March 22, 2012 10:45:59 am
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Introducing Sage HRMS 2012
Latest Version Offers Over 70 Customer-Requested Enhancements
In February, we saw the release of Sage HRMS 2012 (formerly Sage Abra SQL HRMS). The latest version of your human resource management system introduces over 70 customer-requested usability enhancements across HR, payroll, and the employee self-service module. Let’s take a look at some of the top level stuff and determine whether an upgrade is right for you.
Sage ESS Has a New Look
An updated look makes Sage ESS (formerly “Abra Workforce Connections”) easier to use, featuring modern menus, icons, and employee self service gadgets. These gadgets provide a snapshot of current benefits, Pay History, Time Off Summary, and recent messages. Plus, managers will like the new Time Off Calendar which provides a monthly view of pending, approved, and rejected time off.
Technology Upgrades and Mobility
Employee Self Service includes a variety of technology updates like web pages designed for mobile screen sizes so you can access the application with your favorite handheld device including iPhone® (3G, 3GS, and 4G), iPod®, Android™, Blackberry®, Windows CE®, Windows Phone 7™, and Windows Mobile® Devices. In addition, Sage ESS is now compatible with a wider variety of browsers like Safari®, Internet Explorer®, Google Chrome™, and Firefox®.
The new Sage Employee Analytics (part of Sage ESS) offers innovative technology allowing you to create personalized dashboards that transform complex workforce cost and performance data into simple, visual, and actionable insights. You can even combine standard Sage HRMS fields, custom data from user-defined fields, and data from external sources or third-party applications into one, central dashboard view.
Contact us to learn more about Sage HRMS 2012 or to discuss an upgrade.
HR Developments to Watch in 2012
For HR managers, the safe prediction for 2012 is “continued uncertainty.” With a presidential election in November that will influence regulatory policy, continued debate over healthcare reform, and an economy that could use a shot of adrenaline, here are a few HR trends and regulations to keep your eye on.
W-2 Reporting Requirements
If your company has more than 250 employees in 2012, you’ll be required to report the cost of healthcare coverage on their 2013 W-2s. Small employers (fewer than 250 employees) can wait another year until issuance of 2014 W-2s.
If your employees express concern, it’s important to let them know that the new reporting requirements do not make healthcare benefits taxable.
401(k) Fee Disclosures
On January 1, 2012, retirement plan fee disclosure regulations go into effect requiring plan sponsors to disclose all fees and expenses to participants of 401(k) plans. But Uncle Sam has given employers 120 days from that date to comply - making the actual compliance date April 30, 2012.
Essentially, these regulations are designed to help employees make more informed decisions about whether, where, and how to invest their money in 401(k)-type plans.
Social Media and Potential Liability
Proper use of social media has become a strategic tool for many businesses. However, there exists a very real danger of employees unfairly harming a company brand and reputation through offensive or false statements posted online. For this reason, many companies are developing social media policies that prevent employees from discussing working conditions, compensation issues, or even criticizing their employers … but some policies have gone too far.
In August 2011, the General Counsel of the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) issued a memorandum describing the liability that may apply to companies who enforce social media policies that infringe on labor rights. Importantly, this liability may apply irrespective of whether the employees are members of a union.
Bottom Line: Balance is important. Policies should be tailored to protect the legitimate business interests of the employer without going overboard. HR managers should review policies with senior executives and legal counsel as appropriate and revisit social media issues & policies often.
Succession Planning in Uncertain Times
A recent survey found that one in three employees is seriously considering leaving his or her current employer. For now, dissatisfied employees may be “sticking it out” because there aren’t an abundance of other opportunities. But if the economy starts to recover in 2012, HR managers should be ready to replace key people at the company without disrupting operations or damaging morale. The need for quick succession may arise at any time which underscores the importance of succession planning and effective recruiting processes.
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