National Work and Family Month
What are You Doing This Month to Walk the Talk?
This year marks the 16th anniversary since the U.S. Congress designated October as National Work and Family Month.
When employees know their overall well-being is highly valued by their employer, they are more likely to feel and exhibit a sense of commitment to the organization. Work-life supports may range from promoting workplace flexibilities that allow employees to balance work and other life responsibilities, to offering back-up dependent care services, which may help ease caregiving burdens and allow employees to remain focused.
In today’s unpredictable and fast-paced world, it’s no easy task to integrate the demands of work and personal life. As we’ve become more dependent on technology and social media, it’s also increasingly difficult to shut off our work - at any point during the day.
The human body was not designed to stare at a bright screen for hours on end without any downtime. To combat this, it’s essential to encourage your staff to take small breaks throughout the day. One way you can help with this is encouraging a light exercise break. Maybe you could introduce walking meetings outside the office or a lunchtime running club. Some companies invite meditation practitioners to provide seminars, to enable staff to learn the best coping mechanisms for dealing with stress, during particularly busy periods.
SPECIAL OFFER: This month, in celebration of National Work and Family Month we have a special offer for you. AWE’s Executive Director has an “in” with a Rockville, MD gym owner and personal trainer (her brother - Ben Ashley), who agreed to give a very special deal to our AWE friends this month. If you want to give your employees (group limit 10 people per session), a 30-minute lunch break that is not only healthy but fun, BenAFits Body Shop will come to your office and provide a “workplace friendly” workout for just $50. If you are interested, please call 240-454-4377. It must be booked by Monday, November 14th.
Employers may also be rewarded for taking care of their employees…
Employer Credit for Paid Family and Medical Leave
This tax benefit helps highlight the spirit of National Work and Family Month. Under tax reform, eligible employers who provide paid family and medical leave to their employees in 2019 may qualify for a business credit.
To qualify, an employer must have a written policy that provides:
At least two weeks of paid family and medical leave annually to full-time employees, prorated for part-time employees.
Family and medical leave pay that is at least 50% of employee's wages.
For tax year 2018 and 2019, the employee must earn $72,000 or less to qualify.
The credit ranges from 12.5% to 25% of wages paid for qualifying employees.
Some employers are eligible to claim the credit retroactively.
The credit is available for qualified wages paid in tax years beginning after Dec. 31, 2017, and before Jan. 1, 2020. Generally, tax year 2019 is the last year most employers are eligible to claim the credit.
Family and Medical Leave Act
The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 required covered employers to provide employees with job-protected and unpaid leave for qualified medical and family reasons. The law allows certain employees with up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave per year. It also protects the employee's group health benefits during the leave period.
FMLA is designed to help employees balance their work and family responsibilities by allowing them to take reasonable unpaid leave for specific family and medical reasons.
If you have questions about what AWE award winners are doing to support their employees, contact us and we can help share best practices.
Happy National Work and Family Month!