As many States and WC Rating Bureaus continue to work through issues related to the impact of COVID-19 on the Workers Compensation marketplace, there are common questions surfacing. COVID-19 has created unique workers compensation insurance issues that need to be addressed. Please note the following “guidance” below:
Classification Assignments: Most classification systems and Manual Rules do not contemplate the situation where there are temporary changes in job duties or operations due to an unusual payroll event, such as a pandemic. Decisions have yet to be made relative to the temporary interruption or suspension of normal business activities. Consideration is being given to the concept of temporarily allowing a Clerical/Telecommuting classification for those workers working remotely at home, who are not regularly assigned to the Clerical classification. Once normal business operations resume, appropriate classifications would be applied.
Payroll Adjustments: How payroll is reported and applied to each classification continues to be discussed and guidance is in development. Generally, it appears that Manual and Statistical Plan filings will be required and may take some time to sort out. The discussion and decision making associated with this matter will consider how payroll will be handled in association of the Paycheck Protection Program and how payroll will be handled for those employers paying their workers who are not working. Big question … will payroll used to pay employees while not working be auditable from a WC premium calculation perspective?
Recordkeeping: At this uncertain and developing stage, it is recommended to maintain separate payroll records for any change in operations, job duty changes, and payroll amounts during the government mandated stay at home order. (Separate payroll records for amounts paid when workers were not working). Being proactive with recordkeeping will allow your organization to take advantage of any provisional adjustments allowed by a state.
We will update you as soon as we have greater detail to share. Please contact us if you have any questions.