April 1, 2020 Managed Payroll, Payroll, Payroll Support

The FFCRA is in Effect – Are you Ready?

Wise Payroll Consultants get real on what you need to know about The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) 

How to Get Your System Ready

  • Compliance: Do I have to pay my Employees under this Act?
  • Consideration: Consider codes for non-regulatory code usage such as “COVPTO” that can be given to employees so they do not have to use their already accrued leave which may be earmarked for the future.
  • Configuration: Set up and map new pay & earnings codes to properly pay out and/or capture any time associated with the new leave programs (paid sick leave and expanded FMLA) offered as a result of FFCRA, or as courtesy pay that is non-regulatory. *Testing is a must to avoid costly delays during payroll processing.*
  • Reporting: Newly created COVID-19 earnings codes will require reporting downstream for analysis, whether paying out these codes is required for your company by law or not.
  • Tracking: Many vendors are offering reporting functions to track your employees for virus exposure risk, hours capture and staff management in this newly remote worker landscape. Wise can help you turn on and utilize these features for your business.
  • Be Wise! Wise can assist with all facets of system readiness for the FFCRA.

*For companies under 500 employees – best practice in compliance would be creation of custom reporting on these freshly set-up codes to be prepared to support eligibility for payroll tax retention credits. It is important to note, that at this time, only employers with fewer than 500 employees are considered eligible to apply for the payroll tax retention credit as a result of FFCRA. Some vendors may not be supporting the full configuration of paid sick codes with the tracking mechanisms until after 4/1 so configuration assistance from Wise will be paramount to ensure compliance.

How to Get Your People Ready

  • How to keep your team comforted in a time of fluidity Schedule frequent video calls for check-ins and updates. Make team members feel connected in this time of social distancing. It is vital to remember your teams are now balancing work and home life exclusively from home, which can have conflicting schedules. Consider staggered scheduling and creative resourcing – this may give someone on the team an opportunity to work on something new that may turn into a win for them, and for the company.
  • Is your company set up to fully function in a remote capacity? Consider corporate/client security, printing, scanning, phone setups, access to the cloud, laptops, bandwidth issues, hot spots etc. Are your employees and processes agile enough to work in a remote capacity: will your business succeed or slack?
  • Morale and error ratios – Manage morale with the team by communicating clearly and often. Create levity when you can, be supportive of new challenges, be flexible. Errors may increase as a result of distracted team members – consider additional audits and support in your workstreams. Wise can supplement your payroll team when this risk increases.
  • Understand the difference between a bill and a law: High school government class flashbacks?? Learn when you need to communicate any necessary changes in legislation. Timing is important to avoid rumors and disinformation running rampant. Acting too hastily can be as costly as acting too late.
  • Is your company “BCP” ready? Create a Business Continuity Plan ASAP and ensure if your team goes down, you have a backup plan. Wise offers multiple levels of BCP assistance with as little as 24 hours’ notice.
  • Accurate communication is vital: Designating an individual or team to be experts on FFCRA changes and rules will take the strain off everyone feeling the pressure to know everything. Regular and thorough communication from your in-house experts is critical as your front-line people often get the questions when you are not there to help them reply. Make sure people know what they need to know.
  • How to identify and prepare for downstream impacts? The only thing constant during this time, is change. Be prepared to be fluid, flexible and responsive. Leveraging help from Wise consultants allows you to maintain focus on your team and their safety during this critical time.

Department of Labor FAQs about the FFCRA

Courtesy of: Wise Managed Payroll Managers – Kris Higdon and Ana Woods-Hill

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