Does Your COVID-19 Disaster Plan Include Payroll?


It's important to have a plan in place to pay employees if a disaster strikes. Here are several steps you can take now to ensure COVID-19 and other events don't completely interrupt the lives of your staff and the operation of your firm.

Mar 26th 2020
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Whether it's a bridge collapse that closes commuter routes, a regional power outage that shuts down operations or a flood that destroys employees' homes, a disaster of any type or origin can create both trauma and financial expenses for you and your employees. One important part of your organization's disaster plan should be alternative payroll options. This will not only help your organization meet its legal obligations, but also help ensure that employees receive their pay on time.

Include Payroll in Your Disaster Plan

Payroll may not seem as significant a component of your business continuity plan as, say, protocols for evacuation and data recovery, but it is a factor. Employees may face real financial costs that stem from disaster recovery, anywhere from the small (buying bottled water) to the large (rebuilding housing). Disaster aid and insurance checks may be slow in coming, so getting employees the money that they earned in a timely and efficient manner can go a long way toward helping them recover and will also contribute to the organization's success.

Have Alternative Payroll Options

Because people need money to help recover from a disaster, banks will most likely be operational before most other organizations in the post-disaster period. Banks have robust requirements to ensure they can operate in times of disaster. As a result, payments on credit and debit cards will likely be processed after a disaster, while ATMs will be dispensing cash, quite possibly before your office is able to open.

Employees who are waiting for a paper paycheck may not have access to their money and will be without funds. On the other hand, those who are enrolled in direct deposit or have paycards will be paid as soon as banks are up and running. 

Use Payroll Cards to Help Meet Needs

Paycards can be incorporated into the business disaster plan to help get workers the pay they've earned on time and in a form that they can use to cover regular personal expenses, as well as those related to recovery. Paper checks may not be able to be processed and distributed in time to accommodate employee needs and meet payroll regulations.

Make a Comprehensive Disaster Plan

The redundancies in your system should be able to accommodate transfers of funds and allow for operations to resume off-site. They can't do anything about paper checks that were ruined by floodwaters. As you develop your organization's disaster recovery plan, consider alternative payroll options, such as paycards, which may allow your organization to remain compliant and give your team the ability to get their lives quickly back on track.

Give Employees Easy Access to Earnings Info

In an emergency, employees will want to know how much money they have coming in their next paycheck. In the digital-first environment, there are several wonderful mobile applications that offer payroll information, banking and access to the digital economy to consumers. In addition, many payroll solution providers offer technology that connects payroll data to the collaboration platforms many employees already use at work, offering quick and easy access to the information they need. Tools such as Slack or Microsoft Teams even have shortcut commands that can instantly deliver an employee a copy of a recent paystub. You can also use this technology to easily send companywide updates and help reduce the number of questions being funneled to your HR department.

It's important to have a plan in place to pay employees if a disaster strikes. Doing so ahead of time will ensure operations and employees' lives continue smoothly.

Learn more about alternative pay options:

·        Evolution of Pay, Part 1: Remember Paychecks?

·        Evolution of Pay, Part 2: Future Pay Options Can Help Attract and Retain Today's Workers

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