Considerations for Choosing Absence Management Technology
By Sheila Sokolski, Assistant Vice President, Product and Marketing, Sun Life U.S.
Managing Absence is increasingly complex, which has prompted employers to assess technology solutions. It’s not just about tracking time and ensuring compliance (though you can still end up with costly lawsuits if you don’t). It’s about creating and sustaining competitive programs that help attract and retain talent in an increasingly competitive labor market. Updating an in-house solution, moving to full outsourcing, or changing absence management partners requires commitment from human resources (HR); support from information technology (IT); and change management skills from everyone involved, including the employees who need time away.
Employers run the gamut of absence complexity (due to leave volume, geography, and other requirements), and there are many types of solutions to meet their needs.
Industrywide, employer size affects outsourcing for family and medical leave laws. The 2021 DMEC Employer Leave Management Survey shows that the propensity to outsource increases with employer size, starting at 1,000 employees. And that more mid-size employers (1,000-4,999) shifted to outsourcing paid leave (30% in 2021 versus 25% in 2020). Other factors include the number of states where an employer has a presence, availability of private plan options, and the option to bundle programs.1
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