Impact of Employer Size on Absence and Disability

DMEC Staff@Work

Impact of Employer Size on Absence and Disability

Impact of Employer Size
By Eric Lake

North America Sales Executive

Employers are increasingly concerned about Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and short-term disability (STD) absences, in part because their indirect costs are higher than their direct costs.1 The major components of the indirect costs reflect lost productivity in the workplace.

Most research into absence and disability incidence, duration, and cost has examined such factors as industry, employer abilities in leave management, and STD plan design. ClaimVantage has analyzed data for another area not commonly examined: how the cost and impact of FMLA and STD absences vary with employer size or the number of eligible employees.

Comparisons between different-sized employers are based upon average or median figures, depending upon the data provided by the source. Our sources include:

  • Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC)2
  • Integrated Benefits Institute (IBI)3
  • Mercer4
  • Employer Measures of Productivity, Absence and Quality (EMPAQ)5

After analyzing the most recent data and studies by these industry-leading sources, we found significant differences in STD and FMLA incidence, duration, and cost based upon employer size. Generally, larger employers face higher costs, incidence, and duration per employee than do smaller employers. This also holds true in some specific industries such as healthcare, insurance, food, and chemical manufacturing.

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