Christine Keller was quoted in a recent Society for Human Resource Management (“SHRM”) article, “Revise Policies to Facilitate Return to Work,” which outlined the need for employers to define their new normal by creating or revising policies to address a range of critical workplace issues, including employee relations and benefits.

Keller noted that HR should review its flexible workplace policies and determine whether it makes sense to update them by making them more robust.

She added that employees who have been working from home may have made changes to certain benefits, such as reducing contributions to dependent care assistance flexible spending accounts (FSAs) or commuter and parking expenses. Employers should remind employees who return to work to elect these benefits again for the remainder of the year, subject to annual limits for each.

The Coronavirus Aid, Response, and Economic Security Act allows health FSAs—along with health savings accounts and health reimbursement arrangements—to reimburse over-the-counter medicine and drugs and menstrual care products, effective Jan. 1. Employers should update their plan documents and summary plan descriptions to describe these new rules and communicate them to employees, Keller said.

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