How can payroll outsourcing benefit your company? As the scope of payroll expands, it has become increasingly more difficult for companies to keep up with these changes. More and more time is spent on payroll and away from the core activities of the business. By using a payroll outsourcing service, employers can focus on what they do best, running their business.
In addition to an increase in time allotment, a payroll outsourcing company helps to ensure the accuracy of the payroll process. As tax laws and computation change, it is the job of payroll outsourcing companies to stay on top of these changes. Also, with the recent addition of other functions such as insurance, retirement plans and direct deposit into the scope of payroll, it can become too much for a company to deal with in-house. Using a payroll outsourcing company eliminates the worry of reliability and security issues that may arise from running an in-house payroll department. Payroll outsourcing eliminates the possible risk of exposure of confidential information to unauthorized personnel, and provides a fast and easy way of managing payroll.
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Before the l970s, the term "employment at will" was almost never heard within personnel offices—although it was the legal concept governing most employment relationships. It was not mentioned for a simple reason. It was so obvious that employers and employees had the right to terminate the relationship "at will" that there was no reason to talk about it. Except when unions or other contracts were involved, employers had an almost unquestioned right to hire and fire "at will." Both workers and employers accepted this fact without question—even though it often created great hardship.
Now the situation has changed drastically. More and more employers have found themselves in expensive hot water after exercising their historic right to terminate any employee for "any reason, no reason—even a bad reason."
The reasons for this are many and varied. Job opportunities have (or are perceived to have) decreased. Formerly docile employees, particularly middle managers, have become willing to assert their rights. Legislatures have enacted laws to protect many classes of employees from arbitrary termination. Courts have even changed the law to allow employees to recover damages for "unjust dismissal."
The result is that American employers in the United States no longer have the absolute right to hire and fire. They still have strong powers—more so than in most industrial nations—but we now operate under new limits.
Perhaps the best way to introduce this complex subject is to look at a classic situation involving unjust dismissal. The scenario will no doubt be familiar to many HR managers.
Paul Pry is a busybody—always poking his head into matters that don't concern him. One day he discovers evidence that proves—in his own mind, at least—that the employer is violating the law, either by discriminating against employees, by cheating the public, or by violating environmental laws.
He complains—to a supervisor, management, the press, or a public agency. When word reaches top company officials, their immediate reaction is predictable (and quite human): "Get rid of him."
There was a day in the not-too-distant past when such a response would have been an employer's clear, unquestioned right. Court cases being decided all over the country indicate that the overwhelming trend is toward more intensive second-guessing of employers' decisions—especially when employees claim that they were fired or disciplined for "blowing the whistle" on employers who violate the law.
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