COVID-19 INFORMATION & RESOURCES FOR EMPLOYERS - State Resources
Governor Sununu announced today that larger hotels, inns, and campgrounds, which up to now have been limited to 50% occupancy rates, can increase to 100% occupancy effective Monday, June 29th.New Hampshire expands COVID 19 testing capabilities
Access to testing in New Hampshire is being expanded to anyone experiencing possible symptoms of the virus, as well as health care workers, anyone 60 years old or older, and anyone with a range of underlying conditions. Appointments in five different communities around the state can be scheduled using a new online portal. No doctor referral will be needed to sign up for a test and health insurance is not required. Individuals using the portal can choose a testing location close to them and select three timeslots. The person will then get a call to confirm the testing appointment. Use this link to access the new COVID 19 Testing Portal.
Free Personal Protective Equipment Available to Employers
WMUR TV is reporting that Governor Sununu has announced that businesses opening up under the new phased-in reopening of the economy known as “Stay at Home 2.0” are able to receive free personal protective gear provided by the state. Sununu said about 2,100 businesses have made requests for protective equipment, and the state will be able to fulfill those requests from shipments of equipment it has been able to secure. Business owners can apply for masks by using this link, and pick can them up at no cost at Division of Motor Vehicles locations around the state. Follow this link to view the full story on WMUR.
State Health Insurers to forgo deductibles/co-pays for COVID-19 care
New Hampshire’s Insurance Department has announced that many of the state’s health insurance companies have committed to waiving member cost-sharing (deductibles, co-payments, or coinsurance) when the member is receiving treatment related to COVID-19. Participating companies include Aetna, Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield, Cigna, Ambetter by NH Healthy Families, Harvard Pilgrim Health Care, Tufts Health Plan/Tufts Health Freedom Plan, and United Healthcare. Read the full Insurance Department news release here.
NH Department of Labor Clarifies WARN Act emergency exemptions
Under the NH WARN Act (Worker Adjustment and Retraining Notification), Companies with over 100 employees in New Hampshire are required to provide their employees with advance notice of any layoff of 25 employees or more. During the COVID-19 state of emergency there are likely to be many occasions where businesses may be shut down with little to no notice. The Department of Labor has indicated in these situations that section 275-F:4 provides exceptions to the state act. Specifically, 275-F:4 I (b) and (d) provide relevant exceptions which relax WARN Act requirement to file notice through the NHDOL, and by extension limit the liability for penalties or WARN Act wages.
NH Health and Human Services Announces COVID-19 Related Program Changes
New Hampshire’s Department of Health and Human Services has announced COVID 19 related changes to several programs administered by the Department including Medicaid, SNAP, TANF and Childcare programs. As the Department receives additional guidance, this will be amended weekly and posted on the NHDHHS and COVID-19 websites.
NH Department of Health and Human Services launches Emergency Child Care Collaborative for Essential Workers
Hundreds of childcare businesses across New Hampshire have made the decision to temporarily close in response to the COVID-19 pandemic making it difficult for many essential workers to find childcare that will allow them to work at those businesses deemed essential. DHHS is responding with a new initiative, called the Emergency Child Care Collaborative, a public-private partnership among childcare professionals, parents, regional leaders, advocates and the philanthropic and business communities, to establish a system of emergency childcare for New Hampshire’s most essential workers during the COVID-19 pandemic. Follow this link to find out more about this program
NH Workshare May Work for Employers/Employees Hit Hard by COVID-19
NH Workshare is a program administered by New Hampshire’s Department of Employment Security. It was designed to help employers who are struggling to keep their trained workforce in place. Employers can temporarily reduce their workforce hours by 10% - 50% to avert a layoff allowing them to return to full time when business increases.
As employees are retained, morale, productivity and flexibility in the workplace are maintained. Affected employees have a softer landing as their hours are reduced rather than eliminated, and they keep their health insurance and can collect wages for hours worked plus unemployment compensation benefits for the reduced hours. Follow this link for more information for more information about the NH Workshare Program.
Governor Sununu Announces Business Tax, I&D Tax Filing Extensions
Governor Chris Sununu has announced that the State will be extending business tax payment (Business Profits Tax and Business Enterprise Tax) deadlines to June 15. 98% of New Hampshire small businesses will benefit from this extension. The State will also be extending interest and dividends payment deadlines to June 15.
Additional information from the New Hampshire Department of Revenue Administration can be found in a press release issued by the NH Department of Revenue Administration and in a subsequent Technical Information Release issued by the Department.
List of Businesses Deemed Essential
The Governor’s office has released a list of businesses deemed essential and has also provided a way for business owners to request an essential designation if they are not on the list.
NH Employment Security Offers For-Profit/Non-Profit Employer Guidance
New Hampshire’s Department of Employment Security has produced two new documents to assist For-Profit Employers and Non-Profit Employers the information they need to navigate expanded unemployment benefits associated with the COVID-19 pandemic. In order to deal with the number of first time filers for unemployment benefits, specific days and hours for filing will continue to be based on the first letter of the individual’s last name.
NH State of Emergency Declared
On March 13th Governor Sununu issued an Executive Order declaring a State of Emergency. The executive order outlined new provisions allowing individuals who are quarantined due to confirmed or potential exposure; individuals needing care for themselves due to a related illness, individuals needing to care for an ill family member and individuals needing to care for a dependent to be able to access state unemployment benefits. Since that time, he has release various emergency orders relating to the pandemic. Click here for a listing of the emergency orders.
NH Department of Labor – Suspension of Workplace Audits and Inspections
New Hampshire’s Department of Labor is suspending all workplace audits and/or inspections for the duration of the state of emergency. Exceptions will be made if a complaint is filed for non-payment of wages for hours worked or for not having Workers Compensation Insurance coverage for employees working.
NH Charitable Foundation unveils new Community Crisis Action Fund
The New Hampshire Charitable Foundation has announced the Community Crisis Action Fund, which will provide grants to nonprofits who are working to reduce the impact of COVID-19, such as food for children and seniors, shelter for homeless and families, and transportation. Grants will also help longer-term needs like health care, emergency response, childcare, and food security. Additional grants will be used to support local emergency funds.
The following links are provided to employers seeking more information on best practices for responding to Coronavirus:
US Chamber Coronavirus Information Page
Center for Disease Control – Guidance for Business
OSHA Guidance for Employers
US Department of Labor
- COVID – 19 Fair Labor and Standards Act
- COVID – 19 Family Medical Leave Act
NH Department of Health & Human Services
NH Bankers Association
NH Small Business Development Center
SBDC COVID-19 Assistance Page