By Rose Miller
We find that many owners are still struggling
to grasp what impact Affordable Care
Act (ACA) will have on their business. The
Act is complex, and you really shouldn’t go
at this alone.
There is an insurance aspect, a tax aspect
and a human resources aspect to making the
right decisions. I recently participated in a
panel discussion on the subject and I spoke
on the importance of a Workforce Analysis.
Here’s why this task is more important than
Health insurance was never mandated
in the past, yet most employers offer health
insurance plans. Why? Competition has been
the driver for recruitment and retention.
Would you be able to find good people, if you
didn’t offer insurance? Will you attract better
people if you do?
With ACA at our doorstep, employers must count how many full time (DOL says 30 hours or more each week are full time) and Fulltime equivalents. If your company’s total of FT and FTEs is over 50, you are mandated to offer health insurance to all employees or be assessed penalties.
Now that you must count employees, you should make sure every employee counts. It has always been optimal to have the right amount of people and the right people on the bus. This need is even more relevant when applying ACA. Would a review of full-time versus part-time translate to lower costs in premiums? Can some of these changes equal a workforce less than 50 employees? Employers under 50 are not subject to ACA. You should consider staying under 50, at least this new calendar year. Let the ACA dust settle a bit.
If you are clearly over 50 employees, would a workforce analysis help right-size the company, therefore, insuring only the right amount of people? Consider a company with 150 employees who employ mostly part-time.
The strategy for creating part-time roles was based on not having to offer benefits. Now the employer must insure all employees. Converting roles to full-time, where possible, would reduce head count, therefore reducing insurance costs or penalties.
A workforce analysis gives you a clear idea on where these changes make sense. The process reviews all positions and work flows to gain insight into work complexity, work volume (present and future) areas of time drain, work flow road blocks, the need of technology or under-utilization of technology. A workforce analysis will identify “dead wood”, redundancies in tasks, optimal staffing needs, clarity of roles and high performing employees.