Compliance is one of the most important and complex topics that HR professionals face in their work. Navigating compliance requires immense time and attention to detail, even before the pandemic. With so many workforces continuing remote or hybrid work operations, HR departments face even more challenges in regards to compliance forms for remote work.
Reminder: What is Compliance?
As employment laws change with the needs of the workforce, HR teams must stay up to date on the latest legal changes and requirements in order to keep their organization fully compliant.
In a business setting, compliance includes the process of making sure the company and employees follow laws, regulations, standards, and ethical practices that apply to your specific organization and industry. Therefore, HR teams are responsible for making sure employees are treated fairly and legally, as well as keeping the business away from legal danger.
What Forms do Employees Need for Remote Work?
The Department of Labor (DOL) requires employers to distribute specific notices to employees and to document employee acknowledgment of each required notice. The COVID-19 pandemic, which has forced many teams to work from home, has complicated notice distribution and communication with employees.
This form is used to verify the identity and employment authorization of individuals hired for employment in the US. For businesses operating in remote-only capacities following the COVID-19 pandemic, the physical verification process deadline for I-9 forms was extended last year. Businesses should now be using the new Form I-9, which is set to expire Oct. 31, 2022; the previous version is no longer valid.
If your company is onboarding new employees remotely, they\’ll need to fill out a Federal W-4 or Employee Withholding Certificate. This includes state W-4 forms if the state you\’re in requires them.
The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA) is an economic stimulus plan that affects coverage for COVID-19 testing, provided expanded federal family and medical leave, and implemented a new federal paid sick leave law. The details, notice, and updates can be found on the Department of Labor’s Wage and Hour Division website, or downloaded using this link.
The Employee Retirement Income Security Act (ERISA) mandates that plan administrators must provide participants with the most important information about their retirement, health benefit plans, and materials about the operation and management of these plans.
Most employers are required to provide the benefits notices to employees, such as coverage options, COBRA notices, HIPAA notices, and more. Read this blog for more information.
How to Distribute Compliance Forms While Working Remotely
The Department of Labor\’s Wage and Hour Division requires some employers post certain compliance notices—depending on the company\’s industry and size—in the workplace.
However, with many workplaces working remote, it\’s important to find other ways to distribute notices to employees in order to stay compliant. Here’s a checklist to help stay organized when distributing compliance notices to remote employees:
Communicate: Before sending the notices, let employees know when and how they should expect to receive them. Communicating ahead of time will let employees know to keep an eye out for the forms in the right channels.
Distribute: Send out the compliance notices through mail, electronically through email, or company intranet. Set a deadline for employees to respond by a certain date and organize reminders to send out.
Confirm Receipt: Once you\’ve sent out the notices, it\’s important to make sure your employees have received and read them by requesting a signature or a response.
Keep Record: If you’re requesting a signature on a form, be sure to keep organized records of the signed compliance forms so that you can produce proof of compliance if needed.
Employers should consider each of these forms, how to distribute them, and any other employer-specific onboarding documents that may arise.
Source: Bernie Portal