How to Keep Your Employees Motivated This Summer

Over the coming months, the warm weather and eagerly anticipated outdoor activities of summer may take a toll on your workers’ concentration. If you begin to notice a lack of focus among your employees, consider the following ideas to help keep them motivated:

  1. Encourage your employees to step outside for at least 15 minutes each day. Exposure to natural sunlight can prevent workers from feeling confined to the office during the warm summer months. Holding business meetings outside may also help to boost workers’ morale.
  2. Change things up! Employees may become more motivated when their jobs are more challenging and interesting. Consider lateral moves to build your workers’ skill levels and knowledge base.
  3. Create opportunities for casual interaction. A company sports team, a family day, or an outdoor after-hours social event can keep your employees engaged and build camaraderie in the workplace.
  4. Consider flexible working arrangements. Arrangements such as flextime or staggered work hours may allow employees to enjoy summer activities and attend to family obligations, while coming to work refreshed. It’s a good idea for employers to work with a knowledgeable employment law attorney when creating policies on flexible working arrangements, to ensure policies and practices are in compliance with the law and do not unlawfully discriminate against certain employees

Form 300A Electronic Submission Requirement Now Applies Nationwide

The federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) recently announced that covered establishments in all states—including establishments in California, Maryland, Minnesota, South Carolina, Utah, Washington, and Wyoming—must electronically submit data from their 2017 OSHA Form 300A to OSHA by July 1, 2018. Previously, employers in those seven states were deemed exempt from the electronic submission requirement.

As a reminder, the following establishments—if currently required to comply with OSHA’s recordkeeping requirements—are required to electronically submit data from their 2017 Forms 300A to OSHA:

Click here to read the OSHA announcement. To submit your establishment’s data, click here.

Are Summer Interns Subject to Minimum Wage and Overtime Pay Laws?

 

While the federal Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) requires for-profit employers to pay “employees” for their work, interns and students may not be employees under the FLSA. The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) and many courts use the “primary beneficiary” test to determine whether an intern or student is, in fact, an employee under the FLSA. This test examines the “economic reality” of the intern-employer relationship to determine which party is the “primary beneficiary” of the relationship. The following seven factors are included in the test:

  1. The extent to which the intern and the employer clearly understand that there is no expectation of compensation. Any promise of compensation, express or implied, suggests that the intern is an employee—and vice versa.
  2. The extent to which the internship provides training that would be similar to that which would be given in an educational environment, including the clinical and other hands-on training provided by educational institutions.
  3. The extent to which the internship is tied to the intern’s formal education program by integrated coursework or the receipt of academic credit.
  4. The extent to which the internship accommodates the intern’s academic commitments by corresponding to the academic calendar.
  5. The extent to which the internship’s duration is limited to the period in which the internship provides the intern with beneficial learning.
  6. The extent to which the intern’s work complements, rather than displaces, the work of paid employees while providing significant educational benefits to the intern.
  7. The extent to which the intern and the employer understand that the internship is conducted without entitlement to a paid job at the conclusion of the internship.

The primary beneficiary test is flexible, and no single factor is determinative. Instead, whether an intern or student is an employee under the FLSA depends on the unique circumstances of each case. If analysis of these circumstances reveals that an intern or student is actually an employee, then he or she is entitled to both minimum wage and overtime pay under the FLSA.

Click here for more information from the DOL.

Execupay supports Port Aransas!

Although we make it look easy, diligently processing thousands of paychecks every month is a lot of hard work and we believe that hard work should be rewarded. This year we continued the tradition of taking care of our people as well as they take care of our customers! Every year Execupay likes to thanks its hard working employees by treating them to a well deserved trip to Port Aransas on the Texas coast.

DOL Clarifies Federal Law on Tip Pooling

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has released guidance clarifying federal law on tip pooling. The guidance was issued in response to a federal law that amended the federal Fair Labor Standards Act’s (FLSA) tip pooling rules. The DOL guidance states that:

  1. Employers are prohibited from keeping tips received by their employees, regardless of whether the employer takes a tip credit against the minimum wage for its employees.
  2. Federal regulations no longer prohibit tip pooling when employers pay tipped employees at least the full federal minimum wage and do not claim a tip credit.
  3. Employers who pay at least the full federal minimum wage are no longer prohibited from allowing employees who are not customarily and regularly tipped—such as cooks and dishwashers—to participate in tip pools. However, managers and supervisors are prohibited from participating in tip pools.

Execupay Welcomes Scott Abramson to The Team!

Execupay is proud to welcome Scott Abramson as our new Partner Account Manager!

Abramson is an industry veteran with nearly 20 years of experience helping businesses thrive. He is bringing his exceptional performance and creative problem-solving abilities to the table to help our licensee community grow their businesses by leveraging every aspect of Execupay’s platform.

He will also be working directly with Execupay channel partners; helping them build strong relationships with their clients through Execupay’s unique business solutions.

Before joining Execupay, Abramson was most recently the Senior Business Development Manager at Resourcing Edge, a national PEO.  He has also worked with Apex HCM where he successfully implemented their partnership programs and delivered significant growth in their key metrics.

“I honored and excited to be joining Execupay. I believe my background and experience perfectly aligns with the Execupay mission to deliver exceptional services and solutions to our customers, in order to help them grow their payroll businesses as well as to help our channel partners excel with the Execupay solution.”

~Scott Abramson

Welcome aboard Scott! We are so happy to have you as part of our fantastic Execupay team!

Execupay Introduces Branded & Integrated Payroll for hCentive

Execupay and hCentive have partnered to provide All in one platform with Benefits and Payroll to employers and employees

Execupay’s integration for hCentive benefits both HR departments and the employees. For the HR professional, hCentive’s Uzio Payroll offers a full-service online payroll experience, which includes dedicated, highly trained, payroll support, automated tax services and seamlessly synced payroll data for one system of record.

“Uzio is excited to partner with Execupay, as it would help us serve our customers better,” said Ashish Jaiswal, Head of Product at Uzio. “Our HR and Benefits platform and Execupay’s payroll management technology will enable Uzio to deliver a unified customer experience for our broker partners, employers and employees.”

Execupay’s Channel Partnership program enables industries such as financial institutions, brokers, accountants, retailers and franchisors to offer white-labeled Payroll & HR Services to their businesses customers changing the way their customers think about Payroll. With “Powered by Execupay”, companies have the option to offer branded payroll and HR services without the investments in product or staffing, while strengthening their customers relationship with their brand.  With customized sales material, websites and more, Execupay handles all aspects of the offering from sales to implementation to service for their partners, all backed by a White Glove Service promise.  “Powered by Execupay” is the easiest way for any business to offer payroll and HR service to their small business customers.

“Customer success is the topmost priority for Uzio, including our partnership with Execupay,” said Sushant Jha, Business Head, Uzio. “Our collaboration will empower our mutual customers to manage employee benefits and payroll in more effective ways.”

About Execupay
Execupay has been a trusted leader in providing payroll and HR Solutions for both small and medium sized businesses since 1974, covering payroll, time and labor management, talent acquisition, talent management, and more for thousands of businesses and millions of employees.  Execupay couples innovative products with white glove customer service to empower customers, allowing them to focus on growing their business.   Learn more about Execupay at execupay.com, get great payroll and HR advice at execupay.com/blog and follow us on Twitter at @execupay.

About Uzio (powered by hCentive)
At Uzio (www.uzio.com) we provide the best technology platform for broker, employers and employees. Uzio transforms brokers into a digital broker and helps them differentiate from the “pen & paper” based brokers. Our technology will enable brokers to provide a fast and efficient deployment of the benefits in a true digital landscape that simplifies the clients’ experience. Impress your peers and clients with state of the art technology! Uzio’s empowering partnership helps brokers, grow revenue and acquire new clients.

For SMB’s looking to provide comprehensive benefits in a cost-effective way, UZIO provides a marketplace of products and partners, which simplifies the benefits management by combining the power of technology and the experience of the local Brokers.

Sebastiaan Pleij
Design & Marketing Manager at Execupay, Inc.
877-366-9511
sebastiaan.pleij@execupay.com

Sunny Arora
Sr. Director, Marketing at hCentive, Inc
sunny.arora@hcentive.com

Some Updates For the 2018 Tax Year

2018 Federal Tax Withholding Guidance Released

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) has released Publication 15 (Circular E), Employer’s Tax Guide, for use in 2018. This publication:

  • Details employers’ federal tax responsibilities;
  • Explains the federal requirements for withholding, depositing, reporting, paying, and correcting employment taxes;
  • Lists the forms employers must give to their employees, those that employees must give to the employer, and those that the employer must send to the IRS and Social Security Administration; and
  • Features the tax tables to calculate the taxes to withhold from each employee.

Publication Highlights
Highlights of the 2018 publication include the following:

  • Social Security and Medicare Tax for 2018. The Social Security tax rate is 6.2% each for the employee and employer. The Social Security wage base limit is $128,400. The Medicare tax rate is 1.45% each for the employee and employer. There is no wage base limit for the Medicare tax.
  • 2018 Withholding Tables. The publication includes the 2018 Percentage Method Tables and Wage Bracket Tables for Income Tax Withholding.
  • Withholding Allowance. The 2018 amount for one withholding allowance on an annual basis is $4,150.

DOL Updates Employer CHIP Notice

The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) has updated its model notice for employers to provide information on eligibility for premium assistance under Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP). This notice is generally updated twice a year. Click here to download the updated notice in PDF format.

Annual Notice Requirement
Employers that provide health insurance coverage in states with premium assistance through Medicaid or CHIP must provide employees with the Employer CHIP notice annually before the start of each plan year. An employer can choose to provide the notice on its own or concurrent with the furnishing of:

  • Materials notifying the employee of health plan eligibility;
  • Materials provided to the employee in connection with an open season or election process conducted under the plan; or
  • The summary plan description (SPD).

The updated model notice includes information on how employees can contact their state for additional information and how to apply for premium assistance, with information current as of January 31, 2018.

 

What Makes Employees Leave and What You Can Do About It

Today, we’re going to discuss a recent survey conducted by LinkedIn, the leading social networking site for businesses. According to LinkedIn’s findings, 85% of the global workforce is actively looking for a new job, reaching out to personal networks, or remaining open to speak with recruiters. And this number includes those employees who say they are satisfied with their current jobs.

As managers and HR professionals, you’re right to be concerned when you hear that number. Think about it: more than 8 in 10 of your employees are looking for a new job or are open to leaving your company.

But why? And what can you do about it?

Fortunately, LinkedIn dug a little deeper when they surveyed 18,000 fully-employed professionals across 26 countries, including the US, Australia, Canada, India, and the U.K. These individuals were either actively seeking their next role or were passive employees-meaning they were reaching out to their personal network or were open to talking to a recruiter – here’s what they had to say, in order of importance…

Passive Employees:

  1.     Better Compensation and Benefits
  2.     Better Work/Life Balance
  3.     Better opportunities for Advancement

Actively Looking Employees:

  1.     Greater Opportunities for Advancement
  2.     Better Compensation and Benefits
  3.     More Challenging Work

Taken together, these findings identify areas that you, as a manager or supervisor, should pay careful attention to. To begin, make sure that your employees are being paid and compensated competitively and that they are aware of their opportunities for advancement.

ABC’s of Minimizing Workplace Stress


Did you know that work is the second most common source of stress after money?  Worries about workload, job security, or work/life balance can all take a toll on your employees, causing symptoms such tension and irritability, inability to make decisions or concentrate, feelings of powerlessness and anger, physical ailments, and risky behaviors such as increased use of alcohol and drugs or even violence– none of which make for a happy and productive workplace.

Of course, certain industries and work environments–such as restaurants, emergency rooms, and retail stores–can be inherently stressful, and every employee has his or her own threshold for tolerating and managing stress. And facing challenges at work or short-term bouts of stress can be part of building a career. However, left unresolved, workplace stress can damage your bottom line.

As a manager, there are things you can do to help employees cope. Stress management should be an important part of your overall health and wellness efforts. Your individual solutions will be unique to your business, but use the ABCs as your guide.

Senior executives and managers need to recognize when workplace stress is hampering morale and productivity, and publicly commit to addressing the problem.

Acknowledgement

Senior executives and managers need to recognize when workplace stress is hampering morale and productivity, and publicly commit to addressing the problem.

Brainstorming

Meet with your managers and employees at all levels to find out precisely what is causing them stress. It could be unrealistic deadlines, lack of training or management support, or being understaffed. Candid responses are essential, and employees must be assured that they will not be penalized for feedback. Ask your employees what they suggest to improve the situations that trigger stress. If necessary, hire an outside party to conduct the session so your employees can speak freely. Let them know that feedback is an ongoing process, and you want to keep the lines of communication open.

Creative Solutions

As you implement programs, you need to get creative. Consider adjusting work hours, shifting employees internally or hiring part-time help for crunch periods. Give extra breaks during the day to allow your employees to stretch and refocus, and make it fun. Your break room is a great spot to foster personal interaction, so if your business allows, make it an engaging place to be with fun lighting, comfortable seating, or even a billiards, ping pong, or foosball table to let your employees blow off steam. Far from being time-wasters, these features can foster teamwork and creative thought. If it’s solitude your employees seek, offer them a quiet space to rest and recharge. You can also host informal, company-sponsored opportunities for employees to bond and socialize outside of work, such as a pizza party, bowling night, or trip to a sporting event.

Finally, remember that in some cases workplace stress may be part of a more serious psychological issue or disorder. This is not something to ignore or assume will get better on its own. Employees who are struggling should be handled with care and referred to an employee assistance program, or EAP, for professional assistance. For more information on workplace stress, employee wellness, and EAPs, visit us online at execupay.com