The Startup’s Guide to Reducing Employee Absenteeism

The Startup’s Guide to Reducing Employee Absenteeism

Absences Cost Companies Money, Productivity and Added Stress.


Employee absences can become very costly for employers especially if they are not tracked. It is important for any company to utilize effective absence management systems to ensure employees are not abusing the time off policies of the company. Abusing the system can cost the company nearly 50-60% of an employee’s annual salary.


Absences Cost Companies Money

This can run into the tens of thousands of dollars in company losses if there are hundreds of employees abusing the system. Some companies may suggest their employees see a company physician or provide a doctor’s note to verify the absence. Many companies do not have strategies in place to handle excessive absences until the fifth absence is accumulated and the employees pay is stopped. This is not effective absence management.

Is Management Contributing To Poor Attendance?

One of the main reasons employees provide for taking unscheduled time off is conflict with their supervisor. Many supervisors and management team members do not know how to effectively communicate with their staff or they do not know how to interact with staff. It’s important to have a management team that has the proper training and support to communicate properly and professionally with employees.

By teaching supervisors to listen and work with their employees, helps to reduce the stress that is often the cause of the discord. When management has practices in place to help employees deal with personal problems or even personnel problems is an effective way to handle absenteeism.


Ways to Manage Absence

Ways to Manage Absence

Some of the best ways to ensure employees attendance is to provide incentives for good attendance, paying bonuses for days not used and providing ample sick days to all employees are some good ways to ensure employee productivity. Ensuring the company has good absence management policies and strategies to deal with short term absences, habitual absences and long term illnesses is also effective.

Policies should be clear and easy to understand and placed within the employee handbook for quick reference. Making these policies available through a staff portal so that they can be monitored may also act as a deterrent to habitual absenteeism. Keep your weekly time sheet updated on a daily basis. Some cloud based systems served a dual purpose such as a time and attendance system. Many of these applications also records and monitors excused absences, training as well as unauthorized absences and holidays.


Proactive Approach to Wellness

Taking a Proactive Approach to Employee Wellness

Clinical studies have shown that a company with an effective wellness program in place has fewer employee absences than a company that does not have a wellness program in place. Knowing what motivates your employees is another good indicator of their satisfaction in the workplace. Sometimes offering flex time or the ability to work from home will help eliminate absenteeism.

Companies that offer health screenings such as vision, blood pressure and diabetes checks have lower absentee rates than companies who don’t provide these services. Stress is the number one reason for a day off. Providing gym equipment for your employees boosts overall mental health and productivity by reducing stress. Employee surveys can indicate the areas of stress within the company providing Human resources the ability to address these stressors and put new practices in place.


Employee Wellness

Sometimes a little praise and positive feedback go a long way. Employees are not just interested in a paycheck they want to know they are doing a good job. Just like everyone else your employees need to know they are appreciated, employee appreciation days are a great way to show your employees they matter and boost their productivity. Something as simple as calling your employees by their name is enough to show them you recognize them and that the matter.

A safe, open work environment encourages employees to discuss with supervisors any ongoing problems they may be facing. Many employees that feel animosity or hostility in the work place will convince themselves they can’t make it out of bed, even if they are mildly under the weather. Anyone who dreads going to work may feel as if even the smallest mundane tasks are monumental, thus creating a need to escape.

Creating an atmosphere where employees feel free to discuss any issues with you or their supervisors is conducive to productivity. When personal problems arise employees may ask their supervisor for permission to arrive 20 minutes late, instead of losing a whole day of work.



Article provided by NECHES FCU, with locations in Port Neches, Nederland, Beaumont, Lumberton and Bridge City.
Neches FCU is one of the top Texas credit unions, and has an awesome team of professionals ready to deliver service all members. When their doors open at any of the several locations, their goal of “Ultimate Member Satisfaction” becomes the driving force for every staff member. They are well-known for a personal, dynamic and fast-paced work atmosphere, providing a memorable service experience, and where clients are known by name.

Equal Wage Laws to Go In To Effect in California Starting in 2016

Equal Wage Laws to Go In To Effect in California Starting in 2016

For years people like Gloria Steinem paved the way for women. California is one of the first states on board with equal pay for both women. Over the years countless women have been hired with the exact same qualifications as men, only to be paid around 78 cents on the dollar. The Equal Wage Laws will go into effect beginning the first of the year, putting a stop to the disparity.

What Does This Mean For Companies?

It means that companies are going to need to go over their books. Search for people who are on the exact same page, only difference is their sex and their pay. Once an employee has presented the issue to the employer, they will be required to provide reasoning.


Equal Wage Laws

It also means that the employer might get brought into court more often. The employee has more of an upper hand than before with the new law. This will result in a need to determine if it is cost effective to fight the employee. The factor must be the whole reason why the employee is paid less or the court is more likely to side with the employee.

Cost of living raises will be hard to justify. If a male works in a more affluent town than a woman who lives in a low cost of living town, pay must remain the same unless other factors are present. Since cost of living is not one of the factors, it will be hard to justify the pay difference.

What Reasoning Is The Employer Looking For?

The employer is looking for proof that the male counterpart was paid more due to a specific reason. The reason must be a seniority system, a merit system, higher education, training, more experience or a system in place that measures quality or quantity. If anyone is fully present than the company might have a case against raising the wages for that particular employee.


California Fair Pay Act

Changes in the California Fair Pay Act

They took out the words “equal work” and replaced them with “substantially similar work” meaning skill, effort and responsibility under the same work place conditions.” It also no longer has to be in the same location. This means that if someone in San Francisco and Los Angeles has the same qualifications they can’t get paid more due to cost of living. At least one of the factors above must be met by the man in the other office for the woman’s salary to remain the same.

Changes in Responsibility

The responsibility is now in the hands of the employer. This means that it takes the load off of the employee. It puts the rights in the employee’s hands. The employee will not get in trouble for executing their rights as employer retaliation is against the new law. The employer also keeps records for 3 years instead of the current 2.


What Should Employers Do

What Should Employers Do With This New Knowledge?

The first thing companies need to do is read up on the law. If there is any confusion they should have their lawyer take a look at it. If they do not have a lawyer they might want to hire someone. If they understand it then they need to determine what qualifies as substantially similar work.

They are looking for two people one man and one woman doing the same job with the same everything except their gender. Once they find them they need to verify they are making the same amount of money. If not then it needs to be determined if there is a factor that shows reasoning for the pay difference.

This content was assembled to inform small businesses – like yours – of potential compliance issues. To have employees in the United States means you’ll need quality labor law protection. If you’re based in Atlantic Beach, try one of these labor law posters for total compliance. Their legal staff is top notch, and works continually to monitor changes in the labor codes. This ensures their compliance posters are always in compliance and up to date.


Documented policies

The employers also need to go over all of their formally documented policies. It is important that they revise the policies to include the new law. One of the pieces within the new law makes it so employees can now converse about salaries. That was something that was not just taboo but was law in many handbooks prior to the new laws.

One of the most important things for companies to roll out is training for anyone that deals with wages. This is very important because if the company is breaking the law by telling them to be hushed, it can create more damage for the employer. You can’t blame the supervisors unless they are trained on the new laws and policies.

Closing Argument

Communication is the key in a situation like this. If there is a lack of communication or training that is when more problems come up. So making sure everyone is trained in how to understand the law. Hire an attorney if one is needed. Lastly, make the changes necessary to avoid lengthy court battles.


Proper Classification of Workers – A Growing Problem

The Proper Classification of Workers is a Growing Problem

Independent Contractors
Independent Contractors

In the US an employer has several obligations to their employees and must provide them with a variety of benefits in accordance with state and federal laws. In recent years there has been a growing trend in which employers are classifying their workers as “independent contractors” instead of employees in order to avoid having to provide them with these benefits and therefor save a bit of money while increasing the gross profit of their business. This growing practice has become controversial however, and the IRS has been taking measures to ensure that workers are properly classified. This has led to a clash between the IRS and businesses over the issue.

Benefits of Outsourcing
Benefits of Outsourcing

How Much They Really Save

Independent contractors, also known as freelancers, give up a lot of benefits in order to maintain their freedom and ability to choose who they work with on a job to job basis. The benefits that employers don’t have to pay a contractor includes: Social Security, unemployment, minimum wage, vacation time, and more. They also don’t have to take into consideration the Affordable Care Act since contractors are responsible for obtaining their own health insurance. Ultimately a business can save a lot of money by treating workers as contractors rather than employees. In fact, some business models are based entirely around being able to do this and are only able to remain profitable if they do so.

IRS troubles
IRS troubles

Trouble with the IRS

With the practice of classifying workers as contractors growing, the IRS and many states are beginning to take matters into their own hands. Aggressive in their assertions, the IRS has objectively reclassified many business’ workers as employees. This has lead to a variety of problems for businesses who have classified their workers as contractors. Not only do they have to pay all the taxes they owe, they also have to pay interest and a variety of penalties. With this being applied to each employee that was reclassified by the IRS, the tax liability can cripple a business almost overnight in some cases.

In other cases contractors have taken matters into their own hands. Not every contractor is happy with their status, such as the drivers at FedEx. They launched a civil case against their employer stating that they should be reclassified as employees instead of contractors due to the amount of control that FedEx exercised over them and how they did their job. Ultimately the case of Alexander v. FedEx Ground Package System Inc. was ruled in favor of FedEx by California. However, this was only a civil case and it may not be long before the IRS or California itself decides to get involved.

Getting Caught
Getting Caught

Getting Caught

While FedEx may be off the hook temporarily, the price for getting caught by the IRS or state when it comes to miss-classifying workers isn’t a pretty picture. In many cases a company will be scrutinized by the IRS when submitting their tax reports. This is due to the fact that many accountants don’t have a good understanding of what dose and does not legitimately classify a worker as an independent contractor due to how murky and complex the laws surrounding this issue truly are. One slip up on a tax report can trigger a full investigation by the IRS.

When the IRS decides to force a business to reclassify their “contractors” as employees they have been extremely successful in doing so. This is due to the fact that they use a standard of 20 common law factors to make their judgment on whether an individual is a contractor or employee. The issue here is that the 20 common law factors are extremely vague and open to interpretation. This essentially allows the IRS to nearly have free reign on their position as to whether a worker is an employee or contractor.

Legal Defense
Legal Defense

A “Bulletproof” Defense

Despite the fact that the IRS, and the state and Department of Labor, seem to wield absolute power in this situation, there is a way for businesses to defend themselves if they feel they are being unfairly targeted and forced to reclassify contractors as employees. This defense, called “bulletproof” by Knoxville, Tenn., CPA Edward Gee, can be a life saver for businesses in many cases.

The core of this defense is the reliance upon three principals of the Section 530 of the Revenue Act of 1978. The requirements are: the employer must file all applicable tax returns, the employer must have a legitimate reason for not treating the worker as an employee, and the employer must have treated all similar workers as independent contractors.

Due to the vague nature of the second requirement, it is advisable for a business to take into the account the advice of a lawyer or tax professional when classifying its workers as contractors. This will lend much more credibility to the argument.

Like most CPA’s or tax pros, you may have clients with sub-contractors and employees dispersed everywhere. If you’re sending out paper tax forms, cut that work down by 80% with this simple step. Use to efile 1099 forms, and use the spare time to find new clients. Watch the video below to see what I mean. I just love the fact that after I file 1099 online for a client, they will also do the printing and sending out of the clients forms to their employees.

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