COVID-19 Update January 28, 2021

  • News

There is lots of buzz about what’s going on in DC and the additional changes to come.

One big question going into 2021 has been whether the vaccine will affect unemployment rates. Here is an interesting outlook report on each state’s unemployment insurance tax rate and wage bases. Equifax also released another report on each state’s unemployment insurance information for COVID-19 claims.

Furthermore, during our NAPEO State Government Affairs Committee meeting today, we discussed state unemployment tax rates (SUTA) and how they will be rising around the country since all states have used up their pool of money allotted to pay out these unemployment claims. Most states are borrowing from the federal government to cover these shortfalls, and this is why there is a federal unemployment tax (FUTA) for these purposes. The issue at hand is that the state economies will suffer if they don’t raise these rates. This subject matter is important and not as often discussed but will become more prevalent if the feds cut off funds to cover state unemployment claims.

The days of physically reporting to an office every day of the workweek are not likely to resume once the COVID-19 pandemic is over. Employees have become accustomed to working remotely, and splitting time between the office and home is expected to become the new normal. However, employers disagree on how many days they should show up to the office.

The Congressional Review Act (CRA) allows an incoming Congress to review federal agency final rules issued during the last 60 legislative-session days and to nullify such rules by a simple majority vote in both chambers. Older final regulations can be replaced by initiating new comment-and-notice rulemaking, and more are likely to come under scrutiny as new Cabinet secretaries take office. The Biden administration plans to review rules for employee health and retirement plans, including numerous employee benefit regulations.

The SBA made changes to the two applications for forgiveness released on January 19th – one is the EZ form and the other is the base form. Don’t forget to register for our webinar next Thursday, February 4th at 3 pm where we will review the latest information on PPP and ERTC and discuss legislative changes with the new administration most likely to affect your business.

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