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  • Kelley - HCM & Benefits

Workday® 33 Benefit Changes: Arrived to a Tenant Near You

The Workday® 33 release is upon us and with it some exciting changes in the world of Benefits. This release brings some big changes for

  • The open enrollment user experience

  • un-linking related person data

  • enhanced tobacco usage tracking

Open Enrollment Re-Design

Continuing with Workday’s commitment to a more user-friendly benefits user experience that is consistent across mobile and browser, WD33 introduces a completely re-designed open enrollment event. Instead of a linear workflow where users must click through each coverage type whether they are enrolling or not, users will now be presented with “tiles” for each coverage type. They can skip around in the order that makes the most sense to them based on the available options.

Workday Open Enrollment

In addition to the new “tile” layout of the event landing page, the enrollment pages have been enhanced to make what you are changing more readily apparent including who is being covered. Enrollment instructions appear to the right of the enrollment area eliminating the need to scroll up or down to see important information.

With this feature release also comes the ability to link to the open enrollment event from an announcement. Announcements can be configured to signal the start of open enrollment and send users directly to the task they need to complete. Leverage this feature to eliminate the need for users to hunt through a busy inbox looking for their open enrollment task.

As with all major user-experience enhancements, you’ll want to thoroughly test this new feature. It will also likely require an update to your open enrollment training materials. This feature will be automatically delivered to your tenant, but you do have the option to opt-out.

Disable Linking Between Related Persons

Currently when users add a new related person in Workday, they have the option to link that person to an existing related person record. For instance, when adding a dependent to a plan, workers are given the option to use an existing contact such as beneficiary or emergency contact. While this makes data entry smoother, it can also lead to problems if an employee later updates that existing record. Changes you make to an existing related person type may also be applied to other existing persons leading to data integrity issues. With WD33 Workday will introduce the ability to “unlink” those related person records. This feature will prevent users from creating a dependent or beneficiary from an existing related person. This feature is automatically delivered, but you can opt-out.

Tobacco Usage Questions and Surcharges

If you track tobacco usage data as part of your healthcare plan setup, you’ll have some additional configuration options to enhance the user experience and overall data collection. The ability to create a tobacco surcharge is also included to help streamline how responses affect coverage and plans.

With WD33, the existing default tobacco question response becomes customizable. In addition to the text of the question itself, you can add instructions for how to answer, the text of three answers and how those answers are mapped to the “uses tobacco” or “does not use tobacco” fields. You can also indicate whether you want the question displayed for spouse/domestic partner during enrollment.

Additionally, the ability to create a tobacco surcharge will be introduced. This allows for additional flexibility in how rates are calculated for the individual and/or groups of participants.

This is an opt-in feature, so your existing tobacco usage configuration will remain the same if you do nothing.


As with all release updates, these changes have their pros and cons. Be sure to check out the Workday What’s New documentation <insert link> for detailed information about these changes potential impact for your organization. Pay particular attention to whether the release is auto-delivered to your tenant or whether configuration is required to uptake. Be sure to check out our Open Enrollment blog <Click Here> for additional information on how these changes might affect this year’s open enrollment.

Have a question or need help with these features? Contact one of our Workday experts at info at

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