HR Wilt, Businesses Race: Involuntary Part-Timers


©AR_HRComatrix_PTimers

When you love something too much or too little, they wilt, like my orchid plant, or like people, your Human Resources. No luck there. 
To all concerned  ladies, employers, workers, commuters, and stay-at-home : Happy Mother's Day!
And to my readers, many thanks to you,  who kept visiting my blog during my "busy" time last month. We are back to the subject of linked healthcare, working hours and payroll/cost: at this point people are wilting as companies have already been switching to CDHCs - understand:HDHCPs - and the bipartisan call for repeal of the ACA "cadillac" tax seems to be too little, too late. Involuntary part-timers fall into the "plan" and companies race to adjust.

 According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics there are 1.4 million of involuntary part-time workers in 2014 out of 18.9 related workers vs. 685,000 out of 19.2 million workers in 2007. Do you want more specifics? Read on part-time  workers for economic reasons.

BLS - April 23, 2015: Part-time for Economic Reasons (1-34hours/week)

Should we correlate those data with the increasing number of quits over the years? This was observed in many industries, including business, professional and hospitality/food services. Evidently, quits being initiated by employees, it is a measurement of employees' readiness to leave a job. Out of a total separation of 39.9% of employment in 2014, quits accounted for 22.0%. This is somehow disturbing even though hires rose at 42.2% of employment.

But in many cases what increase of hires could reflect? Definitely an increase of opportunities to be addressed on the part of companies: more open positions or more quits?
In the industries cited above we observe some, if not a lot of flexibility. "Flexibility" could mean from one being able to change his working hours and/or place of work to reduce, or cancel his scheduled hours without penalties. Great? Let's assess:
  • Great, yes, to the extent that it does not derail business activities/productivity. Think process in a given manufacture when a low-wage worker, but important part of a chain, is not able to make it to work. Is everyone so easily replaceable? Doubtful, at these lean times.
  • Great also as long as the reason is not the employee's lack of engagement, need for more working hours/better paycheck, or time missed for going after another, more lucrative or more reliable job. 
There is a fine line between flexibility/work/life balance and flexibility/job insecurity. So, here emerges the notion of part-timer for economic reasons. Companies need to put these issues in a broader perspective than just financial, as leveraging workplace flexibility is not a one-size-fits-all workplace initiative, nor should it ever be a silo-ed one. In fact, I would never suggest that it has been a silo-ed initiative: companies have been bombarded by too many institutional changes lately that have impacted HR initiatives or caused a revolutionized business approach to HRM.

The current issue is not who is to blame: HRM is business. The question should be how to remedy the situation: a company cannot thrive with less than engaged workers, in a chaotic/unreliable production environment, or with employees on the constant look-out for more reliable and lucrative jobs and more affordable benefits. A wide range of  external factors have been taking over internal ones in HRM. Yes, it is all about business whether we like it or not.

Involuntary part-timers? Where do we go from here? Is this turning into a gamble?

En Synthèse...

Nous avons parlé de salaire minimum horaire lors de mon dernier billet. Ce n'est qu'un aspect des soucis RH, et en fait un des moindres. En réalité, alors que les entreprises s'ajustent au galop aux critères de la nouvelle Assurance santé qui est pratiquement imposée par l'Etat Fédéral, les employés eux, sont devenus à mi-temps malgré eux.



En Synthèse...

Nous avons parlé de salaire minimum horaire lors de mon dernier billet. Ce n'est qu'un aspect des soucis RH, et en fait un des moindre. En réalité, alors que les entreprises s'ajustent au galop aux critères de la nouvelle Assurance santé qui est pratiquement imposée par l'Etat Fédéral, les employés eux, sont devenus à mi-temps malgré eux. 

Vous vous demandez pourquoi? Simple:
  • L'assurance santé était un "benefit" ou avantage social fourni au bon gré des entreprises. Cela donnait une valeur ajoutée, rendait l'entreprise competitive.
  • Aujourd'hui, après bien des changements, le seuil de l’éligibilité à l'assurance santé est de 30h/semaines. Pourquoi? Pour répondre au minimum requis et éviter les taxations ou amendes. Si, il y a quelques mois de cela, la définition de "Full time" impliquait 35, puis 32 heures/semaine, maintenant le seuil minimal est de 30h. 
  • Quant au nombre de travailleurs à mi-temps pour raison économique, le chiffre a grimpé de
    1.4 million en 2014 à 18.9 d’employés similaires/concernés  vs. 685,000 sur 19.2 millions en 2007. 
  • La flexibilité est de normes, surtout dans le secteur de services: la sécurité d'emploi n'existe pas. Toutefois, cette question n'a jamais été une pour les cadres et professionnels. Cela fait partie de leurs conditions de travail quoique avec plus de restrictions et/ou demandes qu'en Europe.  
Avec ces impositions, les employeurs réduisent donc les horaires de travail sous le déguisement de flexibilité. Résultats? Les employés n'ont ni envie de venir travailler, ni envie de rester avec l'entreprise. Cas flagrant d'effet boomerang de la Loi sur la Santé (ACA). 
Maintenant parlons conditions de travail: souvent le staff manque. Qui pensez-vous  est le plus grand perdant dans tout ceci? La DRH, c'est du business bien sûr car il faut bien faire tourner les roues mais l'on dirait que cela devient une vraie course et un pari hasardeux. Au fait, avez-vous été au Derby cette année? Sinon une petite fenêtre...

 ©AC_HRComatrix_PTimers

Comments

  1. Update: According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report, nearly 3 million workers quit their jobs in March 2015, -( See more at: http://goo.gl/OBDBIF) It can be interpreted as confidence as well as felt need for better opportunities.

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