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COVID-19 and the Unemployment Storm: How Our Benefits Team Serves with Aloha

Candice Wong, Director of Benefits Services, at her remote desk

This last month has been unlike any other. For HR professionals in Benefits, not even 9/11 or the 2008 recession have come to the havoc coronavirus is inflicting on the business community.

As the employer of record for so many Hawaii businesses, simplicityHR by ALTRES has the critical task of supporting both employers and employees going through the State of Hawaii’s unemployment system.

We ramped up a large, mostly remote team working 10-hour days, just to respond to inquiries related to the processing of unemployment claims. Our team handles requests for information from the state unemployment office and offers guidance to employees navigating the overburdened, antiquated UI system.

With unemployment numbers sky high and the outlook for Hawaii’s hospitality industry particularly grim, “the new normal” feels like it’s a way off. But it is coming. Businesses will reopen and Hawaii workers and employers will put these dark days behind us.

Support for the health and well-being of our community is our top priority and one of our touchstones as a PEO. While we can’t fix a pandemic and we can’t fix the issues that burden the state unemployment system, we can channel the aloha spirit. This means showing professionalism, compassion, and respect to all our clients and employees wrestling with unemployment.

With a local support team at your side, simplicityHR has got your back. We all are working to see Hawaii businesses reopen sooner rather than later.

On a personal note, I am so proud of our team for the hard work they are doing and the people they are helping. It is incredibly difficult to know that there are so many unemployed in our great state and in desperate need of money to live.

It may sound crazy to say, but my greatest wish is that our unemployment team is less busy! I always tell my team that “busy is good” – but in this case, I genuinely hope that work starts to dwindle back to pre-COVID levels because that will mean that the people of Hawaii are headed back to work.

One of the greatest gifts any human can give is to support another during their time of need. The ALTRES Unemployment Team and our extended ALTRES Ohana remain committed to supporting our clients and community during this time of uncertainty when they need it the most!

Candice Wong is Director of Benefit Services at simplicityHR by ALTRES

Have a question for one of our HR experts? To learn more about this issue or to schedule a free consultation on the advantages of human resources outsourcing, contact simplicityHR.

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute legal advice. Readers should first consult their attorney, accountant or adviser before acting upon any information in this article.

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