Absence Reporting During and Beyond the Pandemic

Posted on

June 22nd, 2020


COVID-19 has created new challenges for businesses in several areas, one of which is absence management. As many businesses begin a phased return to the office while others are maintaining their remote staff, keeping track of absences and leave requests can quickly become confusing. Prior to COVID-19, it was common practice to urge sick employees to stay home. Now, it’s less a matter of should symptomatic employees stay home and more an issue of when it’s safe for them to return to the workplace and how that affects leave and absence policies.

Federally Protected Leave and Emerging Programs

Federally protected leave programs like FMLA, disability leave, and so on still apply during COVID-19. However, the U.S. Department of Labor issued two new forms of leave to address the challenges created by the pandemic: the Emergency Paid Sick Leave Act and Emergency Family and Medical Leave Expansion Act.

Both fall under the Families First Coronavirus Response Act (FFCRA), which grants up to 80 hours of paid sick leave to employees who have to quarantine due to a government order or at the recommendation of their physician. Employees experiencing COVID-19 symptoms and seeking treatment also qualify for this kind of leave.

FFCRA also offers up to 80 hours of paid sick leave at two-thirds of employees’ regular income if they are unable to work because they have to care for a quarantined individual or child due to school and childcare closures. Employees can seek an additional 10 weeks of paid leave at two-thirds of their regular income if their child’s school/care facilities remain closed due to COVID-19 so long as they have been employed for at least 30 days. FFCRA is available through the end of the 2020 calendar year and employers can acquire a payroll tax credit for 100% of the amount.

Tracking Employee Leave Requests

Tracking leave requests, remaining compliant with shifting Federal and state employee leave laws, all while keeping the workforce healthy will quickly overwhelm HR departments. Actec developed the app Absence 365 to meet businesses’ absence management needs during these stressful times. This customizable app allows employees to submit leave requests and centralizes all absence notifications in one location. In addition to remaining compliant, the app can also help employers recognize trends to enact effective change within their company. Contact us to learn how we can help meet your business’ absence management needs.

What A Rubber Stamp Absence Policy Costs Your Business

Posted on

June 28th, 2016


shutterstock_174875483Many companies struggle with aligning absence management, employee efficiency, and legal compliance. This often leads to a “rubber stamp” mentality when dealing with FMLA and state leave issues. What employers frequently fail to understand is that such policies this policy is a direct result of absence abuse and loss of company productivity.
FMLA Litigation Costs
Litigation in FMLA cases costs an average of $78,000. This leads businesses to believe that they need to avoid a potential lawsuit at all costs. Rubber stamping FMLA leave requests seems like a less expensive solution to the problem.
Unique Leave Requirements
Another factor in creating a rubber stamp policy is the fact that approximately 95% of employees work in a state that has unique leave requirements. This makes managing and tracking leave entitlements difficult, especially if the company has offices in more than one state. When management becomes too complicated, granting an employee’s leave request seems like the easiest solution.
An Alternative to Rubber Stamp Policies
The money that a rubber stamp policy costs in productivity loss and employee efficiency can cost some organizations far more than the possible litigation of an FMLA case.
The first step in creating an effective absence management strategy is an absence audit to determine if revisions are necessary. One of the first signs of a potential rubber stamp issue is an existence of absence abuse. If HR doesn’t investigate an employee’s state or FMLA absence request, this can encourage an increase in false claims.
If the audit shows that your company needs to revise its current legal compliance policy, then you need to design a system that can manage and track all leave entitlements. This will help to reduce false claims and help to show your company is in compliance with all requirements.
A comprehensive absence tracking and management system can help you replace your rubber stamp policy with a strategy that will manage unique leave requirements and employee productivity. Contact the experts at Actec to learn more.