Workplace Bullying

Workplace BullyingWorkplace Bullying

Bullying is usually reserved for the schoolyard in movies, where the taller than average, burly boy steals a poor unsuspecting kid’s lunch money. But bullying extends deeper than the stereotypes, and way beyond the schoolyard. Bullying in the workplace has become a rampant problem with significant consequences.

A study by the Workplace Bullying Institute found that 35 percent of the U.S. workforce, estimated at 53.5 million Americans- report being bullied at work. An additional 15 percent report witnessing bullying in the workplace. Not only was bullying common, there is often a need for medical intervention. A study by a Finnish research group BMJ Open found that men and women who were bullied were 50-200 percent more likely to have a prescription for anti-depressants, sleeping pills, and tranquilizers.

Workplace bullying can have a significant impact on mental health, including psychosocial distress, and a higher risk of both mental and physical health problems. It causes stress, absenteeism, lowered self-esteem and anxiety. It is costly for business too. High turnover, low productivity, lost innovations and difficulty in attracting quality employees can all hurt your business as a result of workplace bullying.

Workplace bullying can take on many forms including shouting or swearing, singling out employees for unjustified criticism, humiliating employees, and excessive practical jokes aimed at a particular person.

“Our study showed that workplace bullying is associated with subsequent psychotropic medication based on objective register data reflecting medically confirmed mental health problems. In addition to current workplace bullying, also earlier bullying and observing bullying were associated with psychotropic medication. Workplace bullying needs to be tackled proactively in an effective way to prevent its adverse consequences for mental health.”

For more information, please see the Workplace Bullying Institute.

At Sinclair Risk & Financial Management, we understand that human resource issues are an important component of an employer’s risk profile. We’ll help you evaluate HR issues and exposures and help you implement programs to ensure your company’s growth in today’s challenging and highly regulatory environment. Contact us today for more information on our Connecticut Human Resource Consulting services.

States Refuse to Set Up Healthcare Exchanges

States Refuse to Set Up Healthcare ExchangesStates Refuse to Set Up Healthcare Exchanges

The Obama administration announced last week that more than half of the states refused to set up their own health insurance exchanges.

Last Friday was the deadline for states to notify the federal government of their plans, according to U.S. News. Administration officials had been hoping the re-election would overcome resistance to the new healthcare laws. According to the New York Times, the count was 18 states who intended to run their own exchanges.

The exchanges will be online supermarkets where people can shop for private health insurance. Individuals will also be able to obtain federal subsidies to help alleviate the costs. Each exchange will operate a website where uninsured residents of the state and small employers can compare various health-plan options offered by insurance companies. The exchanges are designed to be similar to the way consumers shop online for hotel rooms and airplane tickets.

The Congressional Budget Office estimated that some 25 million people will be covered under the new exchanges. By default, the federal government will implement health insurance exchanges in the twenty-five states that refused. An additional seven states will operate in federal-state partnerships.

Regardless of the changes, Sinclair Risk & Financial Management can provide you with insurance and risk management strategies to protect the financial strength of your operation, no matter where you are in the healthcare system. We have the skills to find ways to capitalized on the changing market conditions, strict regulatory environment, and help your healthcare organization get the protection it needs.

Our services include risk surveys and assessment, loss prevention, claims monitoring, intervention, and more. Contact Sinclair Risk & Financial Management today for more information about our Connecticut healthcare insurance programs.

Workers Compensation: NCCI Changes Primary-Excess Split Point for 2013

Workers Compensation: NCCI Changes Primary-Excess Split Point for 2013

The National Council on Compensation Insurance recently announced a plan to change the experience rating formula for Workers compensation insurance. The primary-excess split point will be increased over a three year transition period. The first stage of the change will take effect on January 1, 2013.

What is it?
In the experience rating process, each loss is divided into primary and excess portions. Right now, the first $5,000 of every claim is allocated as a primary loss. Everything above $5,000 is considered an excess loss. So, for a claim of $20,000, $5,000 would be the primary loss and the remaining $15,000 would be considered excess losses.

The NCCI’s changes raise the split point from $5,000 to $15,000. Under the new guidelines, a $20,000 claim would have a primary loss of 15,000 and excess loss of $5,000. The last change was two decades ago; since then, the cost per workers comp claim has tripled, reducing the effectiveness of the current rating system.  The goal is to improve the experience rating plan to more accurately fit the current claims environment and account for claim inflation.

Why does it matter?
This change is significant because underwriters rely on mod-factors as one of the components to determine a client’s premium. Primary losses are given full weight in the experience rating process; excess losses are evaluated at a reduced factor.

The basis for this is described as “severity follows frequency.” Primary losses are an indicator of frequency. An organization that experiences a repeated pattern of losses (higher frequency) is more likely to experience a severe loss in the future. The frequency of claims is weighted more than the severity. This is why primary losses affect the mod calculation more than excess losses do.

Here’s what it means for you.
How this change affects you depends on your prior loss history. If most of your losses are under $5,000, you are likely to see a decrease in your mod. If they exceed $5,000, you should prepare for an increase in your mod.

Please contact us at Sinclair Risk & Financial Management if you have any questions or concerns regarding the new changes. We are happy to assist you. (877) 602-2305

HR Consulting: Employers Missing Communication Strategy

HR Consulting Employers Missing Communication Strategy

HR Consulting Employers Missing Communication Strategy

HR Consulting: Employers Missing Communication Strategy

It is well advertised that communication between an employer and employees is essential. So why doesn’t it happen? According to HR Morning, organizations are talking more about communication than actually communicating. It seems to an ongoing trend of employers missing communication.

Here are the stats. Seventy-eight percent of employers cite getting employees engaged year round is one of their biggest challenges. Yet, less than a third (28.9 percent) say they are actually communicating with employees year round.

Even when a communication strategy is implemented, employers aren’t satisfied. There is a clear disconnect between the company and it’s employees. While over half of the participants reported that their communication strategy had improved, 45.5 percent still weren’t satisfied with it. Twenty-eight percent were ambivalent.

Increasing employees’ savings, their use of preventative care, and increasing annual enrollment in benefits plans are all among employer’s top goals. Yet only 24 percent met those goals last year, and 18 percent weren’t really sure. Most companies don’t have a documented benefits communication strategy in place, or don’t know if it has helped them to reach their goal.

A clear communication strategy can be difficult to define and implement.  But it can also boost employer relations with their employees, even boosting retention and loyalty in some cases. Be sure to consider benchmarks down the road for continuous improvement

There is a obvious discrepancy between employer’s goals and the actual execution. Fixing that discrepancy, improving communication with your employees, and creating a strong benefits plan can make a significant difference in your organization.

At Sinclair Risk & Financial Management, we understand that human resource issues are an important component of an employer’s risk profile. We’ll help you evaluate HR issues and exposures and help you implement programs to ensure your company’s growth in today’s challenging and highly regulatory environment. Contact us today for more information on our Connecticut HR Consulting services.

United States Still Holds Manufacturing Sway

U.S. Still Holds Manufacturing Sway

United States Still Holds Manufacturing Sway

It’s been said that American manufacturing is on the decline. But, that’s not true for certain industries according to the Wall Street Journal.

The United States remains a global leader in manufacturing some of the world’s biggest products. Caterpillar inc, makes it’s large mining trucks in Illinois, despite the face that most of them are shipped overseas to Latin America, Australia, Asia, and Africa. No. 2 competitor Komatsu make their large scale mining vehicles less than one hundred miles north. Together, the two brands account for 85% of global sales of mining trucks.

The U.S. recorded a $509.7 billion deficit in trade in manufactured goods, mainly due to huge lacks in larger categories such as consumer electronics and clothing. However, in certain industries, such as aircraft, industrial engines, excavators, railway and mining equipment, the U.S. exports far more than it imports.

These industries produce smaller numbers of very expensive goods. The U.S. enjoys an advantage due to expertise from building high-tech weaponry and military equipment; the technology is then applied to other products. Capitalizing on this competitive advantage is part of the effort to create more well paid manufacturing jobs. The administration is budgeting more money for research into the manufacturing process, especially focusing on what WSJ casually refers to as “the big stuff.”

From a local Connecticut machine shop to a company with international operations, Sinclair Risk & Financial Management has the vast experience required to serve the complex industry of Manufacturing. Contact us today for more information about our Connecticut manufacturing insurance programs.

Tax Credit Incentive for Massachusetts Wellness Program

Tax Credit Incentive for Massachusetts Wellness Program

Tax Credit Incentive for Massachusetts Wellness Program

Tax Credit Incentive for Massachusetts Wellness Program

With all the healthcare reform changes beginning to roll out, individual’s health and well-being has been a hot topic lately. A Massachusetts Wellness Program is a great resource for companies to boost morale and keep their employees healthy, but they can be difficult and expensive to implement. Now, Massachusetts has passed legislation to help out small business owners establish a Massachusetts Wellness Program.

On January 1, 2013, new tax credits for Massachusetts Wellness Programs will become available to Massachusetts employers. The tax credits are part of healthcare reforms included in Senate Bill 2400, signed into law by Governor Deval Patrick earlier this year, according the Society for Human Resource Management.

The credit covers 25% of the costs to implement a Massachusetts wellness program, with a maximum credit of $10,000 per fiscal year. The Massachusetts Department of Public Health has been charged with eligibility criteria and establishing guidelines for the wellness program. Criteria may include a required minimum participation rate to qualify for the reduction, healthy workplace programs, promotion of health prevention and screenings and health education requirements.

Massachusetts Wellness Program are a great way to confront chronic conditions and try and stave them off before they start. They help employees make lifestyle choices to lead healthier lives. But while most employers see the value in Massachusetts wellness plans, small businesses are lagging behind. 82% of small business owner supported the idea of wellness plans, but only 47% actually installed some sort of wellness program. In contrast, almost 90% of large employers saw the value in wellness plans, according to Benefits Pro.

Massachusetts wellness programs should ease this disparity. The credits are designed to aid smaller businesses in implementing wellness plans, and help them to take advantage of cost savings. At Sinclair Risk & Financial Management, we understand that human resource issues are an important component in your company. We can help you implement employee wellness plans, in addition to HR consulting services to help you streamline administrative services, training programs, and more. Contact us today to take part in this great tax credit for Massachusetts Wellness Program. (877) 602-2305