CW Managers today need to walk the tight rope, balancing their use of contingent workforce to contain cost of human resources while ensuring productivity and profitability goals; but they also carry a responsibility to see that the organization does not get into hot waters with violating compliance requirements. Today, we will talk about what every manager needs to know about mitigating co-employment risks – and the Procurement and Administrative Skills to facilitate that goal.
Ignorance does not Absolve:
All managers are extremely focused on finding the right fit for a candidate with the role and sometimes it becomes very difficult to stay uninvolved in any aspect of the procurement effort, especially when hiring contingent workers. Many inexperienced suppliers and MSPs also fail to provide proper guidance to managers involved in an interview. Some of them are actually happy to encourage them to pose questions to the candidate. Whether it is out of sheer ignorance (or lack of risk-aversion), these MSPs and suppliers are most definitely putting the organization in a dangerous position. Organizations need to establish the first line of defense through training their managers adequately to know the restrictions and boundaries which they cannot pass, in handling contingent workforce relations, because a lack of awareness (read, ignorance) is not admissible in any court of law.
Co-employment issues in Hiring:
The risk of co-employment is the Damocles Sword, hanging on the head of every manager and every manager needs to be informed on the considerations which underlie the determination of such an issue. The managers must know that their role is restricted to directing and controlling the day-to-day work of the contingent worker, who is an employee of the supplier for all aspects of employment and matters of economic control.
To elaborate, the following administrative duties are placed squarely on the shoulders of the supplier:
“Hands-off” plan for the Managers:
Keeping the above broad guidelines in mind, a manager should be advised of the following general rules, to ensure that no state or federal law will consider the contingent worker as co-employed. It is extremely important to find a competent and experienced supplier with established policies and procedures in place to assist in managing the whole plan efficiently.
The risk of co-employment varies with state laws and can have federal courts interpreting them differently as it is really not easy to know exactly when the line is crossed and co-employment risk devolves on a company. Among other things, choosing a competent supplier to recruit and manage one’s contingents holds the key to success and goes a long way to ease the pressure on managers.
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