Tips for Making Co-Employment Work

Part 2:  Co-Employment Tips for Success

An earlier post featured a link to a brief quiz on co-employment laws.  How well did you do?

If your score was less than perfect, don’t worry.  This week’s post contains practical tips to maximize the effectiveness of your co-employment arrangement, while minimizing the potential for problems:

  • Let the staffing firm do its job.  When co-employment problems occur, they often stem from situations in which a client company unnecessarily assumes employment responsibilities over temporary or contract workers.  So remember that when you pay a temporary or contract employee’s hourly bill rate, included in that rate are the services the staffing firm provides – recruiting, interviewing, testing and selecting candidates.  Head-off potential problems by allowing the staffing service (who is the employer of record for these workers) to perform these tasks.
  • Take advantage of on-site coordinators.  If you have a large temporary workforce, ask your staffing service to provide an on-site representative.  This individual can reinforce the staffing service’s role as employer, by carrying out administrative functions, handling performance counseling and addressing disciplinary action.  Although there may be a charge involved, the benefits usually far outweigh the costs of an on-site coordinator.
  • Give the staffing firm specific feedback on their employees’ job performance.  If performance issues arise, it may seem natural for you to speak directly with the temporary or contract worker assigned to you.  But to steer clear of potential co-employment problems, you should instead speak with your staffing representative about your concerns.  That way, when the individual is subjected to disciplinary action, the staffing service will be able to provide him or her with the performance-related reason for the action – making the individual far less likely to consider the action to be discriminatory, or to file a charge.
  • Allow the staffing firm to handle employee termination.  If you are dissatisfied with a temporary or contract worker, ask your staffing provider to handle disciplinary action and / or termination and replacement.  Provide information about the individual’s work performance to your staffing representative, and then allow them to handle the rest.
  • Review your benefit plan descriptions.  Ask an expert to make sure that the language in your benefit plan effectively excludes temporary employees.  To guard against lawsuits that stem from ambivalent wording, be sure to incorporate exclusionary language that makes benefit entitlement dependent upon your employment classifications – regardless of common law definitions.

Ensure Successful Co-Employment with UNITEMP

As a leading New Jersey staffing firm, UNITEMP’s staffing experts can work with you to develop effective co-employment procedures from both a legal and operational standpoint.  Give us a call to learn more.

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