Study Identifies Components of a Holistic Approach to Absence Management
By Gene Lanzoni, MA
AVP, Thought Leadership
The Guardian Life Insurance Company
The absence management trend in 2019 is clear. As more states enact paid leave laws, increased mandates will make the absence management process even more complex to administer for companies large and small. At the start of 2019, 21 states had introduced bills for a paid family and medical leave benefit. Even in Washington, D.C., the discussion around paid family leave at the federal level has been reintroduced, making it a potential issue in the 2020 election.
This trend shows no signs of slowing down. According to the 2019 Guardian Absence Management Activity Index and Study, nearly 60% of working Americans feel it is very important that they can take time off of work to care for a loved one who is ill or injured, up 22% from 2015. And more than half (52%) agree that paid time off and work/life balance are highly valued benefits.1 The evolution of paid leave, coupled with companies’ efforts to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), makes it a business imperative for companies to develop more sophisticated absence management programs — a true differentiator for companies seeking to attract and retain talent in a highly competitive market.
The study includes a survey of 1,204 employers. It validates that while staying the course on current benefits is important, ongoing refinements are critical to maintaining momentum and achieving a company’s leave management goals. Included with the study is the Guardian Absence Management Scorecard, a tool to help employers assess their programs by gauging their current absence management activity and charting its progress over time. This can be useful whether the company is large or small, has been active in absence management, or is new to the process.
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