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2 weeks ago · by · 0 comments

5 Child Care Initiatives to Enhance Your Workplace

The incentives you offer can impact how candidates view your company and its culture. Different programs and benefits will attract different people. Keep this in mind when choosing which initiatives to promote, especially if you want to attract working parents.

The cost of child care in the United States can be the greatest single expense for a household, with at-home care averaging $28,354 annually. Imagine, then, how enticing child care initiatives might be to working parents or those who want to start families.

Moreover, a company’s child care initiatives can make or break an employee’s decision to stay with his or her employer, according to the Harvard Business Review. Offering child care benefits is one of the best ways to recruit talent. Child care services and the support of an employer are consistently cited as top concerns for parents. The following initiatives are just some of the ways to enhance your workplace for employees and their families.

Paid Time Off (PTO) and Flexible Scheduling

PTO is often used to attract talent, especially millennials. However, it can also be pitched as a family friendly benefit to working parents. Parents need time off for things like children’s doctor appointments, unexpected illnesses or family vacations. Offering generous PTO or flexible scheduling benefits makes juggling work and home life much easier for families.

On-site Child Care

This option may be expensive and would require considerable buy-in from the company. However, it addresses many concerns shared by working parents and could be the “make or break” retention benefit for your workforce.

Furthermore, a study in the Journal of Managerial Psychology found that employees performed better and came to work more regularly when using on-site child care, compared against those who use off-site care or did not have children. Similarly, in a survey from Bright Horizons, an employer-sponsored child care provider, 90 percent of employees who use on-site child care reported increased concentration on their job duties.

Child Care Referrals

If offering on-site child care is too expensive, consider offering resources to help employees find the best child care options for their families. Any working parent knows the stress involved in finding suitable care for their children during the workday. Consider establishing a resource network with your employees who use off-site child care. Gather recommendations and information about child care providers nearby and make those resources available to employees.

Child Care Subsidies

Another way to entice working parents is by offering to pay a portion of off-site child care costs. As was stated previously, child care may be the largest single expense for a family in the United States. Offering a child care subsidy might tip the scale in your favor when employees are weighing career options, particularly for working parents.

Employee Assistance Programs

Many working parents have questions about how to balance their expenses or manage emotional stress, especially if they just had their first child. With this in mind, consider offering counseling programs for your employees through an employee assistance program (EAP). An EAP can help alleviate stress that affects workplace performance.

You can choose the right EAP vendor for your organization’s needs and tailor the program to your workforce. Beyond financial counseling, EAPs can cover areas like adoption assistance, elder care referrals and basic legal help. An EAP is usually paid for entirely by the employer and is offered to employees’ immediate family members as well.

The initiatives listed in this article are by no means exhaustive. There are other ways to attract and retain working parents, but these are good places to start. Remember, the programs you establish today can help retain your employees tomorrow. Speak with Scurich Insurance to discuss potential options for your organization.

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3 weeks ago · by · 0 comments

The ROI of Safety Programs

Safety programs not only have a positive impact on your bottom line, they improve productivity and increase employee morale. But how can you measure this?

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), workplaces that establish safety and health management systems can reduce their injury and illness costs by 20 to 40 percent. Safe environments also improve employee morale, which positively impacts productivity and service. When it comes to the costs associated with safety, consider the following statistics from OSHA:

  • U.S. employers pay almost $1 billion per week for direct workers’ compensation costs alone, which comes straight out of company profits.
  • Injuries and illnesses increase workers’ compensation and retraining costs.
  • Lost productivity from injuries and illnesses costs companies roughly $63 billion each year.

In today’s business environment, these safety-related costs can be the difference between reporting a profit or a loss. Use these tips to understand how safety programs will directly affect your company’s bottom line.

The Cost of Safety – How Can You Measure This?

Demonstrating the value of safety to management is often a challenge because the return on investment (ROI) can be cumbersome to measure. Your goal in measuring safety is to balance your investment vs. the return expected.

Where do you begin?

There are many different approaches to measuring the cost of safety, and the way you do so depends on your goal. Defining your goal helps you to determine what costs to track and how complex your tracking will be.

For example, you may want to capture certain data simply to determine what costs to build into the price of a product, or you may want to track your company’s total cost of safety to show increased profitability, which would include more specific data collection like safety wages and benefits, operational costs and insurance costs.

Since measuring can be time consuming, general cost formulas are available. A Stanford study conducted by Levitt and Samuelson places safety costs at 2.5 percent of overall costs, and a study published by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU) estimates general safety costs at about 8 percent of payroll.

If it is important for your organization to measure safety as it relates to profitability, more accurate tracking should be done.

For measuring data, safety costs can be divided into two categories:

Direct (hard) costs, which include:

  • Safety wages
  • Operational costs
  • Insurance premiums and/or attorney’s fees
  • Accidents and incidents
  • Fines and/or penalties

Indirect (soft) costs, which go beyond those recorded on paper, such as:

  • Accident investigation
  • Repairing damaged property
  • Administrative expenses
  • Worker stress in the aftermath of an accident resulting in lost productivity, low employee morale and increased absenteeism
  • Training and compensating replacement workers
  • Poor reputation, which translates to difficulty attracting skilled workers and lost business share

When calculating soft costs, minor accidents costs are about four times greater than direct costs, and serious accidents are about 10 to 15 times greater, especially if the accident generates OSHA fines or litigation costs. According to IRMI, just the act of measuring costs will drive improvement.

In theory, those providing the data become more aware of the costs and begin managing them. This supports the common business belief that what gets measured gets managed. And, as costs go down, what gets rewarded gets repeated.

The Value of Safety

OSHA studies indicate that for every $1 invested in effective safety programs, you can save $4 to $6 as illnesses, injuries and fatalities decline. With a good safety program in place, your costs will naturally decrease. It is important to determine what costs to measure to establish benchmarks, which can then be used to demonstrate the value of safety over time.

Also, keep in mind that your total cost of safety is just one part of managing your total cost of risk. When safety is managed and monitored, it can also help drive down your total cost of risk. For example, a fall protection program implementation reduced one agribusiness’ accident costs by 96 percent – from $4.25 to $0.18 per person/hour.

Considering the statistics, safety experts believe that there is direct correlation between safety and a company’s profit. We are committed to helping you establish a strong safety, health and environmental program that protects both your workers and your bottom line. Contact us today at 831-661-5697 to learn more about our value-added services.

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4 weeks ago · by · 0 comments

Avoiding CCTV Privacy Liability

In the retail industry, having a system in place to protect your inventory and prevent loss is essential to your bottom line. Since its inception, closed circuit television (CCTV) has helped retailers prevent theft by allowing as few as one or two employees to monitor an entire store at once.

While CCTV provides overwhelming possibilities to not only catch crimes in progress but also to deter them from even being attempted, where you install CCTV equipment is extremely important. Ill-advised camera placement can potentially lead to costly invasion of privacy suits by your customers and employees.

Expectation of Privacy

CCTV cameras are legal to use in public areas because they are just that–public areas. When an individual is in a public area where they can be clearly observed by those around them, they cannot have a reasonable expectation of privacy. However, in areas deemed to be private spaces, individuals do have a right to expect a certain amount of privacy. Most commonly, private spaces are places like a person’s home or a restroom in which, by law, an individual can expect a certain protection from unwanted intrusions.

Problems can arise when it comes to CCTV placement in private spaces that exist in public settings. When a customer or employee uses a public restroom or changing room, they have a reasonable expectation of privacy even though that space may be part of a larger public space. CCTV cameras installed in these areas could be seen as an invasion of privacy that could, in turn, open the door for legal action.

While installing cameras in restrooms is never a good idea, how CCTV monitoring is conducted inside changing rooms is a chief concern in the retail industry. While it can deter shoplifting, its legality exists in a grey area when it comes to privacy law. Retailers must be extremely careful how they use CCTV equipment in this situation. Unless you are experiencing an abnormally high amount of loss that cannot be contributed to other factors, the level of return on CCTV cameras in changing rooms is not likely to offset the liability risks.

Instead of CCTV, try instituting a different method of loss control that does not make privacy an issue. Staff changing rooms so there is someone to monitor what is being brought in and out. Also, you may consider using an electronic tagging system that will activate an alarm if customers try to leave the store without paying for an item.

Notifying the Customer

A good way to protect your business from invasion of privacy claims is to establish procedures that lower the expected amount of privacy. Post signs at the entrances to the building notifying the use of security cameras on the premises. Many privacy cases involve a discrepancy between the amount of privacy an individual believes they were entitled to and how much they were actually provided with. Proper notification can make it clear to both customers and employees as to what expectations they can have for their privacy upon entering an establishment.

This type of notification is especially important when it comes to CCTV cameras in changing rooms. Notifying customers of any monitoring and the procedures that are being used, alerts them of exactly how much privacy they can reasonably expect. Often times, when CCTV cameras are located in changing rooms, posted notices inform customers that camera operators are of the same gender. In such cases it is important that you back up these notices by enforcing the claims that they make.

CCTV Policy

Establishing a company CCTV policy can also help. The policy should outline the provisions for camera placement and proper camera use. By instituting a company policy for CCTV use, camera operators will know what practices are acceptable and which could put the company at risk for litigation.

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Scurich Insurance Services
Phone: (831) 661-5697
Fax: (831) 661-5741

783 Rio Del Mar Blvd., Suite7,
Aptos, Ca 95003-4700

PO Box 1170
Watsonville, CA 95077-1170

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