Small business owners have a lot of tasks and responsibilities they need to stay on top of to grow their company. However, human resources often takes up a lot of time due to the volume of work involved and the importance to the business.
One area that can be particularly complex, challenging, and costly is workers’ compensation insurance. This is especially true for smaller businesses with higher risk factors, multi-state operations, or who have employees who travel regularly on business.
We’ve talked before about HR compliance and how vital it is to business success. With laws at the federal, state, and local levels changing each year, remaining compliant with HR and employment laws is more difficult than ever. And one such example is workers’ compensation.
However, small business owners looking to address their workers’ compensation needs, along with various other HR services, can look to PEO partnerships as a potential solution to this growing challenge.
There are a few ways that PEOs can help small employers with workers’ compensation insurance.
1) A PEO WILL MANAGE THE WORKERS’ COMPENSATION SYSTEM FOR THEIR CLIENT
The workers’ compensation market is extremely complex in today’s business world. For small business owners, this can mean a lot of time, resources, and stress to properly remain compliant and provide it to their workforce.
Each state has their own workers’ compensation compliance requirements, which can represent a significant challenge for smaller businesses who have employees in more than one state. Additionally, the costs associated with workers’ compensation insurance can vary by state.
Partnering with a PEO opens small employers to new workers’ compensation plans at reasonable costs due to their co-employment model. Another added benefit is that some PEO’s offer a pay-as-you-go program for workers’ compensation, greatly reducing costs in some instances.
These programs mean no deposits, no deductibles, no year-end audits, or other hassles that come with acquiring workers’ compensation on your own.
2) WORKING WITH A PEO WILL HELP TO IMPROVE WORKPLACE SAFETY
It can be difficult for some small employers, especially those with higher risk or field operations, to ensure a safe working environment for their workers. However, this is critical for preventing workplace injuries and workers’ compensation claims.
One benefit of partnering with a PEO is that clients gain access to risk management experts who can help implement a workplace safety program and focus on strategies to manage the cost of risk.
These professionals will help each client educate their employees around maintaining a safe work environment, as well as examine each client’s claims history to identify possible accident trends.
PEOs also develop and implement personalized workplace safety action plans that can help with immediate workplace safety improvements, and ensure continuous improvement with safety maintenance programs.
Working with risk and compliance experts allow clients to identify areas of concern for workplace safety, address these issues, and create a much safer working environment that can lower the likelihood of workers’ compensation claims.
3) CLIENTS GAIN ACCESS TO PERSONALIZED CLAIM MANAGEMENT
No employers and working environments are completely immune to workplace accidents, meaning that even the safest employers and employees may end up needing to make a workers’ compensation claim.
However, handling and managing workers ‘compensation claims can be complicated and time-consuming for small business owners. And failing to go through this process correctly could result in serious penalties and fines.
Small employers who work with a PEO gain access to a highly personalized claims management team who help to ensure all claims are handled quickly and thoroughly, all while maintaining compliance.
Clients can report a claim to their PEO by phone, fax, email, or through their HR software and technology. The PEO will then have a risk management manager provide immediate early intervention, as well as face-to-face assistance with clients and employees.
Having a dedicated claims management team can save small business owners a lot of time and prevent stress, knowing that experts are handling any claims and ensuring compliance throughout the process.
4) ADDITION OF RETURN-TO-WORK PROGRAMS
In the event of a workplace accident that results in a workers’ compensation claim, having a return-to-work program can help both employers and employees.
A return-to-work program proactively assists injured employees to get back to work as soon as they are able, including on a modified basis as they recover, such as working a part-time schedule.
These programs help employers create a direct cost benefit while helping injured employees stay involved with their company during their absence. They also make it easier for employees to slowly transition back into their role as they get fully healthy.
Most PEOs have these programs in place and can assist clients with creating a personalized one for their company and employees. The value that these programs can have for both employees and employers shouldn’t be overlooked by business owners.
5) CONTINUOUS GOVERNMENTAL COMPLIANCE
We have already touched on compliance in this article and just how important it is today for employers. Changes to laws and legislations at the federal, state, and local level can have profound impacts on businesses of all sizes.
Workers’ compensation is one of the many HR compliance tasks that employers need to keep up with, as they differ from state to state. This is incredibly important for businesses who have employees that work in multiple states.
Keeping up with and navigating the ever-changing HR law landscape can be a major challenge for small business owners. But a failure to do so could put a business at risk of fines and penalties for failing to remain compliant.
This is something that PEO clients don’t have to worry about. A PEO helps their clients stay compliant with not only workers’ compensation laws at each level of the government, but all employment laws and HR compliance.
As new laws and regulations take effect, or revisions and updates to existing legislation occur, PEOs ensure that their clients meet the new guidelines and remain compliant at each level of the government. Avoiding compliance-related penalties is crucial for small businesses who seek to grow.
WORRY LESS ABOUT WORKERS’ COMPENSATION INSURANCE WITH A PEO PARTNERSHIP
Small business owners who are looking to better manage their workers’ compensation insurance, ensure compliance, and improve workplace safety can benefit from working with a PEO.
Besides workers’ compensation, there are many other HR services a PEO offers that small businesses may find helpful. HR administration, health insurance and employee benefits, payroll, and risk management services are just a few of the solutions that a PEO can provide.
While not all small businesses are a good fit for PEO, or may need the assistance, knowing how they can help with workers’ compensation and other HR responsibilities can help make growth and success more attainable.
What’s the difference between co-employment and employee leasing? Check out our eBook, Co-Employment vs. Employee Leasing: The Differences Brokers (and Clients) Should Know, to learn more about how different they really are!