Updated March 31, 2020.
What programs in the coronavirus relief bills help small businesses?
The federal government has passed three multi-trillion-dollar relief bills. The first bill, The Coronavirus Preparedness and Response Supplemental Appropriations Act was passed March 6, 2020. It provides $8.3 billion in funding for federal agencies to respond to the COVID-19 outbreak.
In this article, we focus on two small business relief programs. They are part of the second and third bills:
- The Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act (EPSLA): tax credits for providing mandatory coronavirus-related paid sick leave. This Act is part of the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (the 2nd big bill which was passed on March 18, 2020)
- Paycheck Protection Program: A small business loan that can be forgiven if certain conditions are met. This program is part of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act (the 3rd big bill that was passed March 27, 2020)
When does the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act become effective?
April 1, 2020: the programs apply to leave taken between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.
What are most important things for small businesses to do right now to qualify for coronavirus relief?
- Track employee hours for at-home, onsite, and mobile employees
- Don’t cut wages, furlough employees, or lay off employees before you learn what you can qualify for
Is my business eligible for a Paycheck Protection Loan?
Your business is eligible if you:
- Have fewer than 500 employees
- Part-time, full-time, temp, and independent contractors count as employees
- Are a single-member LLC, corporation, 501(c)(3), sole proprietor, Veteran organization, or Tribal business
If you maintain your workforce, the Small Business Administration (SBA) will potentially forgive the portion of the loan proceeds that are used to cover the first 8 weeks of payroll and certain other expenses following loan origination. (SBA)
Is qualifying for a Paycheck Protection Loan the same as qualifying for a regular SBA loan?
It is easier to qualify for a Paycheck Protection Loan:
Employers receive 100% reimbursement:
- Health insurance costs are also included in the credit
- Employers face no payroll tax liability
- Self-employed individuals receive an equivalent credit (Internal Revenue Service)
The [Paycheck Protection] law allows businesses to take out loans equal to 2.5 times their average monthly payroll from 2019, so you need to know what that payroll number is. It should include salary and wages, of course, but also health care benefits and paid sick leave.Neil Bradley, EVP US Chamber of Commerce – Explanation of March 27th, 2020 Stimulus Bill in Inc Q&A)
What should small business owners do right now to determine if they qualify for a Paycheck Protection Loan?
- Look at your payroll to see if you kept the employees you had
- If you reduced headcount, there will be a reduction in loan forgiveness available
- If you’ve cut wages by 25%, that dollar value will affect the loan forgiveness as well (Neil Bradley, EVP US Chamber of Commerce – Explanation of March 27th, 2020 Stimulus Bill in Inc Q&A)
Can I qualify for a Paycheck Protection Loan if I have already let employees go?
Yes. If you bring them back on your payroll. (Neil Bradley, EVP US Chamber of Commerce – Explanation of March 27th, 2020 Stimulus Bill in Inc Q&A)
How to convert loans into grants (forgiveness)
They will look at your expenses for the eight weeks AFTER the origination of the loan. Every dollar that is spent on the following will count:
- Interest on mortgage debt
This will be dollar for dollar based upon those expenditures for loan forgiveness, in other words, 100% of the loan can be forgiven. Neil Bradley, EVP US Chamber of Commerce – Explanation of March 27th, 2020 Stimulus Bill in Inc Q&A)
Can I qualify for the Emergency Paid Sick Leave tax credit if I have employees outside the U.S.?
The 500-employee requirement applies to only employees in any state of the United States, the District of Columbia, or any U.S. territory. Therefore, if you have over 500 employees in total, but less than 500 in the U.S. (including territories and Washington D.C.), the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act applies to your business. You are required to pay for coronavirus-related sick leave (as defined under the Act) and are able to qualify for tax credits.
How do I calculate hours worked by a part-time employee for purposes of COVID-related paid sick leave or expanded FMLA?
A part-time employee is entitled to leave for his or her average number of work hours in a two-week period. Therefore, calculate hours of leave based on the number of hours the employee is normally scheduled to work.
How do I calculate required paid sick leave if my part-time employee’s schedule varies from week to week?
Use a six month average. If the employee’s number of normal hours scheduled has not yet been determined, or if the employee’s schedule fluctuates from week to week, you may use a six-month average to calculate the average daily hours. Such a part-time employee may take paid sick leave for this number of hours per day for up to a two-week period, and may take expanded family and medical leave for the same number of hours per day up to ten weeks after that.
What if the employee hasn’t been employed for six months?
Use the number of hours agreed upon when hired. If the six month average cannot be tallied because the employee has not been employed for at least six months, use the number of hours that you and your employee agreed to when hired. And if there is no such agreement, you may calculate the appropriate number of hours of leave based on the average hours per day the employee was scheduled to work over the entire term of his or her employment. (Department of Labor)
When calculating Emergency Paid Sick Leave pay, am I supposed to count overtime?
Yes. The Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act requires qualifying employers to pay workers for hours they would have been normally scheduled to work even if that is more than 40 hours/week.
However, the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act requires that paid sick leave be paid only up to 80 hours over a two-week period. For example, an employee who is scheduled to work 50 hours a week may take 50 hours of paid sick leave in the first week and 30 hours of paid sick leave in the second week. In any event, the total number of hours paid under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act is capped at 80.
Does the Emergency Paid Sick Leave apply to employee leave taken in March?
No. The Emergency Paid Sick Leave is effective April 1, 2020.
What records do I need to keep for COVID19-related employee sick leave or expanded family and medical leave?
Private sector employers that provide paid sick leave and expanded family and medical leave required by the FFCRA are eligible for reimbursement of the costs of that leave through refundable tax credits. If you intend to claim a tax credit under coronavirus relief bill (or any other program) for your payment of the sick leave or expanded family and medical leave wages, you should retain appropriate documentation in your records.
What is the easiest way to track employee hours, PTO accruals, and overtime?
Employee time tracking systems create online timecards as employees log their hours with an online web clock.
Where do I get the forms to apply for the tax credit?
The Department of Labor directs employers to contact the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) for forms, instructions, and information for the procedures that must be followed to claim a tax credit, including any needed substantiation to be retained to support the credit. (Department of Labor)
What is the best way to verify employee hours to apply for a tax credit for emergency paid sick leave or Paycheck Protection loan?
Employers need to track employee time accurately wherever they are working. Intelligent employee web clocks allow employees to punch in and out for shifts from any remote location using a laptop or smartphone. Intelligent clocking filters punch options based on current state to reduce errors and improve accuracy. Intelligent web clock is an easy and accurate way to record remote employee time.
What if an employee has already taken FMLA leave? Are they eligible for emergency paid leave?
Yes, if you are a covered employer, an employee can take sick leave under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act in the coronavirus relief bill.
How is a full-time employee defined under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act?
For purposes of the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, a full-time employee is an employee who is normally scheduled to work 40 or more hours per week.
What is a part-time employee under the EPSLA?
In the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act, a part-time employee is defined as one who is normally scheduled to work fewer than 40 hours per week.
How long can an employer claim coronavirus relief tax credits?
Eligible employers will be able to claim these credits based on qualifying leave they provide between April 1, 2020 and December 31, 2020.
If I provided paid leave before April 1, 2020, can I claim a tax credit under the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act?
The Department of Labor clarified that emergency paid leave is not retroactive, so no tax credit can be claimed to leave provided to employees prior to April 1, 2020.
If I have under 50 employees, am I automatically exempt for the EPSLA requirements?
No. The FFCRA gives the DOL the authority to exempt businesses if the requirements under the EPSLA or the EFMLEA would threaten the viability of the business.
If I have under 50 employees, how do I get an exemption from the DOL?
As of this writing, the DOL has not provided explicit instructions. We will update this article when the information becomes available. However, it’s always critical to document revenue, employee timecards, and PTO policies.
Can employees substitute accrued PTO or sick leave for the initial ten days of unpaid leave under the EFMLEA?
Where can I find more information about tracking employee time?
How do I pay quarantined workers? Absence management for COVID-19.
How To Manage PTO For Remote Workers
Professional Services/Tech: Use Geofencing to Track Remote Employees During Covid-19 Pandemic
What Are The Best Guidelines For Creating A PTO Policy For Your Business?
How to Buy Employee Time Clocks For Small Business in 2020: The All-Encompassing Guide
New fully integrated feature speeds communication with applicants and increases engagement
Salt Lake City, Utah
Tuesday, July 1, 2019
SwipeClock today announced unlimited texting is now available in ApplicantStack, the top-rated applicant tracking solution included in WorkforceHUB or as a standalone product. Customers that activate the feature before July 8, 2019, receive their first month free—a savings of $25 in the first month. ApplicantStack allows collaborative, paperless recruiting and onboarding. SwipeClock is a leading provider of simple and affordable workforce management services.
“Texting is the communication method of choice for many applicants,” said Coleman Barney, SwipeClock CEO. “This new capability speeds communication and response times and helps streamline and shorten the hiring process for our customers.
Once texting is activated, ApplicantStack users are immediately able to text applicants by clicking on a mobile icon next to the applicant’s contact information. Landlines are automatically recognized and excluded from texting. Users can enter both text and an optional link to a questionnaire. Reply messages are displayed within ApplicantStack, which also keeps the messages as part of the applicant’s complete history.
ApplicantStack with texting enabled helps hiring managers communicate more effectively with job applicants. Managers who communicate with job applicants by text can expect a 98 percent open rate — far greater than with email. Candidates are more likely to read text messages and typically respond within three minutes.
Texting capability is available for US and Canadian users only.
SwipeClock is a leader in simple and affordable workforce management solutions. More than 1,000 payroll and HR service providers partner with SwipeClock, empowering 35,000+ businesses and their 1,000,000+ employees to reduce labor costs, comply with regulations, and maximize profits.
SwipeClock solutions streamline HR management, from applicant tracking to timekeeping, advanced scheduling, benefits enrollment, secure online document storage, employee engagement and automated workflows. These solutions are integrated and mobile-ready.
SwipeClock products include WorkforceHUB, TimeWorksPlus, TimeSimplicity, ApplicantStack, and intelligent hardware clocks TimeWorksTouch and TimeWorksTUFF for rugged timekeeping in the field.
ApplicantStack has exciting news. We now offer texting!
Sign Up For Texting Now And Get July Free
Send unlimited texts for free during July. Just sign up before July 8.
How Does ApplicantStack Texting Work?
- ApplicantStack users can contact candidates via text message in addition to email
- Texts can include links to questionnaires
- Complete conversation history is retained and can be viewed by any user
Affordable Texting For All Users On Your Account
Unlimited text messaging is only $25 per month. All users on your account can text any applicant in your account for one low monthly price.
Why Is Texting A Must-Have For Recruiting?
Consider the following:
- 98% of text messages are opened. By comparison, the email open rate is 20%.
- 95% of text messages are read within 3 minutes—most in UNDER 5 SECONDS! (source: Forbes, Slick Text)
- The response rate for SMS is 45%. Email response rate is 6%. (Source: Gartner)
- People respond to text messages in 90 seconds. It takes 90 minutes, on average, for an email response. (Source: CTIA)
Any way you measure it, texting reigns supreme.
Connect With Applicants Immediately
You can send a text instead of an email any time you need to communicate with an applicant:
Easier For You And Easier For The Applicant
Once you text an applicant, they can text you going forward. Any user on your hiring team can respond. The applicant will always see the same number.
This is the natural way for applicants to communicate. If they have a question or need to reschedule, they can send a quick text while they’re thinking about it.
Because of the near immediate response rate, texting can shorten time-to-hire considerably. Stop waiting for email responses. Eliminate a common process bottleneck.
Texting Adds Even More Value To ApplicantStack
When you add texting to your ApplicantStack account, you extract even more value from the top ATS on the market.
Using texting in addition to email sets your company apart. Companies that connect via texting are up-to-the-minute technologically. Adopt texting now and enjoy a competitive advantage.
Our new texting feature is available to new and existing direct sale customers. Although this feature isn’t available during our free trial, you can see why thousands of recruiting professionals use ApplicantStack. For more information, contact ApplicantStack.
Source for texting statistics: https://www.marketingprofs.com/chirp/2017/33045/email-vs-sms-battle-of-the-heavyweights-infographic
New connectivity adds applicant tracking to HR workforce management with a click of a button
Salt Lake City, Utah
May 20, 2019
SwipeClock today announced new connectivity between ApplicantStack and their WorkforceHUB and TimeWorksPlus products. This new connectivity adds seamless transfer of new employee information from the hiring process to onboarding and time tracking. Employers can take advantage of greater efficiency between hiring and managing new employees.
ApplicantStack is SwipeClock’s top-rated applicant tracking software for small to mid-sized businesses and recruiters. SwipeClock Partners can now enable applicant tracking for their clients with one click providing HR administrators a single login to manage recruiting, hiring, onboarding and HR functions. New hire onboarding initiates automatically when a candidate is hired and employees can be automatically added to time tracking, too.
“Recruiting and hiring are integral to HR management services,” said Coleman Barney, SwipeClock CEO. “With this integration, our partners and their clients gain tremendous efficiency at the beginning of the employee lifecycle.”
Recruiters and hiring managers use applicant tracking software to solicit, track, interview and hire new employees. ApplicantStack manages job descriptions and requisitions, posting to job boards, accepting and processing job applications, interviewing candidates, and extending job offers.
Payroll providers and service bureaus who partner with SwipeClock can now extend their service offering beyond payroll to a full HR suite including recruiting, hiring, onboarding, scheduling, timekeeping and ongoing employee engagement.
With ApplicantStack, SwipeClock’s offerings now include timekeeping with physical and web-based clocks, advanced scheduling, secure delivery of payroll records, and HR process automation for recruiting, onboarding, performance reviews, benefits enrollment and employee engagement. The connectivity with ApplicantStack brings critical HR management functions together into a seamless environment for greater efficiency in hiring and onboarding new employees.
SwipeClock is a leader in simple and affordable workforce management services. Our more than 1,000 partners have empowered more than 35,000 businesses to reduce labor costs, comply with regulatory mandates, and maximize profits. SwipeClock cloud products (WorkforceHUB, TimeWorksPlus, TimeSimplicity, and ApplicantStack) and hardware clocks (TimeWorksTouch, TimeWorksTUFF and others) provide instant employee access to automated timekeeping, scheduling, leave management, HR dashboards, and other HR resources. With SwipeClock, employers transform labor from a cost of doing business to a competitive advantage.
Vice President of Product Marketing
With the recent acquisition of ApplicantStack, we are updating our logo to match the SwipeClock branding. We are excited to unveil our new logo!
We will now be a part of the WorkforceHUB suite:
WorkforceHUB is a one-stop source for payroll and HR related information. Employees get the information they need through a single portal, saving time and reducing errors or miscommunication.
The portal includes core HR workflows, employee engagement tools, payroll records and easy connection to third-party apps. TimeWorksPlus and TimeSimplicity come plugged into the hub, complete with all their timekeeping and scheduling capability. Employees access the portal via smartphones, tablets or other web-connected devices.
Manage Your Workforce Easier Than Ever
Punch tracking, job costing, break enforcement, time-off requests, time card approvals and accruals. All TimeWorksPlus features included.
Build schedules based on business need, skills required, labor law constraints, employee preferences and much more. Manage multiple shifts with ease. All TimeSimplicity features included.
Bi-Directional Payroll Integration (select platforms)
Give employees easy access to pay stubs, 1099s, direct deposit receipts and W2s. Empower them to update tax details (W4) and personal information.
Simplify the new hire experience. Step employees through activation, benefits, handbook review and more. Ensure timely and accurate completion of all tasks.
Streamline benefits renewal and change processes. Provide cost analysis, selected benefits, and benefits summary confirmation. Step employees through enrollment including electronic signature.
Add structure to the review process. Create your own questions and track responses. Attach employee and manager review documents. Drive the process to completion.
Easily build workflows for any common task. Automate processes that require acknowledgment to ensure compliance.
Create and display alerts within the portal. Use templates for common alerts. Set triggers by recipient type or hire date. Build custom fields such as next review date. Copy the manager.
Publish a company directory and announcements, birthday list, recognition wall and more. Enable an anonymous suggestion box. Provide a document and link library, and require read receipts for key items such as the employee handbook.
LEARN HOW SWIPECLOCK CAN HELP YOU
See why more than 30,000+ employers manage their teams with our products.
Click here to learn more.
For more information about the SwipeClock acquisition, click here to learn more about the acquisition.
ApplicantStack joins forces with SwipeClock to provide the best HR labor management solutions for SMBs across the country
Cary, NC, Release Date: January 15, 2019.
ApplicantStack has been acquired by workforce management software company, SwipeClock (https://www3.swipeclock.com/) and will be joining their workforce management solution portfolio. SwipeClock provides HR labor management solutions including time & attendance, scheduling and employee self-service software. The addition of ApplicantStack will give them a best-in-class applicant tracking and onboarding solution to add to their product suite.
“We’re excited to join SwipeClock’s family of premier HR solutions for small and medium-sized businesses,” stated Nathan Shackles, CEO of ApplicantStack. “Joining SwipeClock will enable us to further enhance our ApplicantStack Recruit and Onboard products while also providing our customers access to an integrated set of HR labor management solutions.”
ApplicantStack will continue to operate as a division of SwipeClock with the same products and level of service it has in the past. ApplicantStack’s products and services will continue uninterrupted.
“Applicant tracking and timekeeping are among the most compelling requirements for small businesses,” said Coleman Barney, SwipeClock CEO. “The acquisition brings together two extraordinarily complementary products that our partners and their customers can start using right away. This is a natural fit with our strategy to extend and expand our solution with other HR services of value to small and medium businesses.”
ApplicantStack: the affordable, easy-to-use, full-featured recruiting and onboarding system trusted by 2,500+ companies since 2009 to automate and streamline their recruiting and onboarding process.
We spent our careers in human resources, bogged down with paperwork and craving more time and resources. Our goal is to provide organizations the tool we always wish we had. We created ApplicantStack, a simple, gets-the-job-done software that has everything you need and nothing you don’t. It’s not another thing to manage, but the tool that helps you manage your day.
To learn more please visit: https://www.applicantstack.com/
SwipeClock is a leader in simple and affordable workforce management services. Our more than 1,000 partners have empowered more than 30,000 businesses to reduce labor costs, comply with regulatory mandates, and maximize profits. SwipeClock cloud products (WorkforceHUB, TimeWorksPlus, TimeSimplicity) and hardware clocks (TimeWorksTouch, TimeWorksTUFF and others) provide instant employee access to automated timekeeping, scheduling, leave management, HR dashboards, and other HR resources. With SwipeClock, employers transform labor from a cost of doing business to a competitive advantage.
To learn more please visit: www.swipeclock.com.