HR News in Brief: Politicians to stop licensing employment agencies; New health plan regulations

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Pennsylvania looks to stop licensing employment agencies
A Pennsylvania politician has proposed a House Bill to repeal the state’s 1941 Employment Agency law, which licenses and regulates employment agencies that charge fees of job seekers. Currently, only about 60 agencies a year register in the state, and the fees generated by employment agency licenses are less than a quarter of the cost to administrate the regulation. The bill passed the House unanimously and is likely to pass the Senate with equal ease.

New regulations from IRS
The Internal Revenue Service has announced increases to maximum annual contributions to health savings accounts (HSAs), as well as boosts for the minimum deductible limit for high-deductible health plans (HDHPs). Effective for the year 2015, the changes are:
  • Maximum annual HSA contribution for HDHP will increase from $3,300 to $3,350 for singles and from $6,550 to $6,650 for families.
  • Minimum HDHP deductible limit will increase from $1,250 to $1,300 for singles and from $2,500 to $2,600 for families.
  • Maximum HDHP out-of-pocket expenses other than premiums will increase from $6,350 to $6,450 for singles and from $12,700 to $12,900 for families.
White House to release best practices for policies for working parents
Deans of 14 top business schools met with economic advisors at the White House last week to generate discussion about improving the American workplace for working parents. Much of the focus was on creating hospitable working environments for mothers, and the business benefits of such policies. While there is no follow-up event scheduled, the White House will be releasing a set of best practice standards from the meeting, in the hope that more business leaders will become involved in the wider conversation.

Major staffing firms see profits, acquisitions
It’s been a positive quarter for staffing firms Mastech and Robert Half, which both reported impressive growth so far this year. Pittsburgh-based technology staffing specialist Mastech saw revenue rise 19.5% year-on-year growth, and upon that announcement the share price got a 4% boost. Meanwhile, Robert Half experienced net income growth above 10%, from $55.9million in the equivalent quarter last year to $61.6million this year.

International HR software company HRBoss has just secured $3.6million in funding, making it the fastest-growing technology start-up in Asia.

Locally, California HR outsourcing provider Global Upside has acquired Montgomery Professional Services Corporation, a staffing provider specializing in accounting and finance fields.

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