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The Affordable Care Act (ACA), the healthcare reform law also known as Obamacare, is certainly keeping recruiters and employers on their toes. Just when you think you might have a handle on it, something changes. First, it was announced last month that the employer mandate, which will require employers with 50 or more employees to provide healthcare insurance to their full-time employees, was postponed to 2015. Now a House bill has been introduced that is intended to reduce the number of employees whose hours are being reduced in anticipation of that mandate.

The ACA currently defines full-time employees as those who work 30 or more hours per week. In anticipation of the employer mandate, many employers have cut the hours of some employees below 30 so that those workers would not be considered full-time employees under the mandate. The proposed legislation, H.R. 2988, aims to change ACA’s definition of full-time to those who work 40 hours rather than 30, according to Staffing Industry Analysts.

“Even with the Administration’s recent decision to delay the Obamacare employer mandate for one year, we already know some employers are preparing to meet the law’s guidelines by slashing workers’ hours and forcing them to work 29 hours a week or less,” said U.S. Rep. Dan Lipinski, D-Ill., who introduced the bill. “This is reducing the take-home pay for millions of Americans at a time when they can least afford it.”

It is important for everyone in the recruiting industry to stay up-to-date on the developments surrounding Obamacare. Your clients often expect you to be a resource for employment laws and may also look to you for staffing solutions that can help reduce their costs and liability under the law.

One way you can help clients deal with Obamacare is to provide contract staffing as a possible solution. By utilizing contractors who are W-2 employees of a third party, such as a contract staffing back-office, employers can avoid reaching the 50-employee threshold. As the legal employer of the contractors, the back-office assumes the financial and legal liability for Obamacare compliance.

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