Has Covid Changed The Traditional Office For Good?
According to a recent study by Stanford University, a staggering 42% of American workers are now working from home full-time.
Here we are over a year after the COVID-19 pandemic closed office doors throughout the country and employees were forced to quickly adapt to their new at home working environment. The pandemic has unquestionably strained employers and HR professionals to alter how they operate and added means to communicate. And although more and more individuals have the opportunity to become vaccinated, most organizations do not see the workplace going back to normal any time soon. If a business has not done so already, it is imperative to implement a remote work policy outlining expectations for work hours and necessary measures for security of company information and publish to the Employee Handbook.
The American Rescue Plan Act was enacted on March 11,2021 and has substantially changed and extended provisions of The Family First Act (FFCRA) that was to expire on March 31, 2021. Human Resource leaders are awaiting the IRS to provide guidance and interpretation of this new Act. Below is a current summary of what we are able to decipher of the new Act.
The Coronavirus Aid, Relief and Economic Security (CARES) Act has now extended the provision to add student loan payments as part of Tuition Reimbursement under Section 127 of the IRS Code through December 31, 2025.
This four-year extension provides a more acceptable provision, allowing Companies to build a great Retention Program knowing it will be around for a at least 4 years and, and thus attracting Candidates to join their Companies. Due to the rising debt of student loans and a political movement to help students repay their loans, there are strong indications that Congress is expected to make this temporary change permanent. Before the recent permission of the CARES Act employees and employers both were required to pay the payroll taxes on student loan paid by an employer.
Well, we all know 2020 was quite the challenging year for so many businesses throughout the nation as the Coronavirus pandemic unwelcomely inundated routine working operations. Organizations were radically forced to spotlight their HR department to guide environmental changes and navigate functioning processes, prioritizing workforce concerns. 2021 is starting off a bit unpredictable; plausible given the circumstances that last year unveiled and there is no going back to “normal.” This year we are sure to endure more ongoing transitions as companies continue to adapt to their current dynamic surroundings.
Written by Flex HR’s CHRO Jim Cichanski