Business concerns for 2019

The last few years has been a rapid fire of changes faced by business owners. From tax laws, to Employment Standard Code updates, increases in minimum wage, to the legalization of marijuana, the typical business owner has to move quickly to adapt and continue to thrive.

Yet the challenges continue. According to a recent article in “Employee Benefit Advisor” these are the top issues:

Building diversity which goes beyond sex, race, ethnicity, age, national origin and religion and includes different work experiences, educational status, marital status, socioeconomic status, life experiences, background and upbringing. Companies are striving to ensure their workplace is inclusive and tolerant, where all employees feel valued and respected.

Workplace safety where employees are free from recognized safety and health hazards that could cause death or serious physical harm—which may include preventing acts of workplace violence.

Streamlined policies and practices completed and updated to manage a diverse workforce and promoting fairness and consistency across situations. XpertHR’s survey confirms that employee handbooks remain a top challenge for employers when it comes to developing, implementing and enforcing employment policies.

Employee drug use is a leading concern not just because of the 2018 legalization of marijuana and its impact on workplace safety, but also dominating headlines is the threat of opioid addition. Addressing and managing drug use and drug testing will remain one of the most challenging issues for employers who are tasked with making sure their workforce is efficient and operating safely and productively going into 2019.

Security breaches are constant and on the rise. Cyber safety is tough to control. To protect private and confidential information and minimize the risk of a cyber breach, employers need to consider using security tools such as firewalls, two-step or biometric authentication methods, and encrypted data in the cloud to protect such information and outsource to work with a company which constantly monitors and measures breaches and can act immediately to stem the leak.

Comprehensive employee group benefit programs continue to challenge employers in this tight labor market. The right benefit plan is integral in attracting and retaining a talented workforce.

The expansion of leave laws with the changes to the Employment Standards Code in January 2018 has created still further changes for the average business owner. Depending on size and location, an employer may be required to comply with a variety of new or different leave laws. To address and manage these changes, an employer should first determine which leaves will impact them the most and come to understand them better—which leaves may be used concurrently and how to properly document each occurrence.

Workforce planning broadly describes the “continual process an employer uses to align the organization’s business needs and priorities with those of its workforce to make sure it can comply with legislative, regulatory, service and production requirements and organizational objectives.” This is a key challenge for the business, requiring them to review all phases of the employee relationship from start to end, including retention and engagement, in order to make strategic business decisions that have a positive impact on the corporate bottom line.

Disclaimer: Please note that the information provided, while authoritative, is not guaranteed for accuracy and legality. The site is read by a world-wide audience and employment, taxation, legal vary accordingly. Please seek legal, accounting and human resources counsel from qualified professionals to make certain your legal/accounting/compliance interpretation and decisions are correct for your location. This information is for guidance, ideas, and assistance.