Trade Secrets: The many benefits of working with a PEO
Running a small or mid-sized business can be challenging enough without also worrying about critical human resources-related responsibilities. That’s where The Employer Group comes in.
The Verona-based firm is a professional employer organization, or PEO, that serves as a “co-employer” — taking on the responsibilities of administering payroll, onboarding new employees, managing benefits, and fulfilling other human resources related responsibilities. The Employer Group works with companies in more than 20 states, providing services to over 3,000 employees.
“We’re not a system; we’re a customized service,” says Luke Anderson, vice president of The Employer Group. “We manage the complexities that come with having employees so our clients can do what they do best — grow their businesses.”
The advantages of partnering with a PEO like The Employer Group is having a team of experienced payroll and HR professionals managing your payroll and payroll taxes, benefits administration — including negotiating health insurance and other benefit plans and rates — and HR operations, resulting in greater peace of mind and overall cost savings.
As a prime example of how a PEO benefits a small business, Anderson cites a local dental clinic that recently partnered with The Employer Group to implement a time and attendance system, process payroll, create an employee handbook, assist with recruiting, and oversee new hire onboarding.
“Beyond the time saved is the assurance that all of those tasks — and others — are being done professionally and in compliance,” says Marla Rybowiak, director of operations for The Employer Group. “You can’t put a price on that.”
The priceless rewards of working with a PEO came into sharper focus with the onset of the coronavirus pandemic. The Employer Group assisted its clients in navigating the Family First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), passed by Congress to provide paid leave for employees impacted by COVID-19.
“The Employer Group took on the responsibility of interpreting the law and implementing it while our clients were able to focus on their business operations,” Anderson says. “We counseled our clients on implementing furloughs, suggested creative ways to utilize or change paid time off plans, and we administered all unemployment claims for our clients’ employees.”
The firm also kept PEO clients informed of the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) and provided support to its clients who applied and/or received a PPP loan. “We answered questions about what payroll costs would factor into the loan amount and eventually loan forgiveness, what payroll changes could impact their loan forgiveness amount, provided the payroll data requested by their PPP lender, and implemented tracking systems to ensure the client has the data needed when requesting loan forgiveness,” Anderson says.
“We are an essential business,” Rybowiak says of The Employer Group’s 20-member staff. “Our clients and their employees relied on us to effectively handle their payroll, benefits, and leave policies in compliance with the new law and PPP program. Did it challenge us? Yes. Did our team rise to the challenge? Definitely.”