Hawaii Minimum Wage Hike
Hawai‘i is positioned to become a state with one of the highest minimum wages in the country. On January 1, 2017, Hawai‘i’s minimum wage increases to $9.25 an hour. This is the second increase in the past two years as part of an incremental minimum wage increase until 2018, when it will reach $10.10.
Understand your costs
You should understand your cash flow before preparing for any sort of wage increase. A strong understanding of your revenue, expenses and profits is the only way to adequately budget for increased wages. Accordingly, you’ll need to budget for increased payroll taxes, including increased social security, unemployment, workers’ compensation and disability insurance expenses. If possible, consult with your lawyer or human resources consultant to review your current wage and hour policies to determine how your business can remain flexible with increased wages.
Invest in your employees
With Hawai‘i’s continued low unemployment rate, making sure you hire and retain the best employees is paramount to ensuring your business remains competitive and successful. Instituting a company-wide retention program that values your existing employees’ commitment to your business while placing an emphasis on well-defined company values and culture is important in retaining your current staff and attracting new talent.
Get help from an expert
Historically, minimum wage increases tend to have a ripple effect. This minimum wage increase is compounded by changes and new mandates from the federal government. Most notably, the Department of Labor’s white-collar overtime rule that goes into effect December 1st may also impact your business operations. Given the continuing landscape of labor law, you don’t have to be alone. If you’re not already working with a professional to help you navigate through these changes, it may be worthwhile to consider consulting one.
As you prepare for the minimum wage increase that’ll take place on January 1, 2017, it’s always great to take a look at the larger business landscape and be mindful of other labor law changes that may affect your business.