Small Employer Worksite Wellness: 5 Program Models to Consider (Look Them Over Today)

Small employers need worksite wellness programs too. As a small employer, you care about and want healthy employees don’t you?

Wellness programs have traditionally been the province of the large employer, basically leaving the smaller employer out of today’s explosion in employee health management.

This is unfortunate as the small employer needs wellness programming just as much as the large employer. Small employers make up the majority of US employers and employ a large percentage of today’s workforce. I am defining small employer as being an employer with less than 100 employees.

Traditionally within worksite wellness, each employer creates, for the most part, their own internal, stand-alone program utilizing internal employer based resources, or the resources provided by a contracted vendor, such as the health insurance company or a wellness program vendor. This independent, self-sufficient model is not, in my opinion, either viable nor the best strategy for the small employer to employ.

There is certainly no reason why a small employer cannot, on their own, create their own internal, stand-alone program utilizing internal employer based resources, or the resources provided by a contracted vendor, such as the health insurance company or wellness program vendor.

Another strategy a smaller employer might be to still go it alone by putting together programming based on free or low-cost Internet-based interventions. This strategy, while maybe being a low-cost strategy in terms of dollars actually spent, is a high cost strategy in terms of the time and energy required to put all the various interventions together into a cogent implementation plan and then executing the plan. The smaller employer would probably find this time and energy to be better used though elsewhere in the business.

Five alternative worksite wellness program models a small employer might utilize involve cooperation, collaboration, anchor model, cluster program model and an employer – community partnership model.

Cooperative Model

In the cooperative model, small employers would band together to deliver a wellness program to their collective employees through some type of cooperative agreement. Each employer makes a contribution in the cooperative model, with the nature and size of the contribution potentially varying with each employer. While potentially better than going it alone, the cooperative model presents challenges such as:

• The collective contributions may still fall short of what is needed for the cooperative to institute a successful program on its own

• A cooperative approach would not address any unique needs an individual employer may have based on the uniqueness of their workforce or work environments

• An employer would not necessarily bring its strengths to the cooperative process. What is lost when an individual employer’s strengths are not utilized in the process?

Collaborative Model

In the collaborative model, small employers also band together to deliver a wellness program to their collective employees through some type of collaborative agreement. Through a collaborative arrangement, each employer contributes their strengths to the process. While potentially better than going it alone and a cooperative agreement, the collaborative model also presents such challenges as:

• The collective contributions may still fall short of what is needed for the collaborative members to institute a successful program on their own

• A collaborative approach would also not address any unique needs an individual employer may have

Anchor Model

The anchor model is based on the anchor store concept found in shopping malls. In this model, a larger employer serves as the anchor for a wellness program that includes both the anchor company and the anchor employer’s nearby smaller employers. I see this model as being best suited for a shopping center, or an industrial or commercial park.

Cluster Model

The cluster model could involve either a cooperative or collaborative arrangement between neighboring businesses. I see this model as being best suited for a main street or designated section of a downtown.

Employer – Community Partnership Model

I believe this is a much better model for the small employer to undertake. In this model, the level of employer linkage to community based resources and programs decreases as the employer grows in employee size.

If you are a small employer, which worksite wellness program model appeals best to you?

Getting Started

Worksite wellness programs can benefit the small employer, just as much, if not more than the large employer. I invite you to let me help you create your effective, successful and sustainable wellness program. I specialize in mentoring worksite wellness program coordinators and creating Done With You worksite wellness and well-being programs.

How to Get Finance With Unusual Employment

An increasing number of people are choosing flexible working opportunities with their employers, as it enables them to successfully combine both their lifestyle arrangements and their family commitments.

However, many have found that when it comes to visiting their local bank branches while looking for a home loan, car and truck loan or even equipment finance, their local bank is still apprehensive towards them. And, it is because of their irregular working hours:

1. They don’t seem to fit into the strict lending guidelines set out by banks; and

2. They are not seen by banks as holding down a stable job with a regular income.

What the Common Unusual Employment Types?

Here are some of the common unusual employment types:

1. PAYG (pay-as- you- go) contractors

2. Casual workers

3. Part-time workers

4. Self-employed individuals

5. Sub-contractors

6. People with other forms of income

Type 1 – PAYG Contractors

PAYG contractors are normally employed via an agency or directly via their employer. This form of employment is now common in a variety of fields such as:

>> Medical;

>> Engineering;

>> IT (Information Technology);

>> Mining;

>> Project Management;

>> Construction; and

>> Government.

So, if you are a PAYG contractor and you are looking for finance, here is a list of things that lenders/credit providers will require you to provide:

1. You will be required to provide a copy of your most recent “Employment Contract”, with income details listed;

2. You will need to provide evidence that you have a minimum of 12 months employment in the same industry and that you have a good track record in your chosen industry; and

3. You will need to provide evidence that your employer or employment agency takes care of your income tax and superannuation contributions for you.

Note: If you are not on the direct payroll of an employer or employment agency, you may be treated as being self-employed.

Type 2 – Casual Workers

This type of employment applies to people working on a casual basis in the following industries:

1. Restaurants;

2. Retail;

3. Teaching and Tutoring;

4. Nursing;

5. Childcare;

6. Trades;

7. Drivers; and

8. Cleaning.

If you are a casual employee, you will need to provide evidence that you have been employed at the same place for at least 6 months.

Lenders/credit providers will calculate your average earnings over a set period, and count this as your income. However, if you want to work out your own average earnings, then you can use an income annualisation calculator to calculate your own average earnings.

Type 3 – Part-Time Employees

If you are employed on a part-time basis, you will find that lenders/credit providers will generally require you to:

1. Provide evidence that you have been employed at your current place of employment for at least 6 months: and

2. Provide copies of the following documents:

>> Current computerised pay-slip covering a minimum of two (2) pay cycles in order to confirm details of your base income; and

>> PAYG Summaries; or

>> A signed letter of employment from your employer listing details of your current base-remuneration.

Type 4 – Self-Employed Individuals

You are self-employed if you run your own business. You are categorised as self-employed individual even when you are conducting freelance work as a journalist, photographer, tour guide, etc. In such a situation, you will find that most lenders/credit providers will require you to provide evidence that you have a regular income to sustain a loan. This includes providing evidence that:

1. You are a business owner or partner;

2. You have been trading in your current business for at least 24 months;

3. Your business provides a steady income; and

4. You will be required to provide copies of:

>> Your most recent Personal and Business Income Tax Returns, and

>> One set of the business financial statements, reflecting two (2) years trading activity

Note: If you conduct freelance work with an employer, you may find that lenders/credit providers may require you to provide a copy of the written agreement between you and the employer that outlines your pay and conditions.

Type 5 – Sub-Contractors

Sub-contractors have specialized skills and they are generally employed by a primary contractor to provide specialized services in a variety of fields such as:

1. Building and Construction;

2. Mining;

3. Civil Engineering; and

4. IT (Information Technology).

Note: Many sub-contractors have little to no overheads and no staff and most are typically self-employed. In a sense they are similar to PAYG contractors.

Type 6 – Other Forms of Income

If you receive any other form of income and you are unsure if it is acceptable to lenders/credit providers, you should seek help from a qualified and licensed finance broker or a mortgage broker. You can even seek financial and legal advice from your accountant and solicitor. These other forms of income can include:

1. Centrelink payments;

2. Commissions and Bonuses income;

3. Trust Distributions income;

4. Car Allowances;

5. Annuity Income from Superannuation;

6. Director’s fees;

7. Second Job income;

8. Investment income (i.e. Dividends received from publicly listed companies); or

9. Court Ordered Maintenance payments.

Seek Expert and Professional Advice

If you still have doubts regarding your employment status and want to obtain finance, you can seek help of a finance broker. You should opt for a professional qualified finance broker because he/she will have experience of dealing with many lenders/credit providers on a regular daily basis. Also, he/she will be familiar with the lending guidelines and credit policy requirements of a number of lenders/credit providers.

What Is Co-Employment and How Can It Benefit Your Business?

Employers encounter a wide range of business jargon and terms throughout their day. Some are less common than the next. “Co-employment” is one such term. What exactly is co-employment, and how can it benefit your business?

The term co-employment loosely refers to any relationship in which an employee is employed by more than one employer. While this may sound strange or uncommon, it in fact happens more than one might expect. This relationship typically falls into one of three categories:

Joint-Employer
Employer-of-Record
Professional Employer Outsourcing (or Organization)

1) Joint-Employer

When an employee works for two employers simultaneously, and in the best of interest of both employers, these businesses are known as joint-employers.

An example of this type of relationship made the news recently when a manager for two small regional airlines sued one of his employers for FMLA violations. This employer only had 30 employees and therefor fell below the minimum FMLA threshold of 50 employees. The employer denied the claim on these grounds. However, the litigant simultaneously worked for another airline, which employed over 300 employees – well over the FMLA limit. The courts determined that the employee was co-employed equally by both businesses – both logos appeared on his business card, he represented both companies in negotiations, and his name appeared on both business directories. The court found the employee’s FMLA rights were indeed violated as the co-employer relationship between the businesses pushed their total over the 50 employee limit.

This type of relationship may in fact pose more of a risk to one employer or the other, as their combined employee size may expose them certain employment regulations that only apply to higher employee thresholds. Employers who co-employ workers should weigh the benefits of this type of relationship against some of the increased risks they may face.

2) Employer-of-Record

Another co-employment relationship can found with temporary staffing or contingent workforce relationships. This is also known as Employer-of-Record (EOR).

In these relationships, the staffing or contingent workforce firm acts as the EOR which legally employs their clients’ temporary or contingent workforce. The EOR hires and provides temporary staff to their clients, usually for short-term projects or seasonal work. In so doing, the EOR assumes all the core employment responsibilities typically shouldered by the business. This includes administering much of the IRS and HR regulatory compliance related to employees. The EOR issues their pay-checks, pays the associated payroll taxes, files the relevant quarterly and year-end taxes, covers the employees with workers’ compensation insurance, manages the employee benefits and administers unemployment claims and insurance.

Through this type employment relationship, the EOR protects its clients from a wide range of employment regulations and risks. The EOR manages workers’ compensation claims, hires, on-boards and terminates employees, performs background checks, and handles general employee relations activities for the contingent workforce.

For employers who need short-term staff but don’t want the hassle of recruiting, hiring and managing these employees, the Employer-of-Record route may be the perfect solution.

3) Professional Employer Outsourcing

The third and most beneficial co-employment relationship falls under the category of Professional Employer Organizations, or PEOs.

Termination of Employment in Cyprus

The Employment Law (100(1)/2000) in Cyprus includes both statute and case law. Specifically, Cyprus statute law contains issues related to the termination of employment, paid leave, annual social insurance, maternity leave, equal treatment at work e.t.c. The Labour Disputes Courts deals with issues related to the rights of employees and employers.

The Employment Law applies to every employee who has a contract or employment relationship in the private, public and semi-governmental sector.

The Employment Law does NOT apply to:

· employees whose total period of employment is less than one month;

· employees whose total hours of employment is less than eight hours in a given week;

· employees whose employment is of a casual nature and/or particular nature under the condition that in these cases the non-application of the Law is justified by objective reasons;

In this article, our employment lawyers will present the primary aspects of termination of employment in Cyprus, i.e. notice period, unlawful termination of employment and redundancy.

Under the Termination of Employment Law (24/1967), an employer intending to dismiss an employee, who has completed at least 26 weeks of continuous employment, is obliged to give the employee a minimum period of notice based on the length of his/her service, as illustrated below:

26 -51 weeks work (6 months- 1 year)

One week notice

52 – 103 weeks work (1-2 years)

Two weeks notice

104 – 155 weeks work (2-3 years)

Four weeks notice

156- 207 weeks work (3-4 years)

Five weeks notice

208 – 259 weeks work (4-5 years)

Six weeks notice

260 – 311 weeks work (5-6 years)

Seven weeks notice

More than 312 weeks work (more than 6 years)

Eight weeks notice

Unlawful termination of employment:

Following the Termination of Employment Law, an employee whose employment has been terminated unlawfully after completing 26 weeks of continuous employment with an employer is entitled to receive compensation. In addition, an employee who quit his/her job due to his/her employer’s conduct is also eligible to receive compensation. Second of all, it should be clarified that the amount of compensation is determined by the Labour Disputes Court following an application by the employee.

When assessing the amount of compensation, the Court takes into account the following criteria:

· The remuneration of the employee;

· The duration of employee’s service;

· The restriction of employee’s career prospects;

· The age of the employee;

· The circumstances of employee’s dismissal;

An employee cannot claim compensation if he/she terminated his/her employment for one of the following reasons:

· In case the termination of employment held as an outcome of redundancy, Act of God, war, riots, extreme weather conditions, etc.;

· In case of dismissal due to redundancy;

· In case the employment is terminated at the end of fixed-term contract;

· In case the dismissal is due to employee’s fault;

How to receive compensation for unlawful dismissal:

Submitting an application for unlawful dismissal compensation requires a professional legal support. An employment lawyer will assist you with all the necessary legal and administrative procedures so that to help you to get the compensation you deserve. Therefore, if you wish to receive a customised legal support contact one of our lawyers.

Redundancy:

The amount of redundancy payment is calculated as illustrated below:

Period of continuous employment

Amount of redundancy payment

Up to 4 years

2 Weeks wages for each year of continuous employment

More than 4 and up to 10 years

2.5 Weeks wages for each period of continuous employment

More than 10 and up to 15 years

3 Weeks wages for each year of continuous employment

More than 15 and up to 20 years

3.5 Weeks wages for each year of continuous employment

More than 20 and up to 25 years

4 Weeks wages for each year of continuous employment

How to claim redundancy payment:

In order to get payment from the Redundancy Fund, the employee must make a claim on the prescribed form, that can be found on Social Insurance Offices, Citizen’s Service Centre and the official website of the Ministry of Labour and Social Insurances.

The claim must be submitted to the closest Social Insurance Office, within three months at latest from the date of termination of employment. Nevertheless, in cases where the employee proves that he/she had a good reason for the delay, payment may be approved given that the claim is made within 12 months from the date of termination of his/her employment.

Rescinding Of A Determined Employment Contract

With the right to employment comes another essential related right which is the right to choice of one’s employment. The right to choice of one’s employment gives the freedom to people to undertake work of their own choice and not toil in the field in which they do not wish to put their labor. Laboring against the will of one’s self can be considered to be forced labor which is illegal in UAE and most of the other countries in the world. Employment contract is an agreement between the employer and the employee where the employee agrees to work for the employer for a fixed period of time and for a specific job – role. Employment contracts sometimes do not fix the duration of employment in which case the contract is known as an undetermined contract whereas determined employment contracts are contracts that bind the employee to the employer for a fixed period of time. Employment contracts are not considered as forms of forced labor as both the employee and employer willingly enter into it but in the long run it may be considered as forced labor as the main aim to fix a duration is to ensure that the employee does not leave the employment before that duration even if he wishes to and therefore once the employee signs an employment contract he has to work for the employer for the number of years fixed by the employment contract and the employee loses his right to leave quit the employment before that period. Though this is not considered forced labor it is in reality a different form of forced labor behind the veil of an enforceable contract.

In the United Arab Emirates the right to employment and all related rights enumerated in its rich constitution is only limited to the nationals of the United Arab Emirates whereas the rest of the people who live here as expatriates have to solely depend on employment contracts and therefore become the victims of the veiled forced labor. The present article discusses the regulations enumerated in the labor law1 for ending the employment and the consequences of breach of employment contracts of fixed duration.

According to the labor of the UAE the employer may on grounds enumerated in article 120 of the federal law no.8 of 1980, rescind the employment contract without giving notice. The grounds enumerated for rescinding of the employment without notice are as under:

1. In case the worker assumes a false identity or nationality, or submits false certificates or documents.

2. In case the worker had been appointed under probation, and the dismissal had taken place during or at the end of the probation period.

3. In case the worker commits an error resulting in colossal material losses to the employer. In such cases the Labor Department should be notified of the incident within 48 hours of the knowledge of the occurrence thereof.

4. In case the worker violates the instructions related to the safety at work or in the work place, provided that such instructions were written and posted in a prominent location, and that the said worker is notified thereof if he be an illiterate.

5. In case the worker fails to perform his main duties in accordance with the employment contract, and thereafter fails to remedy such failure despite a written investigation on the matter and a warning that he would be dismissed in case of recidivism.

6. In case the worker divulges any of the secret of the establishment where he works.

7. In case the worker convicted in a final manner by the competent court in a crime relating to honor, honesty or public ethics.

8. In case the worker is found in a state of drunkenness or under the influence of a narcotic during work hours.

9. In case the worker assaults the employer, responsible manager or co – worker during the work hours.

10. In case the worker remains absent without valid cause for more than twenty non – consecutive days in one year, or for more than seven consecutive days.

In case none of the above circumstances described applies to a case yet the employer terminates the employment of the worker without notice before the expiration of the determined employment contract, the employer has to provide compensation to the employee for the same. The compensation amount that is provided to the worker by the employer is in lieu of the damages suffered by the worker due to the premature termination of the employment. The law provides for a limitation to the amount of compensation which is limited to the total wage due for the period of three months or for the remaining period of the contract, whichever is shorter, unless otherwise stipulated in the contract. Therefore this provision is subject to the terms of the contract. Many times the contract has liquidated damages fixed for specific breaches; in such cases the damages awarded do not exceed nor are less than the liquidated amount.

Similar provisions are also provided in case the worker decides to leave the employment before the expiration of the employment contract. The worker may leave the employment before the expiration of the contract without notice if the following circumstances prevail:

1. In case the employer breaches his obligations towards the worker, as set forth in the contract or the law.

2. In case the employer or the legal representative thereof assaults the worker.

In case the two circumstances mentioned above do not prevail and yet the worker leave the employment prior to the expiry of the employment contract, the worker is be bound to compensate the employer for the loss incurred by him due to the rescission of the contract. The compensation amount is limited by the law to not exceed the wage of half a month for the period of three months, or for the remaining period of the contract, whichever is shorter, unless otherwise stipulated in the contract. Thus here too the terms of the contract if any regarding this matter shall be made applicable in a manner similar as it is explained above regarding termination of employment contract by employer.

These provisions mentioned above hold good only to the citizens of UAE, for the rest of 88% of the population the provision stipulated in article 128 of the law2 applies. Article 128 provides that in the event of a non – national worker to leave his work without a valid cause prior to the end of the contract with definite term, he may not get another employment even with the permission of the employer for a year from the date of abandonment of the work. It further provides for a warning for the employers that they may never knowingly recruit the worker or retain in his service during such period. The Non – national workers may be exempt from such penalties if they can secure an authorization of the original employer and after submitting such authorization in the ministry of labor and social affairs, attain the consent of the ministry for the new employment.