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Knowing Your Payroll Responsibilities During The Pandemic

May 1, 2020

More and more businesses are being forced to close temporarily, or have their employees work from home due to the current health crisis. There are fraudulent scams and phishing emails to watch out for, not to mention employee uncertainty and having to strictly adhere to the FLSA (Fair Labor Standards Act). The ‘Families First Coronavirus Response Act’ has also been introduced on March 18th, and all these things combined have created a lot of pressure on payroll departments all over the country.

 

The FLSA and what payroll need to know:

If you have a payroll department, they’ll need to understand exactly what the FLSA is saying about payments for employees when faced with such issues as partial workweeks, workers with no paid time off available or left, and expenses incurred for home office supplies.

If you aren’t already outsourcing your payroll, perhaps this might be a good time to consider doing so. When you outsource payroll, you’re giving yourself and your company access to a group of professionals who understand payroll from every angle, and who keep themselves abreast of all changes to relevant laws, not to mention being able to give you the best advice during these difficult and unprecedented times.

 

Understanding the Families First Coronavirus Response Act:

It was on March 18th that the Senate passed this act and it was signed into law by the president. Containing provisions that will have a significant impact upon small business and employers with less than 500 staff, it’s important to know whether this applies to you and your company. If it does, then any obligations you’re required to meet have now come into effect and will expire automatically on the 31st December 2020. If this Act is applicable to you, you should have posted a notice for your employees informing them of their rights under this law by now.

As mentioned previously, if you don’t already outsource your payroll requirements, now might be the time to do so as they can help you with any issues you might have related to the above act, or any other recent changes to the law regarding the payment of your employees.

 

Other payroll responsibilities during Covid-19:

There are several other responsibilities that as a business owner or manager, you’ll need to ensure you understand and comply with, such as:

  • The duration and amount of pay as determined by the box each employee checks
  • Keeping your employees informed – if your payroll team understand the new laws, that doesn’t mean that your employees do, but it’s important that they are kept informed of their rights and any changes to laws that might apply to them.
  • Expenses incurred for those employees working from home

It’s vital that for the success of your business, you not only understand all the new rules and regulations that have come into effect due to the pandemic, but that you adhere to them. Outsourcing payroll is perhaps the best way of ensuring that you remain compliant at all times, and that when restrictions are reduced, your business can bounce back and become healthy again.

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