Each year, our support department gets many calls regarding changing sick pay plans for the new year. This article will focus on tools available to change sick pay plans, primarily for accrual plans. Future posts will discuss changing types of plans, including going from accrual to lump sum or vice versa.
Note: You should carefully review your company policies and may want to refer to legal counsel before making any changes to your employees sick pay plans. Employees may question a change in their benefits when their available sick pay hours are reduced.
Program Update Needed for changing Lump Sum Plans
A recent issue was found and fixed for changing from one lump sum plan to another. If you are using Lump Sum/Upfront Sick Pay Plans, and will be using the options to automatically change plans, please use the Check for Updates to download the most current version of Datatech software.
Why may you need to set up a new plan?
In California, with the phase-in of lower overtime thresholds, many of our customers adjust their sick pay plans to coincide with their new standard work day. In order to accurately track sick pay history, you should set up a new sick pay plan and have employees moved to the new plan. This may be done in 3 ways:
1) Individual employees change plans as they reach their sick pay plan anniversary and rollover accrued balances.
2) Re-start all employees on a new plan year at the beginning of the year
3) Re-assign sick pay plans, but not plan dates or Accrual balances
The following will cover the steps needed for each method.
Set Up a New Sick Pay Plan
Go to Payroll > Sick Pay Setup/Maintenance > Sick Pay Plan Setup
Use a unique Plan ID for the new year. Remember to follow your state guidelines when enter maximum annual/lifetime accrual entries. Please refer to the Help page “Sick Pay State Reference Chart” for information and links to your states policies/website.
Following is an example of a new California plan for 2021:
Assign the Next Plan ID (used for change methods 1 & 2)
Open the existing plan, click on Plan Year Settings and enter the new plan in Next Plan ID.
Rollover Method 1 – Change on Employee Sick Pay Plan Year Anniversary
After you have entered the new Sick Pay Plan ID, as long as no Fixed Plan Year Settings are entered, each employee will see their plan change on their Sick Pay Anniversary Rollover.
Rollover Method 2 – Start All Employees on New Plan & Plan Year
If you would like to re-set all employees to a plan year of January 2021,
1. Enter 01/01/2020 in the ‘Fixed Plan Year, Starting’ entry.
2. Select the date that the program will use to trigger the change from the Rollover On drop-down menu.
3. If you use Check Date, also select the day of the week that you typically date checks.
For example, using the Starting Pay Period Date, the software will not rollover/change the plan until a Starting Pay Period after 01/01/2021. A pay period of 12/28/20 – 01/03/21 would not have the plan changed if the Rollover is set to Starting Pay Period. It would, however, if the Rollover is set to Ending Pay Period or Check Date because the ending date is after 01/01/21.
Rollover Method 3 – Use the Change Sick Pay Plans Utility
You can use a program tool to automatically change all sick pay plans for employees. This will not change dates or accrued balances.
To use this, go to Payroll > Sick Pay Setup/Maintenance > Change Sick Pay Plans.
1. Select the Current Plan ID. Optional parameters include Department, Starting Date Hired, Check Issued After Date and/or State.
2. Enter the New Plan ID and the Date for the adjusting transaction
3. A report will display the employees based on the entered criteria. Review this carefully. If you would like to proceed with changing the plans on these employees, click Yes to continue.
This process will not reduce the Accrued YTD Sick Pay like a Rollover transaction. If the employee has Accrued over the Maximum Limit of the new plan, no additional hours will be accrued.
The Max Allowed Sick Pay Per Year from the new sick pay plan will apply, so the Employee may see a reduction in their Available Hours on their next check depending on their prior balances.
Things to Keep in Mind
- Changes to sick pay plans should be made at the point in which you want the changes reflected. Retro-active changes are not advised and can be time consuming to fix/audit balances from the retro date forward.
- It has become necessary for us to charge for the time of assisting customers with retro active changes or hands-on assistance with audits, plan changes, etc. In addition, due to the high volume of support during the month of January, we may have to schedule sick pay non-support calls to a later date.
- If you choose to change sick pay plans, Datatech personnel cannot advise you on which method you should use. As mentioned above, you may want to consult a labor law attorney for consultation of this matter before making any changes.
If you have questions regarding how to use these tools in Datatech software, please email our team at Support@DatatechAg.com.