The Health Care and Mental Hygiene Worker Bonus Program allocated $1.2 billion for the payment of recruitment and retention bonuses to certain healthcare and mental hygiene workers in the state of New York.
Guidance and requirements from the New York State Department of Health have continued to evolve since the program’s launch on August 3, 2022, including changes to employee eligibility for contract staff in eligible titles. The updated Health Care and Mental Hygiene Worker Bonus Program FAQ states, “The qualified employer, not the contracted agencies, must submit bonus claims for staff that perform work for the qualified employer under such arrangements and that otherwise meet the eligibility criteria to be an eligible employee.”
As a reminder, the New York Department of Health issued an extension for the first vesting period, allowing employers to submit claims for Vesting Period 1 during Vesting Period 2. This shifted the first submission deadline from September 2, 2022 to October 31, 2022.
To help meet compliance standards, Smartlinx delivered a new standard Time & Attendance report to provide each of your employees and the data necessary for you to submit to the state. Based on guidance from the New York State Department of Health updated since publication, we released the following enhancements to the New York Health Care and Mental Hygiene Report in September:
- Included Agency Employees (“Salary” field will be blank for agency workers as clients do not track their pay information in Smartlinx.)
- Added a “Termination Date” column
- Only included employees that were employed during the entire vesting period
- Excluded overtime hours from the calculation
- Enhanced salary calculation for Hourly employees:
- Wage x Average hours (excluding overtime hours) for the vesting period
- Handled transfers as single employee timeline rather than multiple separate employees
- Removed filter for salary employees and show all
- Included earnings that are marked as "Other-Exempt"
Why This Matters to You
- Avoid penalties due to non-compliance: Per the New York State Department of Health, “a qualified employer who fails to identify, claim, and/or pay any bonus for more than 10 percent of bonus eligible workers may be subject to penalties of up to $1,000 per violation of the Health Care and Mental Hygiene Work Bonus Program.”
- New Functionality Supports the Program: Smartlinx will continue to serve as a trusted healthcare advisor and fill that need as exemplified by our new functionality to support the New York State Health Care and Mental Hygiene Work Bonus Program.