COVID plan for Biden administration:
Coming down the pike…
A new plan may be adopted called "American Rescue Plan"– includes a lot of information; provisions relevant for employers;this is not a proposed legislative plan; these are more themes than regulations that Biden will be pursuing so pay attention to this one!
FFCRA – continuation or restarting this is likely until or through 9/30 of 2021. Discontinued in December, now to return with more benefits for employees. This will add to the costs of time off plans no doubt. Being creative with your paid time off plans is a recommendation. Here to help you through that.
Key changes for this as proposed are:
- No exemptions – this wil apply to ALL employers regardless of size
- Exceptions for healthcare providers will be eliminated;prior they could be exempt to keep healthcare moving ahead without staffing issues; the FFCRA as Biden wants it will pose a burden to healthcare providers. Such industries are already suffering with staffing issues, this will add to that problem no doubt.
- Emergency responder provision includes public employees – they would no longer be exempt as they were with the expired plan
- Expand emergency "EFMLA" family medical leave act to 14 weeks; may also expand paid sick hours now at 80 hours;
- Expand categories for use of such a leave–it used to be just child care issues; may expand to others categories; includes an additional category for those taking time to get vaccine as well;
- Miscellaneous changes for Biden plan are:expansion of emergency FMLA to federal workers;
- Expand tax credit for fewer than 500 employees
- Those with greater than 500 employees will have no tax credit
- Reimbursing state and local governments paying for FFCRA;prior had no tax credit; new administration will reimburse
- Expansion of unemployment benefits – how is vague and eligibility not sure yet
- Encouraging employers to provide back hazard pay to those emergency front line workers throughout the pandemic; grocery stores as an example; encourage them to pay back to those who worked during that time; this could be quite significant as we all can imagine
Be watching for changes to the WARN Act. It is important that if you are changing your staffing levels, reducing the workforce, that you get very comfortable with the legislation related to both Federal and NYS WARN act provisions. Penalities for non compliance are significant!
As with any of your HR compliance needs and how to implement regulations, write new policies and create new ways of managing staff, contact JBM! Consider one of our most popular offerings HR Now! Cost effective, highly skilled and experienced HR support at your fingertips!