Defining Trends, Valuable Resources: 2016 DMEC Employer Leave Management Survey

Tasha Patterson@Work


Leave ManagementParticipation in the 2016 DMEC Leave Management Survey jumped 18% to 1,132 respondents, highlighting the growing importance of this compliance area for employers. The survey white paper, the sixth in the annual series, identifies continuing or changing employer leave management trends in 28 areas.

Key Trends

Several key trends appeared:

  • larger employers drove increased participation in the survey;
  • outsourcing of leave management has steadily increased for smaller and jumbo employers;
  • paid leave was on the radar for more employers; and
  • keeping up with new laws was the top-ranked program challenge.

Participation was up substantially in the three largest employer size categories from 1,000 to 10,000+ employees. Participation was down or flat for employers in the three smallest size categories up to 249 employees.

Leave management outsourcing increased from 2015 to 2016 across most employer sizes and leave categories, showing larger gains than the year before. The largest increases in outsourcing occurred in the federal Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), where smaller employers went from 25% outsourcing in 2015 to 34% in 2016, and larger employers from 35% to 45%. Outsourcing declined only in “other state-mandated leaves” for both smaller and larger employers.

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