The Affordable Care Act (ACA) is causing concern among small business owners and employees. Some businesses are considering increases in temporary staffing to avoid reaching the employer mandate threshold and others are confused as to what constitutes threshold levels.
But the contingent workforce has been increasing since the start of the recession. Businesses have been forced to rely on temporary and contingent staff while cutting full-time workers and are now realizing the benefits of flexible staffing. According to USA Today, the number of temporary workers has increased by more than 50 percent since the recession ended four years ago, which implies that temporary staffing has its benefits.
Annie Lowrey and Jonathan Weisman reported in the New York Times that the ACA could result in the loss of over two million full-time jobs as companies try to avoid paying health care contributions. However, the advantages of an increasing contingent workforce, to employers and employees, may compound the growing trend.
- Accessible health insurance is providing employees with flexible work lives. Individuals can work fewer hours if they choose and are no longer forced to rely on full-time employment for health insurance. Research has long reflected the desire for autonomy and flexibility by US workers as family responsibilities such as children and aging parents have increased.
- Opportunity for home-based or remote work has increased. Employers can hire contractors who do not require office space or other financial resources associated with a full-time or permanent worker. Human resources can be managed on a per project basis, and strategic staffing can improve bottom lines.
- Businesses may reduce employee hours to avoid the employer mandate but their overall demand for labor will not change. Employers may choose to rearrange workers’ schedules to avoid having to provide them with health care. Fundamentally, both businesses and employees will have more control and flexibility.
According to Jay Carney, White House press secretary, there is no evidence that part-time employment has increased because of the ACA. Even if it does, flexible work lives bring benefits for all involved. Contact Hire Standard Staffing and learn how our staffing professionals can maintain your competitiveness in a changing economic environment.