Uncertainty is a fact of life for staffing companies, and the Affordable Care Act (ACA) has only added to the number of questions and concerns regarding the complexity it’s creating for many leasing companies and other staffing firms with regard to staffing agency insurance requirements and needs.
While there were many conferences and webinars last year presenting some insight into how it should all unfold with the changes being implemented by the ACA, many employers were still left confused as seemingly something new would come up or something had been changed leaving many owners scratching their heads.
Companies receive additional year to implement the ACA requirements
Obviously many companies, and staffing agencies were among those who were relieved by the one-year delay in the employer mandate announced by the Obama administration last July. The new rollout date of Jan. 1, 2015, gives many businesses a chance to fine-tune their healthcare plans moving forward.
This will allow for some internal monitoring of a staffing agencies employee count to help calculate the associated pay-or-play costs that companies with 50 or more full-time employees will eventually have to incur. It’s a reprieve that many businesses are using to work out their benefits plans, especially those employers with a variable work force.
The ACA-related costs may be insignificant for many staffing firms, given the often hundreds to thousands of job seekers who are considered to be their employees once they’ve been placed with a client company and remain so until the assignment ends or a full-time job is offered to them. This will obviously affect the staffing agency insurance requirements.
This will likely impact the staffing firm’s clients, since they too must evaluate whether those new ACA-related costs will be folded into the overhead that’s part of the variable hourly rates they charge. It’s an issue with both national and statewide impact: The American Staffing Association’s December monthly report showed staffing employment was up 9.6% nationwide compared with the same period in 2012.
Other businesses are feeling a similar impact
Staffing companies aren’t alone in their attempts to navigate the ACA’s challenging terrain when it comes to having a temporary work force in place. Similar challenges face a number of restaurants, supermarkets, hospitality, retail, health care, construction and other industries that are also prone to employing people in seasonal or variable-hour jobs.
Every industry affected is relieved to have another year that will allow them to build their tracking and compliance systems, while at the same time they will be transitioning to comply with the ACA’s employer requirements.