$1.9 Trillion American Rescue Plan Summary

The $1.9 trillion relief bill, known as the American Rescue Plan, has passed Congress and will head to President Joe Biden for a signature. Highlights of the bill include extended unemployment benefits, direct checks to individuals and more.

While some of the bill was changed during its time in the Senate, it’s largely similar to the initial version passed by the House. However, some key provisions, such as a higher minimum wage, were scrapped amid efforts to pass the bill swiftly.

This article defines the most relevant terms included in the bill.

Small Business Assistance

The bill invests billions toward small business assistance. Here is the current funding breakdown:

  • Economic Injury Disaster Loan program: $15 billion
  • New grant program for bars and restaurants, specifically: $28 billion
  • Paycheck Protection Program: $7.25 billion
Direct Payments

Just like the two other COVID-19 relief bills passed during the pandemic, this version also features direct payments to Americans. This time around, eligible recipients can expect $1,400 per person ($2,800 for couples), including adult dependentsa family of four could receive up to $5,600.

However, payment parameters are stricter this time around than with the previous direct payment. The full amount will go to individuals earning under $75,000 (or $150,000 for couples), with payments cut off entirely for individuals earning over $80,000 (or $160,000 for couples). Individuals earning an amount between those figures will receive a reduced sum.

Unemployment Aid

The bill extends two previously established pandemic unemployment assistance efforts: the Pandemic Unemployment Assistance Program and the Pandemic Emergency Unemployment Compensation program. Unemployed gig workers, freelancers, contractors and others who previously qualified for aid will continue to be eligible under these programs. The financial assistance provided by these two programs is currently set to expire in mid-March, which pressured legislators to act quickly.

The bill also provides for enhanced unemployment assistance payments of $300 per week. Under the bill, these programs and their financial aid are extended through Sept. 6.

Housing Assistance

The bill sets aside billions in financial aid to homeowners and renters. Here is the funding breakdown:

  • Aid for emergency rental assistance: $22 billion
  • Aid for mortgages, utilities and property taxes: $10 billion
  • Aid to states and localities to help individuals at risk of becoming homeless: $5 billion
Emergency Paid Leave

The Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), signed into law on March 18, 2020, required certain employers to provide employees with paid sick leave or expanded family and medical leave for specified reasons related to COVID-19. That requirement expired Dec. 31, 2020.

The American Rescue Plan maintains the status quo, in that it does not require employers to offer leave under the FFCRA framework. However, the bill does provide tax credits for employers that voluntarily provide leave under the FFCRA framework through the end of September 2021.

Aid to Schools and Child Care

A significant portion of the relief bill involves aid to states, including schools and child care facilities:

  • Aid for getting K-12 schools ready for in-person learning: $125 billion
    • Money may be used for purchasing protective equipment, improving ventilation systems and hiring support staff, among other things. However, 20% of the money schools receive must be used to address pandemic learning loss—for example, extending learning time into the summer.
    • Aid carved out specifically for private schools: $2.75 billion
  • Aid for colleges: $40 billion
    •  Institutions will be required to spend at least 50% of their allocated funds on emergency financial aid grants to students.
  • Child care provider assistance: $39 billion
    • Funds may be used for payroll, rent, protective equipment and other expenses.
Tax Credits

The relief bill provides an overhaul of the child tax credit for the 2021 tax year. The bill increases the amount of the credit to $3,000 for each child under the age of 18 and $3,600 for children under the age of 6. The credit will also become fully refundable, meaning low-income individuals would receive the benefit.

The bill also expands the earned income tax credit for individuals without children. The maximum credit will be nearly tripled, and eligibility will be expanded as well.

Health Insurance

The bill subsidizes private health insurance premiums for unemployed workers through the Consolidated Omnibus Budget Reconciliation Act (COBRA). The provision allows individuals eligible for COBRA insurance coverage to maintain their employer-sponsored coverage after losing employment without having to pay any portion of the premiums through the end of September 2021.

Additionally, the bill invests nearly $35 billion in premium subsidy increases for those who buy coverage on the ACA Marketplace. The bill increases the subsidies provided to currently eligible individuals, and removes the 400% federal poverty level cap (equal to approximately $51,000 for an individual) on subsidy eligibility.

Aid to States, Local Governments, Tribes and Territories

The bill provides billions in financial assistance to states, local governments, tribes and territories. Here is the current funding breakdown:

  • Aid to state and local governments: $325.5 billion
  • Aid to tribes and territories: $24.5 billion
  • Creation of the Coronavirus Capital Projects Fund, to carry out capital projects directly enabling work, education and health monitoring: $10 billion
What’s NOT in the Bill

A minimum wage hike to $15 per hour—one of the most discussed provisions from the initial bill—has been removed from the final version due to strict rules governing budget bills in the Senate. Some Democrats have suggested this provision may be considered as a standalone bill, but any movement on that front remains to be seen.

Additionally, the bill does not include an extension of the eviction moratorium, which is set to expire on March 31, or an expansion of mandated paid sick and family and medical leave. While neither were included in the original House bill, these were popular provisions contained within one of the previous bills.

Summary

While there are many complex provisions in this nearly $2 trillion relief bill, many legal and tax consultants are available to help employers make sense of everything. Please reach out with questions about how this new bill may affect your organization.  And if you need assistance with recruiting or flexible staffing support, please contact Flexicrew.

Come back again to this space to track Flexicrew’s Coronavirus efforts and information for your business and workforce.

This material has been prepared for informational purposes only, and is not intended to provide, and should not be relied on for, legal or tax advice. If you have any legal or tax questions regarding this content or related issues, then you should consult with your professional legal or tax advisor.

Get Ready for 2021 with Leadership Principles

Article originally appeared in SmartBrief December 8, 2020 by Denise Lee Yohn

Leadership will be critical in the year to come, as you navigate uncertainty, fierce competition and resource constraints. One way to get your organization ready for these challenges is to establish leadership principles for your organization.

leadership inspires

Leadership principles are like core values specifically for the leaders in your company, and they should be memorable, meaningful, coherent with other expectations and unique.

Now is the time to lay the foundation for a successful year. One way to do that is to establish leadership principles for your organization.

Leadership principles are like core values specifically for the leaders in your company. And they’re more important now than ever before, since leadership ability is critical when operating in times of uncertainty, fierce competition or resource constraints — or all of the above, as the case is for most of us today.

Some companies operate under the premise that everyone is a leader, so they use one set of values for the entire company and provide training or target messaging about them to their leaders. But I recommend developing principles specifically for the leaders in your organization, since their roles and responsibilities require distinct attitudes and behaviors. Plus, explicit leadership principles will facilitate greater alignment among your leaders.

In setting leadership principles, Camille Inge, a consultant at the Neuroleadership Institute, recommends three criteria:

  1. They should be sticky. Meaning, leaders can remember them.
  2. They should be meaningful. Leaders should care about them, presumably because they enable them to do their jobs better.
  3. They should be coherent. Leaders should see that the principles fit with what they’re asked to do. They can’t be disconnected from the goals they’re expected to achieve or the priorities they’ve been given.

I would add one more requirement: Your leadership principles should be unique. If you use generic platitudes, they will be meaningless. Your leadership principles should define the unique ways your leaders should think and act to achieve the unique goals of your organization.

For example, one of Amazon’s leadership principles is “Frugality.” The company explains frugality by saying “Accomplish more with less. Constraints breed resourcefulness, self-sufficiency and invention.” You can see how this distinctive principle is in part why Amazon is able to offer such low prices.

Or consider how the Marine Corps uses the leadership principle “Employ your command within its capabilities.” They elaborate on this with the instructions, “Have a thorough knowledge of the tactical and technical capabilities. Seek out challenging tasks for your unit, but be sure that your unit is prepared.” It’s a unique principle for a unique organization.

I also like the Marine Corps example because it shows how your leadership principles need to be fleshed out with definitions and examples. At the Neuroleadership Institute’s 2020 summit, a representative from a public utility company explained how her organization made their leadership principles explicit.

For the principle “Create clarity,” they provided a definition – “Ensure shared understanding of what needs to be achieved.” And they included a sample behavior: “Before I talk about the ‘what’ of a change or task, I will create clarity by starting with the ‘why.’”

Once you’ve articulated your leadership principles, you should provide training on them just as you would for leadership skills. And make them part of your performance review and planning process for leaders, so they have real impact.

Now is the perfect time to get ready for 2021 with leadership principles.

 

Part 2 – More Manager Behaviors that Illustrate Effective Leadership

In Part 2 of this article we review a second set of 5 manager behaviors to determine if a manager reflects effective technical leadership.

We see that manager behavior includes all the tasks accomplished by a single individual (in smaller firms) or several persons (in larger organizations). The objectives of managing are to plan and control their subordinates activities. That leads to the achievement of objectives not possible if those subordinates acted independently.

Effective Technical Leadership in Manager Behaviors

In general, there are five overall manager behaviors that come into play in managing:

  • Planning
  • Organizing
  • Staffing
  • Leading
  • Controlling

So, managers will engage in most or all the above functions of planning, organizing, staffing, leading, and controlling to one extent or another. How much of each element depends on the organization. The specific needs, methods and practices of the organization, and the level at which the manager sits will determine the extent of each. I.e., lower level managers, might not have too much input on staffing, if this is done further up the chain of command. But, a consistent theme through all levels of management is that managers are required to attain results or outcomes through subordinates.

Let’s review managerial behaviors 6 – 10 to see if your team has effective technical leadership:

6. Workers Look to You for Advice  

Are you familiar to your teammates as a subject-matter expert (SME)? Do they frequently chat with you for advice or a solution? If so, you are a strong candidate for leadership. People come to you for your thinking since you give them answers that are well-thought out, timely and honest. This shows that you grasp how your company works and what you need and your team needs to do.  With a sufficient amount of experience and knowledge you become a terrific resource. People often come to you for solutions to the challenges they can’t figure out.   You need to develop a following among your teammates. Since you are a ‘go-to’ person, your willingness to aid co-workers will attract them to you naturally. 

7. Workers Outside Your Team Recognize You as a Good Manager  

Other groups of people – even your customers perceive you as a great manager. You’re knowledgeable and you exhibit a good grasp of the company’s business. You do that not only in your core responsibility but also beyond. This will give you a broad perspective on the way things work. And also a feel for how they should be working.  When you’re in a leadership position, you need to have a close grasp of what is happening in the market and the potential challenges that are going to confront your company. With a good amount of knowledge of on-the-ground realities, you can ride your company through during challenging times to the top. 

8. Newer and Better Ways of Running the Business  

Your recommendations can be successful for the company by devising work flows that lead to improvements in the use of resources and time. Now that is a great quality that gets you a promotion to the ‘leader of the pack.’ New ideas and processes are vital to improved efficiency for the company. People in leadership have responsibility to squeeze every ounce of efficiency out of company resources. Making the workforce and processes more productive will reduce the time to produce a given volume of output. It will also reduce the time it takes you to make the jump up the ladder.

9. Concentrates When Listening 

If you attentively listen to your coworkers and teammates and help them resolve roadblocks, it adds to your ‘cred” and to your odds of enter ping manager ranks.   Fellow workers approach you to discuss anything they are dissatisfied with. You don’t feel it boring or ‘none of my business’ while you were listening to them. You know you don’t come across as not having time to speak to your employees or coworkers when they come to you with their problem that needs solving. 

You need to be a good listener to exhibit effective leadership. Being a good listener convinces other managers that you care for your team and that you are empathetic.   Besides, it will keep you engaged.

When your employees understand that you care for them they will be ready to work harder and deliver beyond expectations.   Employees are generally used to returning the favor by a leader who cares for them. In this regard, they consider who the leader is, what they bring, how they are going to benefit from them and how they are going to benefit the company as a whole.   Employees look for leaders who take care of them and who are reliable at both the workplace and outside.  

Empathetic leaders listen with patience. This manager behavior brings them respect. When you listen frequently you tend to become a compassionate leader.   Leaders in an elevated position will be extremely mindful of what is going on around them. How? They listen! They use both verbal and non-verbal cues.   When leaders listen, they are not sensing what is being said, they engage in dialogue to get the real story. 

10. Comfortable When Others Attain the Next Level 

If you see everyone’s potential, you encourage them to take steps to be promoted to the next level.   Significantly, when you are in a leadership position, you need to take care of everyone in the team. It is not just the most talented employee that you need to consider.   Make everyone perform at the highest efficiency level so that it will make each person themselves a better performer and it will also help the company doing the job at a higher efficiency.     

About Flexicrew

Flexicrew , founded in 2008, focusing on fast and flexible staffing solutions. Flexicrew uses technology and industry best-practices to deliver the most talented and qualified workers–skilled and entry level to employers within most major industries. Headquartered in Chattanooga, TN with current plans to continue expanding in the TN, GA, NC, and north AL markets.

Part 1 – Manager Behaviors that illustrate Effective Leadership

The success of an organization depends on effective leadership to inspire the commitment, energy and engagement of their workforce. A classic example is the United States Navy SEALS. That organization trains the best manager behaviors. It never tries to force engagement. It possesses empowered teams and ecosystems that are well engaged but work in a decentralized environment.

Engaged employees will help reach company’s goals easily.  A report published by Gallup Organization on State of the Global Workplace, reports only 15% of the workforce feel engaged in their current position.

This shows that the members of the workforce overwhelmingly have not invested their time, energy and ingenuity in bringing additional value to their employer. Such workers are not going to attain a leadership position. That is, unless they begin to consistently practice positive values, positive attributes and true manager behaviors. 

Here are 5 ways that workers can practice some manager behaviors that illustrate effective leadership:

1.Effective Leadership Commands Teammates’ Respect

A leader must be respected by teammates. This shows that they are aware that you are responsible, professional and ethical in managing. Occasionally, a person is liked by teams because they tell jokes to lighten the mood or lower tension. However, they are not being a leader.

A reputation for having a great work ethic will help you to command respect as well as help you rise to a leadership position.   When you are in a leadership position you are expected to make real promises and create an impact on the organization.   When you act consistently with a positive ethical approach you become a reliable and trustworthy member of a company and, more importantly, of a work team.   You become others’ role model. Now, you can bring about a impressive impact on the organization as a whole. 

2.  Manager Behaviors that show Interest in the Team and the Big Picture

If you show a keen interest in the organization build- how the organization works how it is staying together and how it makes money and how it can improve its cash flow. Even if your suggestions are only based on a small department or function, Management will notice your attention to the company. This shows that you are trying to work out strategies to solve company problems or achieve strategic company  goals. 

When you engage your time and energy solely for the company, it will demonstrate your readiness to assume responsibility and take care of what matters to the business. The potential impact of a change, for example, in the costs or margins of the company and your concern/viewpoint on the same will reflect how closely you monitor the trend. This comes under the umbrella of effective leadership

3.  Has Gained Deep And Varied Experience

Now you are ready for leadership role thanks to your experience with good managers as well as bad managers each of them have taught you valuable lessons and those lessons you will never go out of your memory. They will help create a good culture at the workplace and will result in effective leadership.  Your personal knowledge and the knowledge gained after having worked with the team will help you to understand the company is better. 

Working with people of different ability helps invent new ways of doing things in a given set of circumstances. Thus, when your manager is difficult one and you’re hard-pressed to work the way he likes, it’s an opportunity to gain new experience. 

4. Attempts to Forge New Relationships and Seeks Challenges

If you are good at meeting new people and new teams and forge a relationship with those teams, you are on the leadership ladder. Being in the leadership position you need to deal with several teams are departments with distant discipline and visit different organizational goals.  

Being an effective leader, you need to forge new relationships with other teams as well as make sure that the relationship across teams is in sync with the goals of the organization.  By being in a leadership position, you can extend a helping hand to support the success of your other team members. This will help you keep a good rapport with engaged employees. 

5. Effective Leadership is Devoted To Learning More about Subordinates and Self

You’re so interested in learning more about the people around and yourself. For, you have a keen sense to learn because as you know assuming leadership is a challenge and it is not easy. To become a leader, you need to be humble and this makes you ready to learn from your employees. This will help you learn new ways of doing things, new behavior and habit easily. 

A leader who feels s/he has all the knowledge and solutions can never command the respect of teammates. And if you don’t command this respect it doesn’t constitute effective leadership.  Your business has top challenges ahead because of competition. And as a leader, you need to be ahead of others on a learning curve. You can learn new skills and new attributes. This will help encounter new challenges that confront your business. Therefore, you need to have a great passion to learn new things and we came to meet new people. 

Do you need more help finding top performers for your team?

Call Flexicrew. As one of  the Southeast’s top staffing agencies, we have years of experience serving employers – and helping them find truly exceptional people. Contact us today to learn more!

About Flexicrew

Flexicrew is family-owned and run since 2008, focusing on fast and flexible staffing solutions. Flexicrew makes use of technology and industry best practices to deliver the most talented and qualified professionals –industrial, skilled and unskilled, clerical – to clients within most major industries.