EverythingPeople This Week!

Published on Tuesday, November 6, 2018

Quick Hits - November 7, 2018

Author: ASE Staff

Paid parental leave growing among employers:  The Mercer 2018 Survey on Absence and Disability Management found that in 2018, 41% percent of employers offered paid parental leave to their employees, up from only 25% percent in 2015. It also found that birth parents tend to get more time off than non-birth parents. The median amount of leave offered to birth parents is six weeks, compared to four weeks for non-birth parents, which is unchanged from 2015. Mercer noted that while more employers are offering leave, the amount of leave being offered has not increased noticeably.  The survey found that more employers are offering leave for the adoption of a child—38% provide this type of leave in 2018, up from 24% in 2015. The median allowance of eight weeks for adoption leave has also remained unchanged.   Most employers allow employees to use their own paid sick days to care for a sick family member (82%, up from 74% in 2015). In addition, 19% of respondents offer company-sponsored paid leave to care for a family member with a serious health issue; the median allowance is eight weeks.  It appears that the paid sick leave movement has caused more employers to jump ahead of the curve.   Source:  CCH, Mercer

IRS reports changes in 401(K) contributions for 2019: The contribution limit for employees who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans, and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan is increasing from $18,500 to $19,000. The catch-up contribution limit for employees aged 50 and over who participate in 401(k), 403(b), most 457 plans and the federal government’s Thrift Savings Plan will remain unchanged at $6,000. The limit on annual contributions to an IRA, which last increased in 2013, is increasimg from $5,500 to $6,000. The additional catch-up contribution limit for individuals aged 50 and over is not subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and will remain $1,000.  The income phase-out range for taxpayers making contributions to a Roth IRA is $122,000 to $137,000 for singles and heads of household, up from $120,000 to $135,000. For married couples filing jointly, the income phase-out range is $193,000 to $203,000, up from $189,000 to $199,000. The phase-out range for a married individual filing a separate return who makes contributions to a Roth IRA is not subject to an annual cost-of-living adjustment and remains $0 to $10,000.  With respect to IRAs, for single taxpayers covered by a workplace retirement plan, the phase-out range is $64,000 to $74,000, up from $63,000 to $73,000.  For married couples filing jointly, where the spouse making the IRA contribution is covered by a workplace retirement plan, the phase-out range is $103,000 to $123,000, up from $101,000 to $121,000.  Source:  IRS 11/1/18

Contingent employees becoming the norm in today’s talent starved environment: Cielo’s 2018 Talent Acquisition 360 study finds that the competition for talent is causing major shifts in corporate strategy, as well as significant disagreements among business functions regarding their companies’ approaches to finding, recruiting, interviewing, and hiring new employees. Nearly 70% of business leaders surveyed worldwide believe the existing talent pool is shrinking while the competition for talent is increasing, and 54% say their company has more open positions than ever before. The study reveals that nearly 30% percent of companies are now hiring contingent labor across all job levels, including 24% of senior roles, 28% of manager level roles, 32% of individual contributors, and 41% of entry-level talent. This contingent labor includes temporary employees, independent contractors, consultants, interim executives, and gig workers. The proportion of contingent labor in the total workforce is significantly higher in Asia Pacific, Latin America and the Middle East than in the United States, Canada, and Europe.  Did you know ASE provides contingent workers at all levels?  To learn more, contact Shannon Reed. Source:  Cielo

More employees feeling good in their workplace: A third of workers feel the greatest sense of belonging in the workplace, compared to 62% who feel that in their home, according to EY's Belonging Barometer study. The survey of 1,000 employed Americans found that half of the respondents believe diversity is best represented at work.  Almost 40% of respondents said they have the greatest feeling of belonging when colleagues regularly check to see how they're doing, both personally and professionally. Most of the female respondents (61%) said they believe exclusion is a form of workplace bullying, compared to only 53% of males in the study. More than 40% of employees from all generations said social exclusion at work makes them feel emotionally and physically isolated, stressed, angry, and sad.  Source:  HR Dive 11/2/18

70% of ADA accommodations cost nothing:  Reasonable accommodations are usually far less expensive than many people think. In most cases, an appropriate reasonable accommodation can be made without difficulty and at little or no cost.  70% cost nothing.  28% cost less than $1,000. Only 3% cost more than that! Source: Job Accommodation Network

Employees are stressed over health care costs: According to a recent study, Stressed Out: Americans and Healthcare, by nonprofit Transamerica Center for Health Studies®, 62% of U.S. adults identify health care costs as a significant source of stress. One in five (17%) adults cannot afford health insurance co-pays, deductibles, and out-of-pocket expenses, including prescription drugs. One in three U.S. adults indicate they have seen an increase in health insurance premiums (35%) and out-of-pocket expenses (31%). 48% of adults said they received an unexpected or surprise medical bill they thought would be covered by insurance. Amid rising costs, relatively few (31%) report saving for healthcare expenses. 69% of U.S. adults are paying for significant healthcare expenses through a variety of means, including savings (35%), credit cards (28%), disposable income (24%, loans from family (8%), or a 401(k) withdrawal (6%). Only 27% indicate they do not have significant healthcare expenses.  Source: www.transamericacenterforhealthstudies.org

Recruiting in Germany is becoming more complicated: The German Constitutional Court (Bundesverfassungsgericht, BVerfG) back in October 2017, ruled that lack of a third gender in the German Civil Status Act (the Act) violates the rights of those who do not identify themselves to either the male or female sex. The decision changes the requirements for wording of job advertisements. The General Equal Treatment Act (Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz - AGG) requires that employers do not discriminate against applicants on the basis of their gender or sexual identity. According to paragraph 22 AGG, there will be a suspicion of discrimination if gender is not addressed properly in a job advertisement (for example, describing the potential candidate as a specific gender). In order to prevent discrimination, employers should ensure that job advertisements do not exclude applicants of the third sex. For this purpose, a gender-independent designation can be used or the addition of "(m/w/x)", "(m/w/i)", or "(m/w/d)" can be added to the job title. “i” stands for "intersexual" and “d” for "diverse". Employers may also add "*" or "_" to address the third gender (e.g. "Mitarbeiter*innen" or "Mitarbeiter_innen"). Alternatively, the clause "We are happy about applicants of any gender" can be added.  Source: Bird & Bird 10/30/18

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