Mandatory Paid Sick Leave: The Three C’s of Compliance

ThinkstockPhotos-181504998Achieving compliance with a host of new paid sick time laws is a complex process that requires calibration, cooperation and communication among host employers, MSPs and their staffing partners.

For instance, correctly administering eligibility, accrual, approval and payment of benefits could require extensive changes to policies and procedures and recordkeeping practices spanning the end-to-end lifecycle of procuring and managing your contingent workforce. Additionally, both workers and line managers must be educated on the provisions and protections afforded by the new laws.

Here’s a look at the three C’s of compliance with mandatory sick leave regulations and some tips for pooling your efforts to meet your new obligations.

Calibration. Because eligible workers earn paid sick leave based on their hours worked in a qualified location or worksite, requisitions as well as time and attendance systems – including badging and web timesheet software – may need to be modified to capture additional information. The systems must accurately account for billable hours worked at a qualified location. Plus, payroll systems must provide an accounting of accrued and used sick time for every employee.

The parties should jointly review their current sick leave and PTO policies, handbooks and onboarding materials, including web portals, and make necessary updates.

Cooperation. Because contingents have multiple reporting relationships, all managers must be committed to cooperation and joint enforcement of notification and approval policies to avoid abuse and violations.

Who will approve a contractor’s request to use of qualified sick time? And who should employees notify when they’re going to be out sick? Do they need to call their employer and their line manager? How will you handle grey areas? If Sick Leave PTO is billable, how is the MSP going to track allocations?  Remember, the first year of change is typically an adjustment period which requires patience, persistence and cooperation.

Communications. A well-designed and executed communications strategy is the key to a successful launch and ongoing administration of paid sick leave regulations. Your plan should include training programs for line managers, kick-off meetings for assigned temps and contractors and reference materials including a detailed set of commonly asked questions and answers and a decision tree. Be sure to include a strategy for disseminating policy updates and conveying the results of interim audits.  This is legislation that continues to spread across the country, communications need to include newly adopted qualified locations.

After all, if managers and workers know that you only ask and never inspect, they’ll do whatever they want. If you’re really serious about controlling costs, reducing risk and remaining compliant with paid sick leave regulations – you’ll need to inspect what you expect.

 

Ben Thakur
Ben Thakur is the principal of eTeam Inc, a service provider of structured contingent workforce and full time hire solutions to its Fortune 1000 clients.

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