Is your HR department fully compliant? Compliance requirements are changing practically daily, which can make it difficult to keep up. As a business owner — or general manager — you’re responsible for human resources and matters of compliance. Failure to achieve this compliance can lead to extremely costly fines. By updating your employee manual, reviewing notice checklists, and focusing on better organization, you should be able to both achieve compliance and reduce the administrative time spent on it.
Getting the Help of a Broker
First thing’s first — a broker can help. If you’re finding it difficult to maintain your HR compliance, you may want to outsource at least some of the work to a professional. A broker will be able to help with:
- Preparing a Notice of Exchange
- Terminating and Adding Employees
- Sending Out New Health Insurance Cards
- Answering Questions Regarding Plans
Most importantly, brokers are well aware of the current regulations and will be able to assist you in meeting them. If applicable, brokers may also cover:
- Section 125 Setup
- Cobra Administration (if over 20 employees)
Employee Handbooks and Benefits Management
Educating your employees regarding their benefits is critical — and the easiest way to educate employees is through an employee handbook. The handbook serves both as educational material for your employees and a way to sidestep costly litigation. By outlining everything within an employee handbook, employers can ensure that their employees have been properly notified regarding core processes. But before developing your employee handbook, you need to be aware of what is required in the handbook by law:
- Policies related to FMLA. The Family Medical Leave Act provides leave for employees regarding medical care for close family members. In general, employers are required to
- allow up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year for these situations.
- Policies related to equal employment. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, most businesses need to make a statement regarding their non-discrimination policies and their policies for equal employment.
Policies related to Worker’s Compensation. An insurance company specializing in Worker’s Compensation can aid a business in these policies, but many states require that these policies be specifically outlined in the employee handbook.
These are only the items that are required by law. In addition to this, an employer may want to include information regarding healthcare, life insurance, dental care, and vision care. This information should include details regarding when employees are able to qualify for plans and what the procedures are to sign up.
Apart from the handbook, organizations also need to provide an easy way for employees to be able to manage their own benefits. Clear protocols for benefits administration — such as who employees contact and what forms they use — are essential, especially in small businesses where employees may not otherwise have a dedicated Human Resources department to contact.
Saving Money as an Employer
Employers are able to save money on their employee benefits in a few ways. Product bundling can make it easier to meet all of an employee’s needs at a lower price — and this is again something that an insurance agency can help with. Employers also need to be able to meet their regulatory and compliance issues or, as noted, it can lead to substantial fines, penalties, and administrative costs. A reliable insurance agency will be able to aid with more advanced processes, such as Cobra administration, and will be able to advise an organization of the impact of current and future healthcare reform compliance.
The world of healthcare has been changing on a day-to-day basis, and many businesses are now struggling to keep up in terms of regulations and compliance. It is likely that the coming years are going to be equally tumultuous, and organizations are going to have to seek to protect their interests through education and information.
Being proactive about processes and compliance can help remove some of the stresses a business experiencs. Denesha Insurance Agency has partnered with HR360 to provide a complete human resources library and resource; essentially an online human resources department, leveling the playing field for small-to-midsized businesses and ensuring regulatory standards. Through HR360, businesses can acquire an all-in-one resource regarding their current human resources compliance requirements. Through this, businesses can provide better employee satisfaction while also streamlining their own administrative tasks.