Tax Credits for Vaccination Time Off

The Internal Revenue Service and the Treasury Department announced further details of tax credits available under the American Rescue Plan to help small businesses, including providing paid leave for employees receiving COVID-19 vaccinations.

Eligible employers, such as businesses and tax-exempt organizations with fewer than 500 employees and certain governmental employers, can receive a tax credit for providing paid time off for each employee receiving the vaccine and for any time needed to recover from the vaccine. For example, if an eligible employer offers employees a paid day off in order to get vaccinated, the employer can receive a tax credit equal to the wages paid to employees for that day.

The American Rescue Plan Act of 2021 (ARP) allows small and midsize employers, and certain governmental employers, to claim refundable tax credits to reimburse for the cost of providing paid sick and family leave to their employees due to COVID-19. The ARP tax credits are available to eligible employers that pay sick and family leave for leave from April 1, 2021, through Sept. 30, 2021.

The paid leave credits under the ARP are tax credits against the employer’s share of the Medicare tax. The tax credits are refundable, which means that the employer is entitled to payment of the full amount of the credits if it exceeds the employer’s share of the Medicare tax.

Employers Start Requiring Vaccines for New Hires

The Wall Street Journal reports that employers are starting to require Covid-19 vaccinations for new hires. Read more here.

Among the companies and positions requiring vaccinations were:

  • Restaurant in New York
  • Camp guide in Alaska
  • HR assistant in California
  • Meatpacking giant, JBS USA Holdings
  • Recycling plant in Kentucky
  • Houston Methodist Hospital is requiring all 26,000 current and future employees to be vaccinated

Employers can legally require vaccines as a condition of employment, though religious beliefs and pre-existing medical conditions must be accommodated. Employers can also require proof of vaccination.

Many employers are offering paid time off (4 hours) for vaccinations especially now that a tax credit is available and vaccines are becoming widely available.

Eligible employers, such as businesses and tax-exempt organizations with fewer than 500 employees and certain governmental employers, can receive a tax credit for providing paid time off for each employee receiving the vaccine and for any time needed to recover from the vaccine. For example, if an eligible employer offers employees a paid day off in order to get vaccinated, the employer can receive a tax credit equal to the wages paid to employees for that day (up to certain limits).

Using Texting in the Hiring Process

There are multiple reasons to use texting in your hiring process. Here are the 10 main ones:

  1. Today’s future employees use text, not email.
  2. Increase your message open rates over email with texting.
  3. Younger employees, like millennials, particularly use texting.
  4. Phone calls, without engaging first through text, is off-putting to many.
  5. Your competitors are using texting. If you are not using texting, you are not competing.
  6. Convert a higher percentage of good fit candidates to new hires.
  7. Accelerate the first engagement to hire cycle.
  8. Streamline the recruiting process.
  9. Cut time to schedule candidate interviews.
  10. Fill positions faster with texting.

In summary, SMS communications and experiences offer the most simplified, convenient application experience especially for lower paid positions.

We would love to hear what you think! Is this something your agency will be implementing? Do you already use texting in your hiring process? Let us know by commenting below!

The Limited Labor Market

The labor market should be awash with job seekers swamping demand for work, but that is not happening. The Wall Street Journal recently published a very revealing article on this topic.

  • Median wage growth was 3.4% in February
  • Earnings were up 2.8% for Q4 2020
  • This month’s Federal beige book reported a shortage of applicants for many lower-paid positions from drivers, child-care, nurses, landscapers, and restaurant staff
  • 4 million jobs were open in February
  • 5 million fewer people are looking for jobs than before the pandemic


  1. Many available workers are in the wrong part of the country, or have the wrong skills. Workers laid off in Florida from Disney World can’t apply for a position as a care giver in New York.
  2. A significant number of potential employees have withdrawn from the labor market to look after their children.
  3. Covid-19 itself is keeping lots of workers out of the job market. In March, 2.6 million people were not working because they were sick or caring for someone who was sick.
  4. 2 million people were staying at home because they were afraid of catching or spreading Covid-19.
  5. Stimulus checks and extended/enhanced unemployment benefits, which was extended to gig workers, may have kept potential job seekers on the sidelines. However, several studies in 2020 found the aid didn’t depress employment, rather, the above factors mattered most. Many potential employees simply are not “available”.

That is likely to change if vaccination rates continue to rise as virus-related obstacles to working should recede. Economists expect the labor force to rebound during 2021.

Either way, providers can’t do much about the economy, but having the best systems in place for attracting applicants, hiring and retention is key. Check out the 12 Top Tips for Boosting Applications and Hiring in 2021 to learn more.

Top 5 Benefits of an Integrated System

When running an agency, there are multiple operations that need to be tracked – schedules, trainings, clock-ins and outs, hiring, and more! Having multiple systems to track all of this can really bog down an agency’s operations. An integrated system has multiple benefits that impact all sectors of an agency.

1.     Reduced Data Entry

Entering data into an electronic system manually can be a frustrating and time-consuming job. Integration cuts this work by half. When fully integrated, the administrative burden is reduced and work efficiency improved. Eliminating data entry hassles result in time and money savings.

2.     Higher Reimbursement Velocity

Integration improves the first pass claim rates. Staff will spend less time working on rejections with an improved the first pass claim ratio.

3.     One Central Management Solution

An integrated solution reduces training needs and increases acceptance long term. Staff learn one integrated system that increases collaboration and accountability. Improved workflow should = improved care.

4.     Improved Interoperability

An integrated system improves the communication between the internal systems of your agency by creating a smooth channel for the flow of information.

5. Transparency

An integrated system empowers your agency with a transparent workflow. You can more easily track the number of individuals receiving service, submit claims more promptly, get paid earlier, minimize rejected claims, spot missed billing and manage receivables in a single place. A transparent workflow helps identify areas that require attention.

UK Care Givers Lose ‘Sleep-In Shift’ Pay

Care workers across the UK who have to sleep at their workplace they are needed are not entitled to the minimum wage for their whole shift, the UK Supreme Court has ruled.

The case was brought by Clare Tomlinson-Blake against the learning disability non-profit, Mencap.

The case sought to overturn a 2018 Court of Appeal ruling. The union, Unison, argued on her behalf that care staff should get the minimum wage for nightshifts, even if they are asleep.

If she had won, care providers feared an estimated £400m bill for back pay, which they said they could not afford.

Mrs. Tomlinson-Blake was paid by Mencap for a sleep-in shift between 10pm and 7am. Although she could sleep, she was expected to keep a “listening ear” out for the home’s residents and provide them with support if needed during the night.

Over 16 months, she was called on six times, receiving no extra money for the first hour she was called, although after that she was paid at the full day-time rate. A second case was brought by John Shannon, a care worker whose case was heard at the same time as Mrs. Tomlinson-Blake’s. His case against his former employers was also dismissed.

The Supreme Court concluded there was an exemption in national minimum wage legislation which applied to sleep-ins. The court’s written ruling, said that “sleep-in workers… are not doing time work for the purposes of the national minimum wage if they are not awake”.

In 2017 the Employment Tribunal found Mrs. Tomlinson-Blake used her “listening ear” and experience to know when she was needed – so she was “working” even when asleep. This meant she was entitled to an hourly minimum wage. But in 2018, the Court of Appeal ruled that “sleepers-in” were to be characterized as “available for work… rather than actually working”. This meant, “the only time that counts for national minimum wage purposes is time when the worker is required to be awake for the purposes of working”.

Edel Harris, chief executive of Mencap, said, “Support workers within Mencap and across the sector do an exceptional job. They are dedicated in their care for people with a learning disability and should be paid more.” But she added, “It is no exaggeration to say that if the ruling had been different, it would have severely impacted on a sector which is already underfunded and stretched to breaking point. Some providers would have gone bust and, ultimately, the people who rely on care would have suffered.”

For more information on managing overnight shifts, download the myCheckIn fact sheet.