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2016 Human Resource Changes Affecting the Workplace

The workplace is changing more rapidly than ever and so are the regulations affecting it. Here are some recent changes in healthcare, technology, benefits and employee relations.

Healthcare

As the IRS explains, “The Affordable Care Act added section 6056 to the Internal Revenue Code, which requires applicable large employers to file information returns with the IRS and provide statements to their full-time employees about the health insurance coverage the employer offered.” The new requirements first became effective in 2016 and cover any employer with more than 50 employees. The new requirements simplify reporting by combining forms and decreasing the amount of information that needs to be submitted about health insurance coverage.

Technology

Technology changes are affecting the way that employers and employees approach health care. For example, money can be saved through virtual visits to doctors or specialists or by monitoring blood pressure over 24 hours at home.

In a further development on the technology front, in December of 2015, the National Labor Relations Board determined that employers cannot forbid employees from “recording conversations or taking photographs at work.” They cannot direct employees to first get permission from a supervisor before taking photos or recording conversations. The NLRB claimed that those prohibitions would prevent employees from documenting unsafe working conditions or employer harassment, for example.

Benefits

Another trend for 2016 is the widening scope of voluntary benefits being offered to potential employees. More and more, benefits are being tailored to individual employees, including help with everything from student loans to retirement planning.

Employee Relations

As the workforce changes—becoming more global, diverse and more demanding of interesting work—more employees are seeking opportunities to learn. A workplace that provides those opportunities will attract highly motivated employees. Those opportunities range from “people analytics” (such as StrengthsFinder™) to courses on how to handle specific tasks and equipment at work.

Another workforce change is the increase in contingent workers. According to a recent survey on “Global Human Capital Trends, 2016” by Deloitte University Press, “Only 19 percent of executives surveyed believe their companies fully understand the labor laws that govern contingent workers.” As explained in an earlier HR Compliance 101 blog, contingent workers are part-time, freelance and consulting employees as opposed to full-time employees.

HR Compliance 101 keeps up with the latest regulatory and workplace trends and laws so that our clients are able to adapt quickly and avoid lawsuits and fines. Please let us know how we can help you.

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