” or hanging out in Dad’s office while he taught a class).

A recent study by Bright Horizons and Northwest University shows real benefits to employer provided childcare and dependent programs- specifically reduced  health care costs.

Employees offered benefits such as child and dependent care were:

  • 31% less likely to report lost productivity due to stress over the past month
  • 25% fewer personal health concerns due to stress

Employees who were not offered these benefits were:  

One-third more likely to report being down, depressed, or hopeless in the last month, 62 % more likely to experience sleep issues that impact their work and three times as likely to be treated for high blood pressure and diabetes.

In addition, the study noted that behavioral health problems cause more than 200 million missed work days each year in the U.S. at an estimated cost of $105 billion, according to the National Business Group on Health.

Join the conversation: does your company offer any type of childcare or dependent care program?

Dress Code 101

Wednesday, June 16th, 2010

As the summer heats up, it’s time to make sure your dress code covers appropriate summer attire.  Don’t spend the summer as I did many years ago, as a new HR manager, acting as the ”shorts police”  Make sure your employees know what is and is not appropriate attire for the office during warm summer days with a written policy.  If you don’t yet have a dress code, it is not too late, write one now and distribute it. Here are a seven simple steps to creating a dress code:
1. Decide what you want the dress code to say about your business. A creative type of business may allow more discretion, while a more formal approach is most appropriate when there is much customer interaction. However, bare feet and an excessive display of skin is never appropriate unless your employees are lifeguards!

  2. Be specific. If you do not want employees wearing shorts or graphical tee shirts you need to say so.  Do not rely on statements such as “in good taste”- what is good taste to one person is not to another.

3.   Be flexible. Recognize that what is appropriate dress for the loading dock may not be appropriate for the sales staff.

 4. Be realistic. Consider having uniforms for those positions were a certain “look” is necessary or preferred but employees may not have the funds to accomplish your desired “look”.

5. Ask for employee feedback and listen to it. A casual dress code (within reason) is a highly desired benefit for employees.

6. Publish the code to all employees and have them acknowledge they understand it. Err on the stricter side first. It’s easier to relax a dress code than to tighten it.

7. Try it and see how it works. Adjust as necessary. No HR policy should ever be static!

Join the conversation:  Do you have a published dress code or an unspoken one?

Despite Healthcare Reform Employers Worry About Benefit Costs

Monday, June 14th, 2010

Although the Congressional Budget Office reports that most employers will experience decreased cost and multiple tax credits are availalbe to offset the new requirements, 99.4% of employers surveyed by United Benefit Advisors are concerned with the impact of healthcare costs on their overall corporate costs.

The same survey reported that 97.9% are worried about the impact of healthcare costs on their employees and that they feel themselves unprepared to meet legislative and regulatory requirements.

For more information on healthcare reform and the impact on employers the free KPA recorded webinar What Healthcare Reforms Means for Dealers is a great resource.

Join the conversation:  What worries you the most as an employer about healthcare reform?