Compliance goes with government contracting like peanut butter goes with jelly. It’s just part of the deal. But compliance, in and of itself, is a huge undertaking. Government contractors are navigating rules and regulations, statutes and case law, new legislation and initiatives that ebb and flow with each new administration, and the individual requirements and guidance issued by the contracting agency.
In this ever-changing landscape, there are new pitfalls for government contractors opening up each and every day. At The Boon Group® , our team is here to be your guide! Read on for three potential compliance stumbling blocks that all government contractors should be aware of in 2018.
1) New and Changing Sick Leave Requirements
Sick leave requirements are a part of the vast majority of government contracts. In 2015, President Obama signed an executive order requiring that employees be provided at least seven days of paid sick leave, including paid leave for family care, annually. The Final Rule on Executive Order 13706 was published later, in 2016.
As it stands, under the current administration, President Trump has not moved to rescind this executive order but the future of EO 13706 remains uncertain. This is an area of interest for government contractors that we’re all watching closely, especially given the fact that these requirements must be included in addition to whatever mandates regarding sick leave are established in various locales and states. The issue of these sick leave requirements is gaining a lot of momentum across the country.
As a government contractor, your compliance rests on providing these types of benefits to your employees and being on top of all the latest developments. At Boon, we’re paying attention as well and making it a priority to provide you with the latest updates.
2) Unpredictable Administration, Uncertainty with Federal Budget
You don’t have to be an avid follower of politics to know that things are getting interesting up in Washington, D.C. With the Republicans holding a majority in the United States Legislature, under the Trump administration, one might assume certain changes are a given. Not so! This administration has shown time and time again that it does not neatly check off the expected boxes. Priorities shift and that makes it difficult to anticipate the next big move on Capitol Hill.
Putting policy preferences aside, the unpredictable nature of the current administration and its focus means that contractors are left suspended in the balance. The U.S. already saw a shutdown this year on January 20th, lasting only two days but reminding us that benefits and pay could be affected in the future. Government shutdowns mean the closure of nonessential government offices and show the fickle nature of the federal budget. It also brings government contracting projects to a screeching halt.
A brief but nail-biter of a funding gap occurred on Friday, February 9th 2018. While this technically constituted a shutdown, neither workers nor government services were disrupted as the issue arose and resolved overnight before the following workday.
No government, no billable hours. That’s a stressful game to play when it comes to one’s income. While, historically, federal employees are always paid back for any time that they were shut down during a period of no funding, contractors and their employees do not always enjoy the same safety net, making it especially important for government contractors to stay abreast of the trends in D.C. for the purpose of compliance adherence.
3) SCA Compliance
The Service Contract Act, better known as the SCA, is the “Big One” in the world of government service contractors. The SCA is the final word on standards for wages, hours, and benefits and its impact is huge. The SCA governs contractors and subcontractors performing services on contracts valued in excess of $2500. Compliance with the terms of the SCA is an absolute must for government service contractors and those found in violation may suffer serious repercussions.
Meeting the terms of the SCA is straightforward, but must be managed diligently and thoroughly. Government contractors are responsible for tracking the productive hours of their employees; making proper and timely payments in the form of wages and bona fide fringe benefits, and providing employees with notice of their benefits.
At The Boon Group, our vision is flexible and affordable healthcare in the federal contracting space. This is about providing quality care to our clients but also about being in your corner. Our in-house team of professionals work tirelessly to be experts in our field and to be on guard against compliance pitfalls, so that you don’t have to be. At Boon, our entire team is dedicated to staying ahead of these potential pitfalls and keeping you compliant.