DMEC 2015 Employer Leave Management Survey Identifies Key Trends as Leave Laws Increase in Coverage and Complexity
San Diego, CA, March 7, 2016 — The landscape of employer leaves continues to undergo change and is increasingly complex. Although several regulations such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and Americans with Disabilities Act and Amendments Act (ADA/AA) have been in place for several years, their interpretation and application is continually clarified. Regulatory initiatives under the Affordable Care Act (ACA) are still unfolding. State and local leave laws emerge on a regular basis and with that the promotion of workplace flexibility. Vermont recently became the fifth state to enact a paid sick leave law, joining one county and 20 cities. Paid leave is part of the 2016 U.S. Presidential campaign, while late last year President Obama signed Executive Order 13706 to require certain federal contractors provide up to seven days of paid sick leave annually.
The results of the fifth annual DMEC Employer Leave Management Survey illustrate that employers of all sizes are mastering compliance and other challenges posed by the new laws and reinterpreted regulations. Leave programs are expanding at the tactical and, importantly, strategic level as more employers look to leave and related policies as a competitive advantage.
The key trends identified in the DMEC 2015 Employer Leave Management Survey, include:
- Program Outsourcing. More employers are outsourcing leave management and vendor satisfaction is increasing. Outsourcing requires process and program reviews, which generally lead to changes that produce efficiencies and greater legal and regulatory compliance.
- More Staff. Employers have added staff and resources to more effectively manage leave. This enables them to focus on more complex aspects of intermittent leave, regulatory variations, enforcement, and abuse.
- Centralization. Policies are becoming more uniform and more centrally organized. Centralization of information and resources enables employers to better prepare for US Department of Labor (DOL) and Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) inquiries.
- Technology. Employers are increasingly using automated systems for FMLA management. This has led to additional investment in technology to upgrade and integrate time & attendance, payroll, and HR systems.
- Strategic Focus. Employers are continually expanding both tactical and strategic programs. As leave has increasing legal, reputational, and hiring and retention dimensions, programs increasingly involve additional departments and are tied to strategic business goals.
“Leave is a social, legal, political, and strategic business issue,” said Terri L. Rhodes, Chief Executive Officer of DMEC. “Employers increasingly view leave this way, and are hiring staff, investing in technology and partner relationships, to effectively manage it and all forms of absence. Compliance with laws and regulations is an opportunity to improve processes, performance, and even competitive advantage.”
To obtain a copy of the 2015 DMEC Employer Leave Management Survey White Paper, please contact John Jordan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.554.5796.
The Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC) is the only association dedicated to providing focused education, knowledge, and networking for absence and disability professionals. Through its national education programs and network of local chapters, DMEC delivers trusted strategies, tools, and resources to minimize lost work time, improve workforce productivity, and maintain legally compliant absence and disability programs.