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Three Compliance Considerations for Managing Hybrid and Remote Employees

12/18/2023 Written by: AP Employee Benefits

Since the COVID-19 pandemic, employers have seen a marked shift in the geographic location and size of their staff thanks to the increasing trend towards hybrid and remote work. According to a recent study from WFH Research’s Survey of Working Arrangements and Attitudes, over 40% of employees currently work remotely full time or with a hybrid schedule. With these new work models, employees are no longer confined to the geographic limits previously imposed by physical office locations. With this newfound freedom for employees does come increased responsibilities for Human Resources teams.

Compliance Training & Communication

With employees no longer reporting into a physical office location each day, employers may consider evaluating the manner in which they communicate and train their employees to ensure consistent messaging of compliance policies and procedures. Hybrid and remote workers may not be receiving the most up-to-date policies and guidelines when it comes to compliance training, especially if these are communicated in-person, such as through in-person meetings or lunch & learns. HR teams are looking to adopt inclusive communication and training methods, including virtual meetings, recorded videos, and emailed announcements to ensure all employees have access to the same important compliance information. Technology platforms may also be utilized to deliver content and track employee completion.

Similarly, employers are revisiting their compliance escalation and reporting procedures annually to ensure the process is easy-to-access for all employees regardless of their working arrangements. Failure to do so may expose your organization risk within your hybrid and remote employee population.

Remote Benefits Network Accessibility

Historically, benefit plan networks have been implemented with the goal of providing high quality, affordable benefits to employees within their local communities. With newfound hybrid and remote working models, the physical location of employees is now expanding far beyond the location of physical offices; as such, HR teams are working with their benefits broker to perform network analysis within their medical, dental, and/or vision plans, with additional emphasis placed on mental health, primary, and maternity care providers to ensure remote and hybrid employees have broader access to care.

State-Specific Paid Family Leave Benefits

Currently, 17 states have passed mandated paid family leave programs – and 15 additional states are proposing new leave laws- employers are facing increased pressure to maintain compliant leave programs. With leave requirements varying from state-to-state, often with complex rules and increased administration needs, juggling employee and corporate leaves across multiple states can be a difficult task for HR teams. Employers are considering the utilization of leave management services and/or technology to help ease this administrative burden and lessen their exposure. Contact your AssuredPartners Team to learn more about leave management solutions that may be a good fit for your organization.

With remote and hybrid work arrangements becoming standard for many organizations, HR teams can expect to navigate changing regulations and employee concerns while also being exposed to new risks within their employee population. Your AssuredPartners team is here to help you every step of the way – reach out to your local team to discuss ways to minimize the compliance exposure within your remote and hybrid employee population.

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