To All Atlantic Charter Partners and Customers:
As with other employers and customer-facing organizations, Atlantic Charter is carefully monitoring the situation regarding Coronavirus (COVID-19), with a particular focus on public health guidance offered by the CDC and state officials. Our number one priority is the safety of our partners, customers, employees and the broader community. We want to ensure that we can seamlessly provide for your workers compensation needs. With that in mind, I want to share the steps we are taking.
Service remains our top priority
We have systems and long-standing plans in place to address business disruptions. This includes work-from-home capabilities, alternate work locations and additional options so that our employees can continue to do their work and our operations remain functional. Being responsive to the needs of our agents, insureds and claimants remains a top priority.
- Please continue to file claims to us via email at email@example.com or by fax at (617) 488-6502
- All voice mail messages will be retrieved every hour.
- To protect your health and that of your and our employees, we will be suspending physical audits until the Massachusetts and National State of Emergency Orders have been lifted. After which we will resume physical audits at a time convenient with your schedule.
We thank you for your continued partnership with Atlantic Charter. We remain committed to serving you; should you have questions or concerns, please find the appropriate department contacts:
- Claims Department: Michele Shatto, Claims Manager (617) 488-6637
- Finance Department: Joe Russo, CFO (617) 488-6622
- Underwriting/Safety and Health Department: Jacquie Willett, Underwriting Manager (617) 488-6631
- Executive Offices: Marie Sheehan, Executive Assistant (617) 488-6513
Due to COVID -19 many businesses have made alterations to their standard operating practices that have involved layoffs, remote work, furloughs or a combination of the above.
In the spirit of DOI Bulletin 2005, Atlantic Charter will be making payroll adjustments that are reflective of the new or alternative duties your clients have adopted. These adjustments will all take place during premium audits. Therefore, it will be necessary for your clients to prepare for these audits and they will be required to provide the following:
Furloughed and Reassigned Employees:
Insureds will need to keep separate, accurate, and verifiable records for each furloughed and reassigned employee (employee name, wages paid and furlough/reassignment length). Additionally, employers are required to provide detailed job descriptions for any reassignments or work from home arrangements. These records will be required during their audit to calculate premium accurately. If separate records are not maintained, the payroll classification for work normally performed by the employee before any COVID-19 emergency orders, laws, or regulations will be assigned to the original classification.
Where an employer has altered its operations due to COVID-19 (e.g. manufacturing personal protective equipment), the policy must be endorsed for the new classifications. Please make sure this information is provided to the auditor.
- “Paid furloughed employees” means employees who continue to receive compensation during a temporary layoff or an involuntary leave and are not performing any work duties for an employer. To be considered furloughed, an individual cannot be working at all, nor can they be on any job site. Funds used to pay furloughed employees can come from any source, provided the furloughed employees remain on the payroll they will be classified as Clerical.
- If an employee works part of the day and is furloughed for the remainder of the day, their entire wages will be included as payroll, and the furlough payroll classification cannot be applied.
- The exclusion of wages paid to furloughed employees is not permanent. These rule changes are due to the extraordinary circumstances of COVID-19 and they will expire on December 31, 2020. They are in effect for new and renewal policies during each state’s mandated emergency period.
- Suspension of work due to weather, delays, standby time, and similar downtime is considered idle time and is included as payroll and classified based on the employee’s regular work.
*We will follow NCCI guidelines for all New Hampshire policyholders who have paid furlough employees.
Working from Home Employees:
- If an employee has been designated to work from home, and the employee’s duties are now of a clerical nature, the employee’s payroll during the pandemic period can be allocated to Code 8810 – “Clerical Office” as long as the employer maintained separate payroll records for the wages earned for each employee whose occupation has changed as a result of the stay at home order.
- If these records were not maintained, then the employee’s payroll would be assigned to the classification representing their normal duties before the stay at home order.
- If the employer is assigned to a standard business classification that specifically includes Clerical Office Employees, Code 8810 would not be available, and employees who are reassigned to work from home would be included in the employer’s standard business classification.
- A single employee’s payroll may be divided between Classification 8810 and another classification only once during this time period. Once the employee’s duties are no longer exclusively clerical in nature, Classification 8810 shall not be assigned.