Telehealth flexibility extended two more years: The Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2023 has extended telehealth flexibility for two years. These provisions are now set to expire December 31, 2024, for calendar-year plans. The Coronavirus, Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act included a provision that allows group health plans, including health savings account (HSA)-eligible high-deductible health plans (HDHPs), to offer telehealth services predeductible. In addition, HSA-eligible individuals can receive predeductible coverage for telehealth and other remote care services from a stand-alone vendor outside of their HDHP. Receiving this care before meeting their deductible will not jeopardize the individual’s eligibility to make or receive HSA contributions. The provision was renewed through 2022 in the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2022. Source: CCH 1/4/23
Gen Zers not applying for trade positions: The application rate for young people seeking technical jobs — like plumbing, building, and electrical work — dropped by 49% in 2022 compared to 2020, according to data from online recruiting platform Handshake shared with NPR. Researchers from Handshake tracked how the number of applications for technical roles vs. the number of job postings has changed over the last two years. While postings for those roles — automotive technicians, equipment installers and respiratory therapists, to name a few — saw on average 10 applications each in 2020, they got about five per posting in 2022. The typical rate is about 19 applications per job on Handshake, according to Christine Cruzvergara, the company's chief education strategy officer. Occupations such as auto technician with aging workforces have the U.S. Chamber of Commerce warning of a "massive" shortage of skilled workers in 2023. Source: NPR 1/5/22
Do you have an unused PTO problem? The pandemic disrupted employers’ paid time off policies, but two years later, a recently published study shows the problem may have only grown worse. Results from a July survey of U.S. adults by PTO solutions provider Sorbet found that 55% of PTO went unused by employees, compared to 28% in 2019. In all, the company said 57% of workers left PTO on the table this year, compared to 37% in 2019. That unused PTO translated into a real monetary cost for workers, too. Sorbet estimated that the average employee held $3,000 in unused accrued PTO. The vendor’s findings seem to mesh with those of other organizations. In August, Eagle Hill Consulting announced survey results that showed 42% of U.S. workers had not taken a vacation in the past year, though not all workers in the cohort reported having access to PTO. Employers also may need to be aware of the inequities inherent in PTO availability and use. Sorbet, for instance, found that male employees received 10% more PTO days on average than women, and that men took 33% more days off than women. Source: HR Dive 12/22/22
Are you updating your performance management processes? According to a survey of over 800 global organizations by WTW, it found just one in four North America employers (26%) reported being effective at both managing and paying for performance. Additionally, the gap between the priorities for performance management and delivering on those objectives is wide. For example, more than nine in 10 North America respondents (93%) cited driving organization performance as a key objective for performance management, yet less than half (44%) said their performance management program is meeting that objective. Similarly, 72% said supporting the career development of their employees is a primary objective, but only 31% said their performance management program was meeting that objective. North America respondents also had mixed views on the effectiveness of managers in evaluating performance and differentiating pay. 49% agree that managers at their organizations are effective at assessing the performance of their direct reports. 46% consider their managers effective at differentiating their direct reports’ performance. Further, only one in three organizations indicates its employees feel their performance is evaluated fairly. Interestingly, despite the rapid increase in remote and hybrid working models, only one in six employers (16%) reports having altered its performance management approach to align with such models. Source: Willis Towers Watson 12/13/22
USDOL budget allocations: Now that the budget has been passed, these are the allocations to various Department of Labor and other agencies:
- The Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ FY 2023 budget allocation is $110,976,000. OFCCP requested $147,051,000 (628 FTEs). Its FY 2022 annualized Continuing Resolution (CR) budget level was $105,976,000 (420 FTEs). The difference between the FY 2022 CR and the FY 2023 budget law is $5,000,000 or 4.72%.
- For the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), the allocation is $632,309,000. OSHA requested $701,405,000 (2,346 FTEs). The FY 2022 annualized CR budget level was $591,787,000 (1,853 FTEs). The difference between the FY 2022 CR and the finalized FY 2023 budget is $40,522,000. Or 6.85%.
- For the Wage and Hour Division (WHD), the allocation is $260,000,000. The agency requested $307,678,000 (1,556 FTEs). The FY 2022 annualized CR budget level was $246,000,000 (1,267 FTEs). The difference between the FY 2022 CR and the finalized FY 2023 budget is $14,000,000 or 5.69%.
- For the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), the budget allocation is $455,000,000. The agency requested $464,650,000 (2,145 FTEs). The FY 2022 annualized CR budget level was $404,490,000 (2,070 FTEs). The difference between the FY 2022 CR and the FY 2023 budget law is $50,510,000 or 12.49%.
- The National Labor Relations Board’s allocation is $299,224,000. The Board requested $319,424,000 (1,305 FTEs). The FY 2022 annualized CR budget level was $274,224,000 (1,215 FTEs), which continued the level of funding in place for the Agency since 2014. The difference between the FY 2022 CR and the finalized FY 2023 budget is $25,000,000 or 9.12%
The agencies budgets were basically maintenance budgets. Source: DirectEmployers 1/4/23