2013 GRC Value Award: Compliance Management

GRC 20/20 Research awarded The Hartford its 2013 GRC Value award in the Compliance Management category. The Hartford, a leader in property and casualty insurance, group benefits and mutual funds, uses the RSA Archer GRC Platform to support over 80 GRC processes including a New York State Labor regulation instituted in 2012.  By building a solution on the RSA Archer eGRC platform the company avoided tens of thousands of dollars in expenses, and brought The Company into compliance one month ahead of schedule. 

The Hartford, a leader in property and casualty insurance, group benefits and mutual funds, was given a short period of time to comply with the State of New York Wage Theft Prevention Act, which required employers to give an annual written notice of wages to all new hires and other employees. The employees are required to return a form acknowledging receipt of that notice, and records of the notice and the responses must be tracked to evidence compliance.

This new regulation required a new HR process, which represented a challenge for the Hartford because:

  • The short turn-around time required to develop a new process and design a new solution to address that process
  • The compliance date differed from The Hartford’s annual merit cycle but needed to use annual wage information
  • The solution had to be user friendly to address The Hartford’s diverse employee base of 20,000+
  • Other states were expected to adopt similar — but possibly not identical — regulations, so the solution had to be flexible and repeatable
  • Forms had to be available in multiple languages
  • The Hartford had limited budget and resources to build the solution

The Hartford evaluated several options including its existing payroll systems, manual mailings, or using its operation risk management (ORM) system  (RSA Archer)..  Building a custom solution on the RSA Archer Platformoffered an affordable end-to-end solution. Other optionswere estimated to cost in excess of $70,000, and still involved manual processes.

The Hartford’s HR compliance and payroll departments partnered with the ORM team and developed a solution to automate state-specific annual employee notices, monitor employee responses, automate any follow up notices to employees and management, maintain historical evidence, provide the appropriate oversight to ensure the company complied with the law, was intuitive and end-user friendly and it was completed in three months — one month ahead of schedule.

Easy migration to a new, effective solution

Using a data import feature within the RSA Archer GRC Platform, the HR data is loaded from the external data file and populated into an employee information application. Importing data through this feature saves a great deal of time and is completed quickly and easily.

The RSA Archer Platform uses a campaign feature to set a date on which acknowledgement forms are automatically created. The form contains employee geographical and wage information along with instructions to complete the form, explanation of the requirements, due date and a selection for the employee to respond. An email notification is automatically generated once the acknowledgement form is created, which contains a brief description of the process, instructions, obligations and a link to the acknowledgement form. The employee clicks on the link to access their record, review wage information and select the appropriate radio button (to acknowledge or request a notice in a language other than English, which is a NY state requirement). As soon as the employee saves the record, their response is electronically recorded, the acknowledgement stored and the process is completed for the year.

The Hartford’s first campaign touched 1,461 employees. It took just 37 minutes to create the acknowledgement forms and emails. Within the first six minutes of the launch, they had received a 32 percent response rate. If employees do not respond within given deadlines, the system automatically escalates and notifies HR employees who can help. In the two years since the process was implemented, HR received fewer than 10 questions from users about completing the process.

The Hartford estimates that with the old processes, completing the requirement would draw resources from multiple organizations and could take more than 100 hours. With the automated process, it takes about six to 10 hours over six to eight weeks.

THE NEW SOLUTION

Companies must be diligent with the ever changing regulatory environment. While a poster in the break room used to be the norm, the explosion of remote work has legislatures looking for additional ways to ensure that employees receive notice. States are more frequently requiring that records be kept to make sure employees receive and understand legal notices. The RSA Archer solution puts The Hartford in a position to easily address any new state labor requirements with little to no cost and with minimal effort, and to address regulatory inquiries through existing automated reporting.

Since the passage of the New York state regulation, the state of California now requires commissioned employees to receive an annual notice, and the state of New Jersey will soon also require employees to sign an acknowledgement form that they have read a gender-equality notice. The Hartford’s RSA Archer solution will help the company quickly come up to speed with new requirements for employees in those states. Leveraging the existing workflow and structure for new states does not require a new license and only requires approximately 10 to 15 resource hours to add the new requirements to the solution.

To learn more about the GRC 20/20 2013 GRC Value Awards and other recipients, please visit this post: GRC 20/20 Announces 2013 GRC Value Award Recipients

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