The hour bank plan is specifically designed for construction workers who work in the field. Eligibility for the Hour Bank Benefit Plan is determined by the number of hours flowing through an employee’s “hour bank account”. It acts like a bank account, but hours instead of dollars are recorded. The employer reports all hours on a monthly basis, including overtime, worked by each employee. An employee becomes eligible to receive benefits on the first day of the second month following the accumulation of 300 hours in his or her hour bank account. For each month of coverage, 150 hours are deducted from the account. If the account falls below 150 hours, the employee can elect to self-pay for up to six consecutive months. The employee is reinstated when 150 hours are again accumulated within eight months.
The Hour Bank Plan is portable between Merit Contractor employers. Employees may carry their banked hours from one Merit member company to another and are not required to work the qualifying 300 hours when they start with the new employer, unless there has been a break in benefits of eight months or more.
You have the option of paying the 300 hours up front for some or all of your employees when you enroll them in the plan. If this kick-start payment is received before the 15th of the month, then the employee will be in benefit on the first day of the month following submission.
Note these hours will belong to the employee and remain in their hour banks, even if they are no longer working for you.
When an employee’s hour bank falls below 150 hours, they may choose to self pay their benefits for up to six months.