We Know Next Weekly Recap: August 5th-11th

News Updates

In case you missed it, here’s what happened on We Know Next this week.

Finance, information technology (IT), procurement and other business services areas are in the midst of a growing talent crisis, and the failure of human resources and business services leaders to effectively collaborate is in large part to blame, according to research released July 19, 2012, by The Hackett Group Inc., a global business management consulting firm.

Despite higher premiums and out-of-pocket costs for health care benefits, U.S. workers’ satisfaction levels with employer-provided health care coverage has either risen or remained the same compared to three years earlier, according to a survey by the National Business Group on Health, a nonprofit association of large employers. The survey, Perceptions of Health Benefits in a Recovering Economy, was conducted from late May through early June 2012. A total of 1,545 employees at U.S. organizations with 2,000 or more employees responded to the survey.

Since the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) was enacted in 2010, health insurers have been preparing to operate in the new health insurance environment that begins in 2014—one that includes individual and employer-provided coverage mandates, guaranteed issue for coverage and health insurance exchanges. But, according to insurance rating firm A.M. Best Co., many states are not moving forward to meet the Jan. 1, 2014, deadline for establishing the state-operated health insurance exchanges that are intricately tied to the employer mandate—and to the penalties employers would pay for failing to provide affordable coverage under the PPACA.

The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) held a public meeting July 18, 2012, at which representatives from special interest groups, the federal sector, former EEOC leadership and current employees provided input on the agency’s proposed Strategic Enforcement Plan (SEP). The commission solicited the stakeholder comments to determine its enforcement priorities as part of its overall plan to allocate resources for Fiscal Years 2012-2016. The plan, which was approved in February 2012, projected that the EEOC will continue to focus on systemic discrimination claims and increase litigation of systemic cases. As such, companies may face a higher number of investigations and suits based on employment patterns and practices instead of individual cases under the plan.

While the number of employees on international assignments has remained relatively stable over recent years, the percentage of “global nomads” (employees who move from country to country on multiple assignments) and long-term expatriates has increased, causing challenges for employers when it comes to providing expatriate benefits.

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