The Daily Rundown: New Paid Family Leave Laws and More

Welcome to the Small Business Run Down. Every day, we bring you stories and trends that impact small business owners and their workforce. Today we look at how the “Silver Tsunami” might impact succession planning, the approaching deadline for leave law compliance in Massachusetts, and the murky waters around the efficacy of workplace wellness programs. […]

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The Daily Rundown

Welcome to the Small Business Run Down. Every day, we bring you stories and trends that impact small business owners and their workforce.

Today we look at how the “Silver Tsunami” might impact succession planning, the approaching deadline for leave law compliance in Massachusetts, and the murky waters around the efficacy of workplace wellness programs.

“Silver Tsunami” highlights need for good succession planning

A new study from Project Equity examines the small business landscape in Washington state and highlights the need for SBOs across the country to engage in good succession planning, including considering employee ownership models. The data for Washington state, which mirrors national trends, indicates that there will be a big transition in small business ownership (as well as a sizable economic impact) in the coming decade as baby boomers attempt to sell their business or close their company doors.

The Number: 50%. Almost 50% of small businesses in Washington state are owned by baby boomers.

The Quote:The data reveal not only the impact that the upcoming ownership transition could have, but also the potential to retain businesses in the community through employee ownership strategies.”

Massachusetts business owners gear up to meet new paid family leave law

While politicians and presidential hopefuls debate paid family leave plans at the national level, Massachusetts business owners must start taking steps soon to guarantee they’re in compliance with the Paid Family Medical Leave (PFML) Act. The law goes into effect July 1, 2019, and creates a state insurance program to provide Massachusetts workers with income while out of work for the arrival of a new child, personal illness or injury, or even to care for an ill relative. Employers have until the end of May to provide current employees with written notice of PFML plans, benefits, and provisions.

The Number: 0.63%. The annual contribution rate for 2019 is 0.63% and is split between employee payroll deductions and employer contributions.

The Quote:Consider whether your private leave benefit plan might qualify for an exemption and, if it does, apply for the exemption as soon as April 29, 2019.”

What works when it comes to workplace wellness?

Thinking about starting a workplace wellness program? A new study in the Journal of the American Medical Association found that the benefits aren’t as cut and dry as other research might suggest. Though proponents of these programs cite their positive impact on worker satisfaction and morale, the study found that they do not improve clinical health markers or medical and pharmaceutical utilization rates.

Researchers say that the discrepancy between their findings and other studies is due to design and methodological flaws. Still, the researchers plan to publish three-year results to see if there’s any positive impact over a longer timeframe.

Brigham Young University released a study last month, however, suggesting that employees are more motivated by gift cards than cash when it comes to participation in and completion of employee wellness program. Though more people choose cash, the ones who set their sights on the gift card were more likely to actually reach the program’s finish line. The study does not specify if the gift cards were from Sports Authority…or Buffalo Wild Wings.

The Number: 25%. People who chose a gift card instead of cash were 25% more likely to actually complete the wellness program.

The Quote:Researchers speculated that gift cards may be more motivational because they represent the optimal balance between hedonic value (fun, enjoyment) and fungibility.”

Vacation policy can be key part of employee satisfaction

As companies continue to search for new ways to attract and retain top talent in today’s tight labor market, flexible vacation policies can do a lot to enhance employee satisfaction. Flexible time off can take many forms, allowing workers to use leave as they see fit and tailor their own work-life balance. Consider creating a flexible vacation policy as part of your recruitment strategy.

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