We Know Next Weekly Recap: October 22-26th

News Updates

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

More than half (55 percent) of U.S. employees default to their current benefit coverage for the coming year, instead of actively reassessing their plan options, according to a 2012 survey by HR consultancy Aon Hewitt. What many workers do not realize is that the old selection may not be the best option.

Family care bias is turning into a red-hot issue for employers, according to a report published by the AARP Public Policy Institute and the Center for WorkLife Law at the University of California Hastings College of the Law. Women are affected more than men, the report notes, and flexibility is needed. Even though caring for older relatives has become “the new normal” in the United States, work-related discrimination against family caregivers is becoming more commonplace.

Last June, the National Transportation Safety Board cited driver fatigue as a main cause of a bus crash in New York that killed 15 people and injured 18 returning from a trip to a Connecticut casino. It was one of several fatal bus crashes the board investigated last year—and one of the deadliest. Investigators found that the driver slept only for short periods of three hours or less in the three days prior to the crash.

Just over half (56 percent) of employees eligible to participate in the their annual benefits open enrollment period last year felt “very confident” they’ll make the right decisions for themselves and their families this year, according to MetLife’s Benefits Election Poll. In contrast, nearly two-thirds of those who actively reviewed information last enrollment season felt “very confident” about making the right decisions this year. The poll, sponsored by group insurance provider MetLife, was conducted Sept. 28-30, 2012, among U.S. full- and part-time workers age 18 and older.

As Election Day approaches, employers should review their policies for compliance with state law requirements for providing employees with time off to vote. Some states have no rules, but others require all employers to provide employees with time off to vote and impose civil and criminal penalties for noncompliance.

Many health care reform law changes kick in during 2013 and 2014, assuming the law isn’t repealed or amended. Speaking Oct. 16, 2012, at Groom Law Group’s annual employee benefits seminar in Washington, D.C., attorney Christy Tinnes provided Pension Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA) checklists for the next two years.

Succession management planning can hit roadblocks for a number of reasons: industry disruption and the need to predict an uncertain future, unconscious bias that can cloud talent decisions, and challenges unique to managing global talent pools. Avoiding talent-building barriers and successfully planning for the future requires moving beyond the status quo and creating viable and agile systems, policies and practices, explained speakers at a recent conference hosted by The Conference Board.

We Know Next is the leading resource for business executives, policymakers and human resource leaders to explore and discuss the latest workforce and workplace trends—providing the in-depth research and insights needed to adapt and take advantage of what’s next.