We recognize that the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented and has created a challenging business environment for our policyholders. We are eager to help our policyholders during these difficult times and have established two temporary premium determination changes. These changes apply from the effective date of a statewide stay-at-home order issued in your state until sixty days after the order is terminated.
Employees Being Paid but NOT Working
We expect some of our policyholders have paid, or will pay, wages to employees who are not performing work. Because there should be no exposure for workers’ compensation claims when an employee is being paid but not working, WCF is implementing a short-term policy to exclude the qualifying payroll of employees not working. Payroll in this situation will be assigned to a new class code, 0012. Policyholders must clearly identify and document the impacted employees, time paid, and payroll for no work performed.
To qualify, an employer must pay worker(s) not performing work because of the COVID-19 pandemic. The payroll exclusion applies on a per-employee basis, and that employee must not be working, regardless of location, but receiving pay. Employees are not eligible to split payroll between 0012 and any other class code. If the employee is doing any work for part of the day, that day’s payroll must be reported as the employee’s normally assigned class code.
Payments made to an employee, including sick or family leave payments, while the employee is performing no duties of any kind in service of the employer will be excluded from the premium basis. This is not to be confused with idle time. Idle time is “down” time when an employee is waiting for materials or products or similar in order to perform their duties. The employee is still under the total direction and control of the employer. This payroll is included in the premium basis.
Employees Being Paid AND Working from Home
Employees working from home in a clerical office capacity due to a change in your business operations related to the COVID-19 pandemic are eligible for reclassification as follows:
The temporary interruption or suspension of normal business activities caused by COVID-19 may qualify as a change in operations. Employees’ wages when working from home performing clerical related duties only will be assigned to 8871 – Telecommuting, or 8810 – Clerical Office unless the current class assignment includes clerical office employees.
In both cases, the employer will need to maintain separate payroll records for the wages the employee earned while the employee worked in their alternate position during the COVID-19 pandemic. If these records are not maintained, then the employee’s payroll will be assigned to their usual class code.
Families First Coronavirus Response Act
Payments for sick and FMLA pay made under this act will be excluded from the basis of premium.
If you have employees affected by the COVID-19 pandemic that may qualify for a payroll or class adjustment, please call your agent or a WCF customer service representative at (800) 446-2667 for assistance.
WCF Insurance reserves the right to audit policyholders to confirm whether the use of the COVID-19 class changes and payroll exclusions are valid and appropriate according to the criteria above.