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Staffing News Online

NJSA's Staffing News Online is a monthly e-newsletter that is available to the staffing industry.  The content for Staffing News Online comes directly from our industry partners.  If you are an NJSA industry partner and would like to submit content for Staffing News Online, please email office@njsa.com with your article.

  • Monday, July 27, 2020 10:22 AM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    The NJSA Nominating Committee is soliciting nominations for the 2021 Board of Directors. The term of each Director is for two years. Board service requires participation in monthly board meetings (in-person or via conference call) and NJSA committees. Volunteering on the NJSA Board of Directors is an investment in your career and an opportunity to expand your staffing contacts and resources.  Please click here to download the nomination form.  Self nominations are encouraged!

    The deadline for submissions is Friday, September 18, 2020.

  • Tuesday, June 30, 2020 3:17 PM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Matt Lozar with Haley Marketing

    It is easy to assume that in desperate times, job seekers will take anything they can get, but that’s not necessarily the case. No matter what is happening with the economy, it is important to remember that candidates choose you. Even during this period of unprecedented unemployment, candidates have choices.

    Talented and experienced job seekers can and will be selective, even in a pandemic. In fact, it could be argued that many people will be more selective than usual as they must weigh their health and safety above all else when re-entering or moving about the workforce.

    That’s why it is imperative to focus on building and communicating an employer brand right now.

    Employment branding is about defining your staffing company’s unique value proposition to candidates and proactively taking charge of how you are seen. When done well, employment branding makes your advertising and social recruiting more effective, even amid unprecedented circumstances like a global pandemic.

    Define Your Employee Value Proposition

    Do you have an employee value proposition (EVP)?

    Your EVP tells people the unique value you bring to the table for employees and is a powerful magnet for attracting candidates.

    As you think about your EVP, ask yourself:

    • What does your staffing company do for your candidates, temporary workers and employees that your competitors do not?
    • What are some of the positive things candidates and employees say about working with you?
    • Why do happy employees continue to work with your company?

    When you determine what makes your firm different, showcase it. Talk about your EVP in your social media marketing, on your company website and in your job postings. Remember, job descriptions are typically the first step in attracting applicants, so it’s important to stand out right away by showing how you are unique.

    How Is Your Company Navigating the Pandemic?

    Until a reliable treatment or vaccine is available, COVID-19 will continue to threaten people’s health and livelihoods. This means for the foreseeable future, the pandemic will influence the way candidates perceive your staffing company.

    Applicants will want to know how you're taking care of employees and associates:

    • How are you treating laid-off employees?
    • Are your recruiters trying to help out-of-work people enter new industries that are hiring?
    • How are you keeping workers safe?
    • Are you providing additional resources for employees who went above and beyond?
    • Are you remaining in contact with out-of-work temporary employees?

    If you have real examples of steps you took or are taking for your associates, share them on social media, your company website and in job postings.

    You can make your job posts stand out to job seekers navigating a pandemic by:

    • Highlighting that a job can be done remotely.
    • Advertising the fact that you or your client provides PPE for employees on-site.
    • Talking about other measures clients provide on-site as far as safety, cleanliness and social distancing.
    • Showcasing jobs that offer healthcare benefits.

    If a client you are recruiting for has done an exceptional job keeping workers safe, share it. Don’t be afraid to promote this information – these are the things people will be looking for as they re-enter the workforce.

    Be Consistent and Authentic

    The key to building a great employer brand that attracts candidates is to be consistent and authentic. By regularly sharing and showcasing the positive things you’ve been doing for your employees during dark times, you’ll be able to keep yourself top-of-mind as an employer of choice.

    Everyone wants to work for a company that values them, and as people continue re-entering the workforce, they will demand it. By authentically showing the world that you care about the people you employ, you’ll build a powerful employer brand.

    Are You Ready to Build Your Employer Brand?

    Haley Marketing is here to help. Contact our team today to learn more about how we can help you build a strong brand, so you are poised to help your clients fill their most critical job openings. And for more advice on business strategy and marketing ideas that help staffing agencies survive and thrive, please check out our COVID-19 Recovery Center.

  • Tuesday, June 30, 2020 3:10 PM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by TempWorks Software

    In one of our recent blogs, we spoke about how to use remote communication more efficiently in your workday. In this article, we’ll expand on that topic and talk about how to maintain professionalism when our only modes of contact are through tech.

    Honor Office Hours and Respect Boundaries

    Widespread remote working has blurred the boundaries between work and home. Many of us have limited private office space and are unable to manage traditional office hours. It’s important to respect these new restrictions. Ask someone about their availability before reaching out with questions and avoid messaging coworkers about work-related items outside of their workday. In addition to being respectful, these practices will also help combat burnout and decreased productivity.

    Use Appropriate Technology

    Email, phone, video, and instant messaging give us the opportunity to connect with one another in an efficient and convenient manner, and each method has its own advantages and flaws. Understanding these differences is essential for maintaining professionalism when you reach out to coworkers. Consider the goals of your communication. Do you need to ask a quick question or have a lengthy discussion? How many people do you need to contact? Establishing your various needs and restrictions can help you choose the appropriate technology. For example, a typical workplace generally reserves instant messaging for urgent requests and uses email for less time-sensitive communications. A brainstorming session between multiple team members might require a video conference. If some of your coworkers are unable to achieve the required privacy in their at-home workspace, then a group phone call can be an effective alternative to video.

    Accept Informality

    Although we often associate formality with professional behavior, being professional has more to do with respect and competence. The reality of the pandemic is that many of us are working from our kitchens, living rooms, or studio apartments, making a formal appearance in a video call difficult to attain. A change in our standards is necessary as we continue to adjust. Just as it’s important to respect a coworker’s time restraints and other obstacles of remote work, respecting the informality of our individual makeshift offices will help maintain professional interactions with coworkers.

    As the pandemic has pushed us into extraordinary circumstances, our expectations of what it means to be professional has changed. Most of our communications are restricted to technology, and many of us are unable to emulate the formality of the office in our homes. Adjusting our standards and ensuring we remain respectful towards one another will not only reflect well on ourselves, but our workplaces as well.

  • Tuesday, June 30, 2020 3:09 PM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by E3 HR

    Safety culture can be defined in many different ways but the most prominent is the way OSHA defines it. “Safety cultures consist of shared beliefs, practices, and attitudes that exist at an establishment. Culture is the atmosphere created by those beliefs, attitudes, etc., which shape our behavior. I simplify this a little more. Simply, it is a sincere feeling that employees are cared for by the company and each other. It’s really that simple. OK. Simple to understand, not so simple to execute. It is however important when assessing risk at a worksite.

    Now more than ever safety and health is on the forefront of employers minds. It has quickly evolved to become priority number one for most. For those employers who already had a strong and engaging safety and health culture in place, the roll out of additional precautions to handle the current pandemic went smoothly. Employers who have never integrated safety and health into their everyday operations might have struggled a bit.

    We are true believers that having a healthy safety culture is the best defense in keeping employees safe, healthy, and productive. Not to mention keeping workers compensation costs down.

    Staffing businesses find themselves in a tricky situation when it comes to the health and safety of their associates (not to mention how tricky it is for a PEO). They not only need to make sure that they are doing all they can to keep their associates safe, but also have to rely on clients to provide a safe atmosphere everyday. The most successful relationship comes with a complete understanding of each other’s culture.

    Now is a great time to visit your client’s worksites to gauge the safety culture and make an impact. For example, If you walk in right now and don’t notice the site taking any of the recommended precautions related to COVID-19 you can pretty much get an idea of the current safety culture in twenty seconds or less. Now comes the challenging part. Influencing the client to take the proper precautions.

    Telling the client how to run their business is not the goal here. The goal is to help your client protect their business which includes your shared workforce. Frame the conversation that way. Let them know you are concerned for people’s health and also want to help keep the client compliant. Make it a true partnership. Be honest about the changes you had to make in your own business. Give examples of things they can do such as screening employees, posting signage, distancing work stations, providing PPE, etc. Let them know you can assist them with some of these precautions and follow through. This is a great ice breaker for explaining your safety culture and also laying the groundwork for future safety and health conversations.

    While the spotlight is currently on worker health and safety, use it as an opportunity to integrate your safety culture with your clients. Keep the culture focused on caring for the employees first. An employee who feels cared for is one who will pay you back by going above and beyond in caring for your business.

  • Tuesday, June 30, 2020 3:05 PM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Freedman & Friedland LLC

    Just recently on June 18, 2020, the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) issued “Guidance on Returning to Work". The Guidance can be found at: https://www.osha.gov/Publications/OSHA4045.pdf.

    OSHA, which is part of the federal Department of Labor, is responsible for overseeing, implementing and enforcing health and safety standards in the workplace. OSHA applies to most private employers, unless a particular state has a federally-approved OSHA plan in which case private employers are covered by that state’s OSHA-approved plan. New Jersey and New York, for example, only have OSHA-approved plans for public employees; so, private employees are covered by OSHA.

    Staffing firms already have existing obligations to comply with OSHA health and safety requirements with respect to both internal staff employees and temporary employees. Staffing firms share this responsibility with their clients as joint employers, although both the staffing firm and the client have independent compliance obligations. The following OSHA website contains some helpful guidance on staffing firm obligations with respect to temporary employees: https://www.osha.gov/temp_workers/

    The Guidance supplements the previously issued “Guidance on Preparing Workplaces for COVID-19" by OSHA and “Guidelines for Opening Up America Again” by the White House. The purpose of the Guidance is to help employers safely reopen their businesses and employees safely return to work as state and local governments begin the process of lifting stay-at-home orders and shelter-in-place orders related to the COVID-19 pandemic. The Reopening Guidance is in addition to existing and future guidance from the federal Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and other guidance that might be issued at the federal, state or local level.

    In particular, the Guidance includes “Guiding Principles” with corresponding “Examples of How to Implement” those principles. Specifically: hazard assessment; basic hygiene (ie, hands, respiratory etiquette, and cleaning and disinfection); social distancing; identifying and isolating sick workers; returning to work after illness or exposure; employer controls (ie, engineering controls, administrative controls, and safe work practices); workplace flexibilities (ie, telecommuting and sick leave); employee training; and anti-retaliation measures.

    The Guidance also includes six “Employer Frequently Asked Questions” (FAQs) that address: COVID-19 testing, temperature checks and other health screenings, the process for doing so, and compliance with employment laws (for example, possible related discrimination issues under applicable federal, state and local law); returning to work; and the need for personal protective equipment (PPE).

    Lastly, the Guidance details other OSHA resources that address both COVID-19-related and general workplace health and safety requirements and that are available as additional resources for employers, as well as attaches an Appendix outlining some of those requirements.

    We recommend that staffing firms continue to monitor health and safety developments related to COVID-19 at the federal level (ie, OSHA and the CDC), as well as at the state and local level to the extent a staffing firm has any internal staff employees and/or temporary employees working in other states (for example, California has an OSHA-approved state plan covering private employers, and its Division of Occupational Safety and Health also recently published related COVID-19 guidance: https://www.dir.ca.gov/dosh/coronavirus/Health-Care-General-Industry.html).

    This article is intended to provide a limited overview of select federal, state and local health and safety issues. It is not intended to be comprehensive or to provide specific legal advice to any reader.

    This article was written by Steven M. Friedland and Marc D. Freedman of Freedman & Friedland LLC. Freedman & Friedland LLC is a law firm with offices in New Jersey and New York that specializes in the laws pertaining to and affecting staffing firms, including, but not limited to, employment matters, co-employment, licensing/registration, mergers and acquisitions, restrictive covenants, trade secret protection, and litigation.

  • Thursday, May 28, 2020 11:35 AM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Avionte

    Week 20 was a very strong week for staffing, posting the largest hours & assignments combination since the start of this unmistakable recovery. The highlight for us: 3.7% more paid assignments than the prior week!

    For those new to this brief blog, the numbers reflected are based on an aggregation of hosted Avionté data from hundreds of customers across the US and Canada. We used a “same-store sales” approach to ensure the data is clean. All hours, assignments, and gross payroll are from transactions that were processed. These numbers reflect a Sunday end date of May 17th, 2020.

    We call this blog Avionté RAW, because we are emphasizing the “raw” data as opposed to inferring the meaning behind the information. Every staffing company is different and will draw conclusions based on their business model. We don’t exactly know what is going to happen next, but our hope is that this will offer insight as to where things have been and potentially where they may be headed.

    In addition to the very strong and significantly positive Assignment numbers, Hours and Gross Wages, here are the numbers:

    Click here to view the full article with graphs and charts.

  • Thursday, May 28, 2020 11:25 AM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Access Capital

    It’s no secret that the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic has created a huge shift in our lifestyles. Most notably, working from home has become the norm for many people. The idea of working remotely is hardly new. In fact, according to data from FlexJobs, the past five years have seen a growth in remote work of 44% prior to COVID-19. According to a report by Slack, a provider of remote workforce communication platforms, as of March 27, the estimated number of knowledge workers working remotely reached 16 million.

    The current state of affairs has led us to hear new phrases repeatedly such as “these unprecedented times” and my personal favorite, “the great work-from-home experiment.” The latter clearly alludes to the massive shift organizations had to make in record time to enable their employees to perform their duties safely from their homes so as to comply with stay at home orders put in place to quell the spread of the Coronavirus. As a result, many employees are experiencing the work-from-home lifestyle for the first time.

    So, what seems to be the consensus among the workforce that doesn’t leave home? According to a survey from IBM, of 25,000 adults surveyed, 54% would prefer to continue to primarily work from home in a post COVID-19 world. The report also showed that 40% of those surveyed strongly felt their employer should provide opt-in remote work options in the future.

    Based on the data, it seems that people are enjoying and even prefer the remote working environment. It’s understandable, considering some factors attributed to working in an office including time lost in commutes and less time spent with family. People are realizing that they can perhaps be more productive when they are tackling work from their homes and are working longer than their in-house counterparts.

    How can you enable your staffing business to continue to thrive with a home-based workforce? A big way to empower your talent to work well remotely is via communication. Be it with your recruiters, candidates or clients, the staffing business relies on the art of ongoing clear and successful communication. From the time your recruiter interviews a candidate to day one of an assignment and beyond, proper and continuous communication is employed and its relevance is elevated in the world of virtual work. Now is the time to leverage your previous investments in new technology such as video conferencing platforms and employee collaboration tools to work harder for you in this new age. There are plenty of ways to talk to your team and your candidates without having to be in the same room.

    With the advent of COVID-19 and the emergence of a fully remote workforce, there will inevitably be those candidates unfamiliar with not working onsite. Here is where your seasoned remote candidates will be your best asset. Connect your new talent with those employees who are experienced and have successfully performed assignments from home so any questions can be answered by someone who has been in the trenches.

    Your greener candidates will have the opportunity to get informed and prepare themselves for their remote assignments and most importantly, impress your clients.

    Embracing the new landscape might be challenging for some. After all, up until recently, the traditional workplace for most employees has rarely been the home. The growth of a remote workforce, while unchartered territory for some, actually presents an opportunity for staffing companies since finding and placing talent is now no longer limited by geography.

    Staffing company owners are known for their ability to adapt and with the help of certain tools and practices, you will undoubtedly thrive when placing a home-based workforce.

    Click here to download the article in PDF format.

  • Thursday, May 28, 2020 11:23 AM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by TempWorks Software

    Maintaining good client relationships is critical no matter what state our economy is in, but times of crisis offer opportunities to place special focus on building client loyalty. Many companies are scaling back business operations, resulting in more time to spend on improving client relationships, which can provide companies a higher chance of recovery when the economy picks up again. Here are some approaches for utilizing the current slowdown to focus on how your business interacts and connects with clients.

    Be Easily Accessible

    Clients should be able to contact your business without difficulty and receive quick replies. If you’ve made any operational changes in compliance with government regulations, send out a communication regarding these changes that includes contact information. Communication with your business should be swift, easy, and lead to a fast resolution.

    Focus on Client Satisfaction

    If there have been long-standing hiccups in the products or services your business provides, take advantage of the economic slow-down and consider allocating resources towards resolving those issues. Strengthening your company’s core services will not only improve client satisfaction during the pandemic, but also increase your business’s chances for successful client acquisition once the crisis passes.

    Be Generous

    The coronavirus has affected nearly every industry, and it’s likely that many of your clients have taken a hit. If it is within your company’s ability, consider offering alternative services that can help your clients weather through a recession. For example, TempWorks Software is offering some clients free payroll services for a limited time, with the aim of helping sectors of the staffing industry that have been hit especially hard by COVID-19. TempWorks Software has also developed a space on our website dedicated to updating clients on any business changes or opportunities related to COVID-19. These services can help clients navigate the difficulties brought on by the pandemic.

    Because your clients will likely remember their experience with your business in our current crisis, it’s important to devote your energies to maintaining or increasing client satisfaction. Communicating efficiently, focusing on the foundational services of your business, and exploring any changes you can make to help your clients during this time are all great ways to build client loyalty. Even small changes devoted to improving the client experience will help make your business stronger and set it up for recovery.

  • Thursday, May 28, 2020 11:20 AM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Assurance

    For the last year, most of the talk around the insurance marketplace has centered around the rapidly hardening liability and property markets. That conversation has now rapidly evolved into “what happens to the market when factoring in the possible effects of COVID-19 claims?” And “will COVID-19 claims made against workers compensation be covered?” Or “will that push the now stable workers’ compensation market into a hard market?”

    It is too soon to predict anything with certainty, but here are a few considerations regarding the possible impending impact the COVID-19 pandemic may have on the insurance market:

    • Certain industries will see a higher frequency of claims, specifically essential businesses. This is not limited to allegations for COVID-19 work comp claims, but all work comp injury claims as well as third party liability claims. If certain industries are not operating (while essential businesses are), their loss frequency is naturally going to be higher. Essential businesses may also become targets for liability lawsuits (food contamination, improper cleaning, medical malpractice, etc.). It’s imperative to stay up to date on CDC, OSHA, and EEOC guidelines to protect your company from third party claims.
    • Existing and new claims that occur during the pandemic (work comp & liability) will likely incur a greater cost than they previously would have been expected to. With lockdown measures in place, the adjustment of current claims has come to a standstill in some cases. Litigation/mediation is not moving forward, nonemergency medical procedures are being delayed, IME’s are being placed on hold, etc. so claim costs are expected to increase. The longer claims remain open, the higher the ultimate costs are going to be.
    • As the economy takes a hit, so do insurance carriers’ investment portfolios. As they become less profitable from investments and underwriting alike, this will contribute to decreased capacity and increased premiums.

    Specific to Workers’ Compensation:

    • COVID-19 related illnesses may or may not be deemed an occupational disease. Causation is contingent upon a medical diagnosis for COVID-19 (not simply symptoms), having exposure to the virus at work, having a greater exposure than the general public and proving that the employee could have only contracted the virus while working.
    • In some respects, if deemed compensable, COVID-19 losses may be less costly than other work-related accidents. Generally, these losses are not expected to result in permanency ratings, except in severe cases and there’s expected to be less need for ongoing treatment (PT, surgeries, surveillance, etc.) in comparison to lingering back injuries or other soft tissue claims; even so, the frequency of claims could be significant.
    • There is expected to be an increase in fraudulent claims as unemployment continues to rise.
    • As businesses remain closed, there is a lack of availability of light duty positions which will increase indemnity

    costs on claims.

    • As claim costs increase, due to the factors previously noted, the industry will experience greater loss development. Increased loss expenses do not only impact your loss results in the individual year but may impact your carrier’s underwriting analysis at renewal. It is likely loss development factors will increase for the 2020 policy year and beyond, especially in those states with the greatest COVID-19 infection rates. Several of the states that already carry the greatest Loss Development Factors (LDFs), currently have the highest infection rates – New York and California.

    The impact and severity of the pandemic on future insurance rates will depend on a number of factors including the duration of the pandemic, thus restricted access to medical services and shuttered court houses, the unemployment rate as it affects fraudulent claim filings, compensability determinations, the courts’ interpretation of virus exclusions on liability and property policies, among others.

    The impact on your company will depend on a variety of factors including industry, state mix, loss history, compliance, etc. There are actions that you can take to protect yourself, so be sure to get in touch with your broker to learn more.

    Click here to download the article in PDF format.

  • Thursday, May 28, 2020 11:15 AM | Denise Downing (Administrator)

    Submitted by Becker LLC

    May 14, 2020: Martin L. Borosko, Esq., Staffing Practice Leader of Becker LLC, interviewed fellow Industry Partner Kurt Murray, Principal at Assurance about the hot topics Kurt is consulting with his Staffing clients about during the COVID-19 crisis.

    Borosko: What are the most impactful actions an Agency can immediately take as a result of the pandemic?

    Murray: Every agency is being impacted differently, and it varies greatly based on their vertical and geography. Hospitality staffing agencies have seen their business decimated, while many Medical, IT and Pharma firms are experiencing unprecedented growth and demand.

    Generally though, there are steps that every agency should take in order to protect themselves:

    • Conduct a full review of all your insurance coverages to determine where you may have coverage for COVID-related losses and more importantly where you do not. Try to fill those gaps as cost effectively as possible, where coverage is available. We are starting to see suits against employers for violations of privacy, failure to provide a safe work environment, failure to supply proper PPE, etc. Insurance coverages for these claims are largely untested at this point.
    • Don’t be afraid to file claims for 1st party losses such as Business Interruption claims. The vast majority of Property polices have Virus exclusions but make the insurance carriers put their coverage positions in writing. Those coverage positions might be successfully challenged in the future and you don’t want to jeopardize potential coverage for failure to comply with notification provisions.
    • Review all contracts to determine if the language in the contract requires the agency to do certain things that are no longer feasible, such as in-person interviews and background checks. If a contract requires things of this nature, the agency should immediately seek a waiver in order to avoid breaching the contractual terms, as in most cases, these breaches are not covered by insurance.
    • Pay close attention to your HR policies and make immediate modifications as necessary to comply with the new laws. The new work rules allow or sometimes require employers to do certain things that we never imagined, such as asking detailed medical questions, daily health screening, etc.
    • Communicate effectively and compassionately with your employees. They are your capital and it’s important to protect and show you appreciate them. This goodwill can go a long way when an employee is considering whether to take action against the employer at some point.
    • Surround yourself with trusted advisors who are knowledgeable about your agency and the staffing industry. We’ve recently talked to numerous owners who have received little or incorrect advice from those who they should be relying on, and in some cases, it could cost them their businesses.

    Borosko: Several states have enacted legislation to address the Workers’ Compensation compensability of COVID-19 claims, and more legislation is pending in numerous other states. What does the state landscape look like and what is the potential financial impact?

    Murray: Workers’ Compensation coverage is dictated at the state level, so each state’s position on compensability must be closely monitored, as the status seems to change daily. Prior to the pandemic, communicable diseases were generally not considered compensable.

    Some states have mandated that any essential employee who contracts COVID-19 is presumed to have done so in the workplace. It is very important to understand the state-specific legislation and how COVID claims would impact the agency’s Workers’ Compensation program.

    It is also important to note that for those agencies that utilize a loss sensitive workers’ compensation program, such as a deductible program, retrospective plan, captive, etc., the losses will most likely be deemed compensable under the Employers’ Liability coverage portion of the policy, and those losses are applied towards your retained loss exposure on a ‘per-employee’ basis, so each infection will be treated as an individual occurrence.

    Due to the nature of the virus, it should be expected that multiple infections will arise within a customer’s facility so the costs could be significant.

    Borosko: What can agencies do to protect themselves from COVID-related Workers’ Compensation claims?

    Murray: It is vitally important to maintain detailed documentation about your customers’ facilities and your known and suspected infections. The more documentation you have, the better prepared you will be to successfully defend these claims.

    Documentation should include:

    • Customers’ adherence to OSHA and CDC safe workplace guidelines
    • Your OSHA required employee safety orientation and your customers’ on-going training
    • Detailed information about PPE provided to your employees and your customers’ own employees
    • Dates of known infections, contact tracing, required self-quarantines
    • Customer site closures for regular and periodic disinfecting or disinfecting after known infections

    It’s also imperative to conduct thorough COVID-19 screening on prospective new customers.

    Borosko: How is COVID-19 expected to impact the insurance marketplace?

    Murray: Certain industries will see a higher frequency of claims, specifically essential businesses. This is not limited to allegations for COVID-19 work comp claims, but all work comp injury claims, as well as third party liability claims. If certain industries are not operating (while essential businesses are), their loss frequency is naturally going to be higher. Essential businesses may also become targets for liability lawsuits (food contamination, improper cleaning, medical malpractice, etc.). It’s imperative to stay up to date on CDC, OSHA, and EEOC guidelines to protect your company from third party claims.

    Existing and new claims that occur during the pandemic (work comp & liability) will likely incur at a greater cost than they previously would have been expected to. With lockdown measures in place, the adjustment of current claims has come to a standstill in some cases. Litigation/mediation is not moving forward, non-emergency medical procedures are being delayed, and IME’s are being placed on hold, etc. so claim costs are expected to increase. The longer claims remain open, the higher the ultimate costs are going to be.

    As the economy takes a hit, so do insurance carriers’ investment portfolios. As they become less profitable from investments and underwriting alike, this will contribute to decreased capacity and increased premiums.

    Borosko: Cash is king for staffing agencies, so what cost saving ideas can you suggest for agency owners?

    Murray: We’d recommend several strategies. Some are relatively easy to initiate while others are more difficult:

    • In most states, agencies will be allowed to segregate wages paid to furloughed employees to be excluded from the Workers Compensation wage base, so document those wages for WC audit purposes 
    • If you have a loss sensitive workers’ compensation program that is collateralized with cash, ask the insurance carrier to allow you to replace some or all of the cash with a letter of credit, or better yet, a bond
    • Ask for mid-year reductions to your exposures, thus reducing premiums, in order to ease cash flow
    • Request premium deferrals. Most insurance carriers are granting these immediately upon request
    • If you pay fixed monthly workers’ compensation premiums to your insurance carriers, ask them to immediately migrate you to a variable pay-as-you-go program so your premiums fluctuate with your wages

    Click here to download the article in PDF format.

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