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How You Can Help Your Employees Make The Most Of The July 4th Holiday

David Rook

Many employees feel like they have to check-in with work even when they’re supposed to be enjoying paid time off. More often than not, this is a cultural issue within a company.

Supervisors might be checking-in and sending emails in the evening or on weekends. This leads their direct reports to believe they need to respond immediately, and they may even start adopting these behaviors themselves. 

Yet, research has shown time and time again that workers need frequent breaks and unfortunately, Americans leave a lot of that paid time off on the table every year. It might seem like workers would be more productive if they aren’t using all their vacation time, but in reality, skipping our vacations actually makes us less productive. To keep employees operating in top shape, we need to encourage them to enjoy their downtime — and perhaps it’s fitting to begin with the July 4th holiday. Here are 5 ways to encourage employees to enjoy their independence...and their paid time off this weekend.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Company Culture, Paid Time Off (PTO), Employee Retention

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The Importance of Paid Time Off (PTO)

David Rook

Paid time off is one of the most commonly provided benefits as well as one of the most highly regarded.

The Bureau of Labor and Statistics reports that more than 70 percent of employees have at least one form of paid time off, and the rate is much higher among certain types of employers such as large private companies and local, state and federal government entities.

In fact, in a Glassdoor survey, vacation and paid time off proved to be more important for employees than pay raises. Yet despite the desire for it, the United States remains far behind much of the world in both providing and using this benefit.

Even though there’s been a recent uptick in the number of days U.S. employees are taking off annually, they still take very few days off -- and that’s not good for anyone.

The following is an exploration of why paid time off is important to offer and why it's important to take, along with what’s normal in the U.S. and throughout the world. 

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Topics: Company Culture, Paid Time Off (PTO), Employee Retention, workplace wellness, trends, work life balance, Mental Health, Recruitment

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The State of the Union Address and What It Means For Employee Benefits

Jeff Griffin

Last week, President Donald Trump delivered the 2019 State of the Union Address (SOTU). The SOTU is an annual message delivered by the president to a joint session of Congress at the beginning of each year.

At this year’s SOTU, President Trump discussed issues that have the potential to impact the employee benefits industry, as well as employers offering healthcare and benefits to their employees. The issues he discussed included pre-existing conditions, lower prescription drug prices, and nationwide paid family leave.

While the SOTU is just a speech, often times packed with lofty aspirations, it does sometimes lead to policy. Here is a recap of what was addressed:

Pre-existing Condition Protection

In a departure from 2018 Department of Justice actions, President Trump announced in the address that people who have pre-existing conditions should receive protections. If the administration holds true to this goal, they will likely find cross-aisle support, as pre-existing condition patient protection was a key campaign issue in the midterm elections.

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Topics: Paid Time Off (PTO), Legislation, Prescription Drugs, Pre-Existing Conditions

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Employee Benefits in 2019: Trends in Health Insurance, Time Off and More

Jeff Griffin

The past year’s tight labor market has made finding new hires more challenging than usual for employers, and it looks like the trend will continue throughout much of 2019. In order to attract and retain qualified talent, employers aren’t merely offering competitive salaries; they’re also revising their benefits packages, which many employees heavily scrutinize when entertaining job offers. As we enter 2019, here are some of the employee benefits trends that will shape overall compensation in the coming year.

Health Insurance: Promoting Services While Mitigating High-Cost Claims 
 

Health insurance remains the most trying employee benefit for employers to manage (and not only because many are required to offer it). Health insurance has always required a balancing act between giving employees valuable coverage and managing company costs.

In 2019, employers are approaching this balancing act by promoting convenient and high-level service while mitigating the costs associated with major claims (the top 1 percent of which use more resources than the bottom 75 percent of policyholders). Employers are accomplishing this via five methods:

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Topics: Paid Time Off (PTO), Education, HSAs, Mental Health

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FMLA Guidelines for Employers: Rules and Regulations

Jeff Griffin

At some point or another, every human resources employee helps to facilitate a leave of absence under the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA). HR personnel can probably recite FMLA guidelines and regulations in their sleep, but the average employee is pretty much out of touch with what the law entitles them to, and quite often they don't realize what’s actually required of their employers.

FMLA rules are designed to protect both the employer and the employee. From an employee’s perspective, they’re able to take necessary medical leave without fear of losing their job. For employers, it helps them work toward the goal of true, equal opportunity employment for both men and women.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Compliance, Company Culture, Paid Time Off (PTO)

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5 Ways to Encourage Employees to Enjoy Their Paid Time Off Over the July 4th Holiday

David Rook

Many employees feel like they have to check-in with work even when they’re supposed to be enjoying paid time off. More often than not, this is a cultural issue within a company. Supervisors might be checking-in and sending emails in the evening or on weekends. This leads their direct reports to believe they need to respond immediately, and they may even start adopting these behaviors themselves. 

Yet, research has shown time and time again that workers need frequent breaks and unfortunately, Americans leave a lot of that paid time off on the table every year. It might seem like workers would be more productive if they aren’t using all their vacation time, but in reality, skipping our vacations actually makes us less productive. To keep employees operating in top shape, we need to encourage them to enjoy their downtime — and perhaps it’s fitting to begin with the July 4th holiday. Here are 5 ways to encourage employees to enjoy their independence...and their paid time off this weekend.

Read More
Topics: Employee Benefits, Company Culture, Paid Time Off (PTO), Employee Retention

Related posts

Sample Policies for Arizona's New Paid Sick Leave Law

Jeff Griffin

In the November 2016 general election, Arizona voters passed Proposition 206, which instituted an incremental increase in the state’s minimum wage, as well as mandated paid sick leave for all employees — not just full-time, but part-time, temporary, and seasonal workers as well. All HR professionals and business owners should be apprised to the changes this law will bring and what it means for themselves and their employees.

To assist with complying with the new law, we're providing you with sample paid sick leave policies, not only for employers with over 15 employees, but also for employers with under 15 employees. Feel fee to use these new sample policies in posters, updated employee handbooks, and wherever else you post your HR policies. Of course as always, you should consult with your legal council and benefits advisor to ensure accuracy and applicability to your business,*

Here's a recap of the new law.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Paid Time Off (PTO), Legislation, Arizona

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The Birth of Labor Day (Pun Intended)

David Rook

The Birth of Labor Day

As experts in the field of employee benefits, it seems only fitting that we share with the curious the origins of Labor Day, most especially as we enter this holiday weekend. Labor Day is, after all, a celebration of the American labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers.

We have President Grover Cleveland to thank for the getting the first Monday of September as a holiday every year. Several factions lobbied for the holiday to be on May 1st, to link up with International Worker’s Day, which is celebrated in over 80 countries worldwide. But for President Cleveland, May 1st was too close to the date of Chicago’s Haymarket Massacre, which occurred on May 4th, 1886.

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Topics: Paid Time Off (PTO), Education

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Bend Time To Create Unique Employee Benefits

David Rook

In a perfect world, personal life and work-related responsibilities are in absolute harmony. There's no stress, no job dissatisfaction, and no reduced productivity. In a perfect world, when we list our priorities, we give equal weight to home and work, and our scale is in balance.

The savvy employer recognizes that more often than not, time is more important than money to employees. The ability to choose a work schedule, telecommute, or cut back on hours, without fear of monetary loss or employer repercussion, is a major perk. Having the opportunity to be flexible results in less stress for your employees, which results in higher productivity, less turnover, and an overall happier workplace.

Here are a few ways you can use the gift of time creatively to make your workers’ lives easier.

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Topics: Employee Benefits, Cost Containment, Paid Time Off (PTO)

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The Origins of Labor Day

David Rook

The Origins of Labor Day

As experts in the field of employee benefits, it seems only fitting that we share with the curious the origins of Labor Day, most especially as we enter this holiday weekend. Labor Day is, after all, a celebration of the American labor movement and is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of workers.

We have President Grover Cleveland to thank for the getting the first Monday of September as a holiday every year. Several factions lobbied for the holiday to be on May 1st, to link up with International Worker’s Day, which is celebrated in over 80 countries worldwide. But for President Cleveland, May 1st was too close to the date of Chicago’s Haymarket Massacre, which occurred on May 4th, 1886.

Read More
Topics: Paid Time Off (PTO), Education

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