Bulletin: Benefits To Hiring Veterans, Work-Life Balance Takes Back Seat

The Benefits of Hiring Veterans

In November, President Obama signed two new tax benefits to companies hiring returning veterans. The Returning Heroes Tax Credit allows a maximum benefit of $5,600 for companies who hire unemployed veterans. For those unemployed for at least 4 weeks, employers will receive a tax credit of 40 percent of the first $6,000 in wages. For veterans unemployed over 6 months, employers will receive a benefit of 40 percent on the first $14,000 in wages. The second tax break, the Wounded Warrior Tax Credit, offers up to $9,600 per veteran, or 40 percent of the first $24,000 in wages, with a service-related disability. Besides extended tax credits, there are numerous benefits to hiring former military, according to workplace authority John A. Challenger, chief executive officer of global outplacement firm Challenger, Gray & Christmas, Inc.  These individuals have proven leadership skills, ability to work in a team, strong work ethic, integrity and respect for procedures.  Have efforts to ease veterans’ transition to the civilian workforce, such as the tax breaks, been helpful in lowering unemployment among former military personnel? What are the biggest obstacles these job seekers face in making the transition?  What else can employers do to help?

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 Work-Life Balance Takes Back Seat In Recovery

A new survey this week at Human Resource Executive Online reveals that corporate leaders no longer consider work-life balance to be among the top workplace motivators.  The survey conducted by PDI Ninth House, a Minneapolis-based provider of leadership programs and solutions, finds that in a ranking of 19 possible motivators, work-life balance ranked seventh.  In 2006, prior to the recession, work-life balance ranked fourth, suggesting that the importance of work-life balance declined along with the economy.  According to the survey, corporate leaders said “stimulating and challenging work” was the top motivator.  While employers appear to be putting less stock in work-life balance, probably assuming that employees are just happy to have steady employment, workers still consider important.  One recent survey by the Society of Human Resource Management found that 89 percent of Americans say work-life balance is now a problem and more than half said it is a significant problem.  In another survey of Gen X and Gen Y health care professionals by Sanford Rose Associates, 87 percent still plan to pursue a career that prioritizes work-life balance.  In fact, 91 percent say work-life balance will play a significant factor in their next career move.  Are employers risking employee loyalty by letting work-life balance slip in their priorities?  Should workers simply be happy with the fact that they are still employed and not place as much importance on work-life balance? What can employers do to maintain some of the work-life balance gains made prior to the economic downturn?

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