Quick Hits - August 9, 2023 - American Society of Employers - ASE Staff

Quick Hits - August 9, 2023

What stresses employees out the most these days?  Are the good times coming to an end?  According to a new survey of 2,500 business professionals from recruitment firm Robert Walters, nearly half (45%) of employee stress is coming from a lack of job security.  According to data, other than job instability, 23% of those surveyed cited pressure from management as their top stress trigger, followed by 13% saying an increased workload is the cause of stress.  And who should manage their stress?  You guessed it.  Nearly half (45%) of those surveyed said it was up to senior leadership and their HR departments to manage stress in the workforce. Just under a fifth (19%) said it was the responsibility of middle management or line managers to do so.  And how effective are organizations at this?  62% of those surveyed don’t think employers are doing enough to help combat stress. Less than a quarter (24%) said they feel some effort has been made, but it has been insufficient. Only 14% of those surveyed said their employers do enough to manage employee stress.  Source:  CFO 7/19/23

U.S. employers with operations in Europe need to ensure compliance with the new Data Privacy Framework:  The Data Privacy Framework (DPF) replaces the invalidated EU-U.S. Privacy Shield starting July 17th.  Under the EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), personal data can be transferred from the EU to the United States only if an approved data transfer mechanism has been implemented. The DPF offers multinational employers a streamlined mechanism for transferring the personal data of EU personnel from subsidiaries in the EU to the parent corporation and its subsidiaries and affiliates in the United States.  The DPF alleviates the burden of contracting with vendors that will receive EU personal data.  Employers must determine how best to incorporate the DPF into their existing system for cross-border data transfers. DPF permits U.S. employers to legitimize the transfer of their HR Data by self-certifying with the Department of Commerce to handle EU personal data in compliance with the “DPF Principles,” which are rooted in EU data protection law. Employers that previously certified to the Privacy Shield and maintained their certification do not have to re-certify but will need to take steps to update their compliance with the DPF.  Contact your legal counsel for more information.  Source:  Littler 7/19/23

Employers must decide whether to cover OTC birth control:  The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved Opill, the first daily oral contraceptive to be sold over-the-counter (OTC) without a prescription. The U.S. joins over 100 other countries where birth control pills are available to consumers OTC. Most individuals who receive medical coverage through an employer-sponsored health plan can get prescription birth control with no out-of-pocket costs. This is because the Affordable Care Act (ACA) requires non-grandfathered group health plans (with some exceptions) to cover without cost sharing at least one form of female-controlled FDA-approved contraception in each identified category, including progestin-only oral contraceptives. A plan doesn’t have to cover every FDA-approved contraception in each category, and the no-cost coverage requirement does not extend to Opill or other OTC contraception purchased without a prescription. Unless required by federal law, self-insured employer-sponsored plans typically don’t provide coverage for OTC drugs or products. Plan participants can use health savings accounts, health flexible spending accounts, and certain health reimbursement arrangements to be reimbursed for nonprescription OTC purchases.  It also is still a question for group health plans.  Employers should discuss with their benefits providers as to options.  Source:  Mercer 7/20/23

Skilled trades shortages growing: Many U.S. employers are in desperate need of skilled labor or trade workers, as the industry sees double-digit growth in demand for services.  Since the beginning of 2023, there have been more than 770,000 skilled job postings from nearly 95,000 different employers across the country, according to data from PeopleReady Skilled Trades. For example, demand for carpenters has gone up 23% from March to May, while stonemasons are up 45%, and construction laborers are experiencing an 18% demand surge in the same time period. Over the past decade, college enrollment has declined roughly 15%, while the number of apprentices has increased by more than 50%, the Wall Street Journal reported based on federal and Urban Institute data. Estimates today show that colleges and universities enroll about 15 million students in total, while companies employ around 800,000 apprentices.  With the building of factories and the infrastructure spending, the need will be there long-term.  The question is whether a pipeline is developing that could fill the gap.  Source:  Fox News 7/18/23

HR professionals strongly support AI in recruiting: Overall, 80% of HR professionals have used or are considering using generative AI in the hiring process, reports Greenhouse, a provider of hiring operating systems.  And 62% believe that AI can help them hire the best candidate.  Outside of this, HR professionals’ thoughts on AI vary.  37% strongly or somewhat disagree that AI will reduce bias in the hiring process, while 28% feel the opposite. Over a quarter (27%) of candidates believe that AI leads to more bias in the hiring process.  Also, one-third of HR professionals (33%) believe that AI will help organizations reach their DEI goals, yet 31% strongly or somewhat disagree.  Around half of HR respondents (48%) strongly or somewhat agree with their company using AI to screen job applications, but one-third (33%) disagree. Similarly, over 35% of candidates disagree with the use of AI in job application screenings. However, 35% said using AI in the hiring process is fair game since companies are using AI to sort through resumes.  Over eight in 10 (84%) HR professionals believe that there should be more education and training in the workplace regarding AI tools. Can you tell if a resume is AI generated?  Source:  HR Director 7/19/23

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