Quick Hits - September 22, 2021 - American Society of Employers - ASE Staff

Quick Hits - September 22, 2021

Will #vaccinated make you more likely to select a candidate from LinkedIn?  A growing trend in LinkedIn is identifying their vaccination status. “It’s better to be over-qualified and state all the qualifications you have,” Dustin Mazanowski, a job seeker says. The “#vaccinated” mention is not a political statement, but a way he can signal to potential employers that he’s comfortable with in-person office work, he said.  The belief is that in today’s environment, it is important to have key words on their profiles and resumes that quickly distinguish them from the pack. And it may make a difference going forward, said John Challenger, CEO of the outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas. Instead of managing morale over vaccination rules, Challenger said, “employers want to focus on other things. If you are vaccinated and looking to be hired, for more employers, that just portends fewer difficulties.”  Do you look for #vaccinated when doing a LinkedIn search?  Source:  Marketwatch 9/16/21

Is payroll a recruitment and retention tool? A majority of U.S. workers—83%—believe they should have access to their earned wages at the end of each workday or shift according to a new poll. Their preference runs counter to the traditional two-to-four week pay cycles that have been in place for decades.  A lot of money is at stake. Ernst & Young estimated every day there is approximately $1 trillion in accrued employer payroll accounts in the U.S. and 36 other developed countries.  The study of U.S. workers was conducted online by The Harris Poll for HR and payroll management company Ceridian in August 2021. Ceridian said the poll, “... reveals clear expectations from millennials through to Generation X employees (between the ages of 18-44) to make payday more flexible.’ In addition, 80% would prefer to have their pay automatically streamed into their bank accounts as they earn it. 78% said free access to on-demand pay would increase their loyalty to an employer; 79% said it would make them feel more valued as an employee. 81% would take a job with an employer that provides access to earned wages on-demand at no cost to them over an employer that does not.  Source:  Forbes9/13/21

Elder care a hot topic item for benefits:  Many employees have eldercare responsibilities, and from late June to early July, elder care support company Homethrive surveyed 200 caregiving workers to learn how those duties weighed on their work lives. Among its findings, the company learned that 43% of respondents spent five or more work hours per week "distracted, worried, or focused on caregiving — and not their jobs," while 20% spent nine or more work hours per week on the same. The survey also showed a gap between employees’ needs and the support they received from employers. More than half of respondents said their supervisors were not as supportive as they needed them to be, and 79% said employers are not yet offering or not communicating about benefits that support caregiving. 84% said they would be receptive to the idea of such a benefit. "There are 60 million Americans caring for aging loved ones or those with special needs right now," Bonni Kaplan DeWoskin, vice president and chief marketing officer at Homethrive, told HR Dive. "It impacts 1 in 5 employees … that impact is real."  Source:  HR Dive 9/9/21

Is business travel dying out?  Frenchman Florent Menegaux, the chief executive of international tire giant Michelin, hadn't been to Asia or the U.S. for nearly a year and a half and was just planning a first trip to Africa. The pandemic had forced the executive to stay close to headquarters, a telling illustration of how COVID-19 has gutted global business travel.  Some of the world's biggest companies are signaling that innovative new communications tools mean it won't ever come back to the same levels. A Bloomberg survey of 45 large businesses in the U.S., Europe, and Asia shows that 84% plan to spend less on travel post-pandemic. Pressure to cut greenhouse gas emissions could see the vice on travel spending squeeze further over coming years.  Michelin is using sophisticated technologies to do things remotely like using a drone so top manufacturing brass sitting in France could visit its Campo Grande plant in Brazil. It aims to cut its travel budget by up to 30%.  “The effect of this structural decrease in business travel will be enormous for the [travel] industry, and especially for the airlines that are the most exposed to this category of traveler,” said Pascal Fabre, managing director in Paris for AlixPartners, a consulting firm.   Source: Bloomberg 9/1/21

Why religious accommodation requests need to be taken seriously:  AscensionPoint Recovery Services, LLC (APRS), a Minnesota-based estate and probate debt recovery company, will pay $65,000 to resolve a religious discrimination lawsuit brought by the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC).  According to the lawsuit, APRS fired a Christian employee rather than accommodating his request to be exempted from a fingerprinting requirement due to his religious beliefs. The fingerprinting requirement was prompted by a background check procedure requested by of one of the company’s clients. Shortly after the Christian employee informed APRS that having his fingerprints captured was contrary to his religious practices, APRS fired him. APRS did so without asking the client whether an exemption was available as a religious accommodation, despite the fact that alternatives to fingerprinting were available.  The issue to remember is not whether the belief is a legitimate belief but whether the belief is a sincerely held belief regardless of what religion it may be based on.  Source:  EEOC 9/8/21

IRS issues guidance concerning reporting of qualified sick and family wages paid to employee on W-2:  The IRS and the Treasury Department have issued Notice 2021-53 to employers about reporting the amount of qualified sick and family leave wages paid to employees for leave taken in 2021 on Form W-2, Wage and Tax Statement. Further, the notice provides guidance under recent legislation, including: the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) (P.L. 116-127), as amended by the COVID-Related Tax Relief Act of 2020 (Division N of P.L. 116-260) and the American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (P.L. 117-2). Employers are required to report these amounts to employees either on Form W-2, Box 14, or in a separate statement provided with the Form W-2. The wage amount that the notice requires employers to report on Form W-2 will provide employees who are also self-employed with the information necessary to determine the amount of any sick and family leave equivalent credits they may claim in their self-employed capacities. Source:  IRS 9/7/21

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