How will Obamacare impact contact center employment?

Will the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (aka Obamacare) cause some contact centers to shift full-time employees to part-time?

Yes if several meetings with clients are any indication.

Recently, we have had the opportunity to meet with several clients to plan for 2013.  Several clients are debating how to set-up their 2013 staffing in preparation for 2014 when many of the Affordable Care Act provisions are implemented.

According to a November 4th article in The Wall Street Journal, many employers of hourly workers are facing this question.  The article describes the incentives to shift full-time workers to part-time work:

“The insurance mandate applies to companies with the equivalent of 50 or more full-time workers, a calculation based on the number of people employed by the company and an average of hours they work in a week. Companies are adjusting schedules now because they will have to review employment rolls for up to a year in advance to determine which workers will be deemed full-time under the law.

A company will have to pay a penalty of $2,000 for every such worker, after the first 30, if it doesn’t offer qualifying health coverage. If a company offers health insurance but the coverage is deemed sparse or unaffordable, the company must pay $3,000 for every worker who gets a federal tax subsidy to purchase coverage as an individual.”

While we are not entering the debate for or against Obamacare, it is important to understand how shifting employee status from full-time to part-time will change your hiring profile.  For example, are part-time agents more likely to have higher attrition?  How will call center recruitment be impacted? Should different competencies be evaluated during the selection process?  The implications extend beyond hiring to workforce scheduling as well.

How is your company preparing to manage the impact of Obamacare on your contact center hiring and staffing?

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