2021: Compliance Here, Compliance There, Compliance Everywhere

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As we transition from one of the most unprecedented and ever-changing years in recent history, HR leaders are tasked with creating an improved, resilient workforce strategy. 

It is pivotal to apply lessons learned in 2020 to better understand and align initiatives with anticipated new regulations and unchartered demands. Reflecting on the past year, there are a few key areas HR leaders should have on their short-term radar.

Review Policies and Evaluate Processes

As most employers were forced to adjust and flex on policies affected by COVID-19, it is important to revisit organizational positions on things such as safety, paid leave, travel and remote work. 

Identify areas that may have caused confusion and disrupted operational efficiency.  Look to amend procedures for short-term and long-term use to ensure a proactive preparedness for unexpected future workforce adjustments. 

Creating policies relevant to the current climate will allow for better alignment with organizational goals and assist in maintaining company culture. 

Prepare for Pandemic-Response Regulation Changes

As the end of 2020 neared, no one knew what would happen to the entitlements provided by the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA). 

Although the required FFCRA regulations expired December 31st, 2020, the challenges presented by the pandemic are still existing.   

HR Leaders, in partnership with management, should work to create measures to address unanticipated workforce disruptions.  HR leaders are encouraged to outline the organization’s plans to address the challenges that employees will continue to face in 2021. 

A communication strategy should be developed to ensure employees understand the changes to any entitlement rights and any organizational-specific alternatives. 

In addition, employers should anticipate further changes to recently relaxed compliance-related requirements. For example, federal regulatory agencies delayed some reporting deadlines and the State of Ohio relaxed mandated Insurance and COBRA requirements, all in response to the pandemic. 

These adjustments are contingent on pandemic protocols and state of emergency status.  HR Leaders should identify compliance adjustments that are impactful to their organizations and create a proactive response plan for any additional alterations and/or expiration of the temporary revisions. 

Understand Potential New Workplace Law Developments Under the New Presidential Administration

Employment attorneys have begun to forecast the impact the new President will have on the nation’s employers.  As the transition to a new administration begins, it is important for HR Leaders to recognize the potential for swift changes in workplace law. 

There is speculation based on President Biden’s campaign that shifts in areas such labor relations, wages, employee benefits and safety/working conditions are on the horizon. 

As we wait and see what the future holds, employers should continue to monitor new legislative proposals in an effort to respond efficiently to changes that may begin at the end of January.  

Moving into a new year will present new challenges and ERC is a committed to being a value-added constant that can support your HR needs.

We will continue to monitor compliance changes in an effort to provide personalized insight into best practices and process implementation.  Keep a look out for information in our myERC online portal and the QuickHits Newsletter. In addition, please consider joining us for our webinar, What to Expect in 2021: Looking Ahead in a Year of Change, on January 22 at 12 p.m.

The 2021 NorthCoast 99 Application Launches February 18

 

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