Skip to comments.Is The 29 Hour Work Week Coming As Employers Seek To Escape The Obamacare Mandate?
Posted on 11/11/2012 8:03:51 AM PST by Renfield
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If you have work that typically requires a professional staff to spend 120 per week getting the job done, you're better off hiring two employees and having them work 60-hour weeks than three employees with 40-hour weeks. You end up saving money even if you pay the two employees 50% more to compensate them for the extra time they work. For one thing, most employee benefits (sick time, vacation time, medical insurance (think about this in the context of Obamacare), etc.) are fixed costs regardless of how many hours someone works. Secondly, having two employees instead of three means you can get away with one-third less office space for the work.
Heck, I could do my job from home. I suspect we’ll see that more and more as companies try to save money on office space.
I remember back in the Clinton era a Dem proposing short work-weeks to reduce unemployment.
Unfortunately for hourly employees that means less $$$.
My company has tried that, and I’ve talked them out of it ... mainly by pointing out that even in very expensive commercial real estate markets the cost of office space isn’t very high compared to all of the other costs of running the business. In fact, at some point in the last decade we’ve reached the point where medical coverage for an employee costs more than the real estate they occupy and the office furniture, computer and telecommunications equipment they use.
Which is why companies are on board with ObamaCare, and frankly I understand it. Why should a company be in the business of providing health insurance for their employees when those resources could be put to better use? They don’t have to worry about providing health insurance for outsourced workers, so it immediately puts the American worker at a distinct disadvantage.
Complaining is the least of the problems with the modern workforce. Lawsuits, absenteeism, sick leave, workers comp, unemployment insurance, recordkeeping, OSHA, slackerism, theft of service and goods, going postal, security, et al.
Once all of the provisions of Obamacare kick in, there is going to be a huge cohort of people who will suddenly become valuable, highly prized employees in any industry: prospective employees who don't need employer-paid medical coverage because they can demonstrate that they have coverage through other means. This can be a spouse's employer-paid insurance plan or a government plan (I'd love to be hiring older employees on Medicare right now).
In my company, if you cover a spouse that is eligible to be covered under their company’s medical plan, that will cost an additional $150/month to cover them.
That’s $1,800 per year. If you worked for me and your spouse had this kind of provision in his/her insurance plan, I’d gladly write you a check for $1,800 to cover that additional expense for you.
Productivity gains through adoption of new and advanced technology is a rather slow and gradual process. Productivity gains are the ONLY way we can increase the overall wealth of society.
What you are seeing now are the SUDDEN impacts of government meddling in an industry. It certainly wasn’t a free market before given the myriad millions of regulations imposed on insurance by government at all levels. But now the very heavy hand of central planning if making a bad situation MUCH MUCH worse. The huge shifts in labor patterns are not caused by productivity increases or changes but are entirely due to government fouling everything up.
Right on schedule, completely as predicted, and bound to get MUCH worse as the onerous regs now kick in. People were happy in early 2012 because their kids could stay on their insurance plan and pre-existing conditions were covered. But the piper wants his due starting January 1.
People were happy because they had no idea what these provisions of Obamacare involved. Keeping the kids on the insurance plan until the age of 26 wasn't intended to provide medical coverage for more people. It was a huge windfall for the insurance industry (whose lobbyists basically wrote Obamacare, by the way) to keep an enormous group of insured customers who would be having premiums paid for them while typically making very few claims for them.
And the mandate for insurance companies to cover pre-existing conditions doesn't necessarily correlate to the cost of a new policy. One Freeper a few weeks ago presented a hypothetical scenario that he/she had researched, involving a 35-40 year old uninsured person who suddenly decided to get on a medical plan after being diagnosed with a major medical problem. The Freeper did some shopping around, and learned that the average annual premium in that case was something like $36,000. What the heck is the point of a "pre-existing conditions" mandate if that's what the insured has to pay for coverage? LOL.
I like these work hours!
“We get up at noon and go to work at one.
Take an hour for lunch and at two were done...-” Wizard of Oz”
You don’t understand. We simply force US companies not to outsource. Now the jobs will be in the US. It’s not like the guy in some third world country willing to do the work for less could be employed by anyone else. Our jobs. Here. Done deal. Fist of government trumps invisible hand, works every time.
You’re being sarcastic, right?
(I’d love to be hiring older employees on Medicare right now).
I had not thought about that. However, I think there may be a law regarding coverage gap, so that anything not covered by Medicare would have to be covered, if it was covered for the rest of the FTEs. Do you know if that is the case?
I was just thinking that, if the work force restructures to part-time, I might look for a part time job. Can’t make more than around $14,000 or my Social Security gets reduced.
If I went back to work full time, We would be in a higher tax bracket, and loose Social Security dollars too, so we would be feeding the beast.
Still, I would probably be working, if my daughter didn’t need me to babysit. I really think it is better to avoid day care.
The New Normal.
Watch the unions demand that anything they work over 30 hours is now overtime!!!
Absolutely I am. Unfortunately, many people think that way.
I think we kid ourselves. When you look at the metrics, we’re a shadow of our former selves. We could turn it around, and so I do advocate for it. If we don’t in short order though, we’ll never be what we used to be.
We are on the verge of falling below China. It’s shopping for a major military base in South America.
This is not just fun and games any longer, not to infer that’s what you engaged in.
Thanks. My point was the bennies started in 2012, but the horrendous true costs clobber us in 2013 and thereafter. The layoffs we are seeing this week are the tip of the iceberg.
This was another dereliction by Romney. He said he would repeal the monstrosity, but didn’t explain what it will cost society.
According to the timeline I saw, the 30 hrs limit does not kick in till 2014.
doesnt wal-mart already do this?