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CaptureEmployers seeking ways to help their employees during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic may want to consider implementing a leave-sharing program. These programs allow employees to donate some of their accrued paid leave time, such as paid time off (PTO), vacation or sick leave, for the benefit of other employees who need additional paid leave. During the COVID-19 crisis, many employees may exhaust the leave available to them through illness, quarantine or isolation, or care giving responsibilities.

Although the IRS has approved leave sharing in the context of medical emergencies and major disasters, it has not issued guidance on leave-sharing programs specifically for COVID-19, despite major disaster declarations for all 50 states due to the pandemic.

While these programs can be beneficial to both employers and employees, they need to be carefully structured in order to avoid negative tax consequences for the employees who donate their unused paid leave.

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We will continue to share information as it becomes available and keep you informed.

Ryan Laude is a Client Advisor at Gulfshore Insurance specializing in employee benefits. Ryan works with a wide range of businesses to create the best funding options that fit their needs. Comments and questions are welcome at rlaude@gulfshoreinsurance.com

Amerisure Webinar

Please join us to learn from two of Amerisure’s risk management experts about protecting your workplace from the unique risks posed by COVID-19. We’ll discuss:

  • Your company’s role in responding to the pandemic
  • Initial steps for safely bringing back employees once your facility is open
  • Daily access procedures
  • General employee work practices and controls
  • Protocols for employees while they are traveling

Thursday, May 21 at 2:00 p.m. EDT

Click to register

Client Alert: DOL Temporarily Extends COBRA DeadlinesIn response to the COVID-19 pandemic, the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) released a new final rule that temporarily extends the period in which eligible employees can elect COBRA health insurance coverage, and the deadline for them to begin making COBRA premium payments.

These new rules apply only to employers that follow Federal COBRA and do not apply to employers who follow State Continuation (aka mini-COBRA).

Under the new rule, the time period between March 1, 2020 and 60-days after the COVID-19 National Emergency is declared over is completely disregarded in calculating an individual’s COBRA election period and a COBRA premium payment due date. It’s as if the time between March 1, 2020 and 60-days after the end of the COVID-19 National Emergency never existed. Since the National Emergency declaration is still in place, the exact dates for your continuants’ COBRA premium payments and COBRA elections is not known at this time.

In addition, the ruling advised that existing COBRA continuants will not be terminated for non-payment and the election period will continue until 60 days after the National Emergency is declared over.

Some employers may wish to reach out to all their current continuants (not just those who were terminated for non-payment/end of election period) to inform them of the recent changes.

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Please reach out to your Account Manager if you would like more information. We will continue to share information as it becomes available and keep you informed.

 

Creating a Return to Work Action PlanThe coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic has interrupted many businesses across the country. While it’s unclear how long COVID-19 will continue to affect organizations, many employers are looking to the future of employees returning to work.

Echoing the sentiments of public health officials, a return to normalcy won’t be like flipping a switch, but rather a gradual effort. In preparation for reopening your business and asking employees to come back to work, it’s imperative that your company thoughtfully constructs a return to work action plan for its employees to keep everyone healthy and safe following the COVID-19 pandemic.

Please note, this guide does not account for state and local guidance related to COVID-19, but follows the guidance laid out by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and OSHA that is designed to keep employers, employees, and customers safe.

Click here to download the guide

Ryan Laude is a Client Advisor at Gulfshore Insurance specializing in employee benefits. Ryan works with a wide range of businesses to create the best funding options that fit their needs. Comments and questions are welcome at rlaude@gulfshoreinsurance.com

The Employer's Guide to COVID-19The increased spread of COVID-19 throughout the United States presents employers with significant workplace challenges. In order to help combat such challenges, we created this toolkit to help employers familiarize themselves with the best practices for handling the fallout.

This toolkit provides a comprehensive overview of the most HR Toolkit – The Employer’s Guide to COVID-19 V2 pressing issues facing employers, including vital information regarding new federal laws such as the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) and Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act, HIPAA privacy considerations, carrier response to the pandemic, layoffs and furloughs, tax credits and much more. Every effort will be made to continue to provide the most accurate, up-to-date information regarding COVID-19 and employer compliance considerations.

Click here to download the toolkit

Ryan Laude is a Client Advisor at Gulfshore Insurance specializing in employee benefits. Ryan works with a wide range of businesses to create the best funding options that fit their needs. Comments and questions are welcome at rlaude@gulfshoreinsurance.com