With over 146 Million US employees in the workforce and over 100 reasons for them to be out of work, employers and insurers face challenges every day with managing absence. When you consider all the different leave types, including those mandated by federal regulations, state regulations, municipal regulations and company-specific leave plans, how do you ensure compliance with all applicable regulations for each employee, especially with multiple leave requests?
This includes unpaid leave and paid leave for a multitude of reasons, including an employee’s own serious health condition, a loved one’s serious health condition, for jury duty, or possibly attending a parent teacher conference. How are employers going to manage and keep track of the federal, state, municipal requirements, eligibility, documentation and communications required to legally manage these various leave requests?
To date in the United States, employers who offer Paid Family Leave (PFL) have been the exception rather than the rule. PFL is usually only available through larger employers, if it is offered at all. For this reason, a small but growing number of states, most notably California and most recently New York, have enacted PFL legislation. This is great for various reasons including improved employee morale, engagement and overall productivity. There are various challenges and legislative differences from state to state. Clarifications are still coming forward with NY PFL, which begins January 1, 2018, and case law could also cause change in the future. Challenges include:
- Look back period – how do carriers calculate time allowance accurately?
- Interpretation challenges
- New reporting requirements
- Multiple leave requests running concurrently, i.e. NY PFL and DBL
- Payments, detailed calculations, deductions, (taxes, benefits, child or spousal support)
More than ever there is a need to be compliant, consistent and to be aware of the business impacts and threats when compliance isn’t met. Who will be responsible for absence in your company and how will they keep up with different locations and staying fair and consistent? Are you prepared for NY PFL starting January 1, 2018? Register here to view a short webinar on this topic, recorded last month “Is Paid Family Leave the Tipping Point for Digital Absence Management?”
There is a solution – FINEOS Absence
FINEOS Absence is a system providing a 5 step process that helps you manage the ongoing regulatory disruption of absence management. With this tool, you can handle all your absence requests while staying compliant with regulation and reporting.
- Registration is the employer identification and verification step; it also provides timely reporting to help make informed decisions with absence approval.
- Adjudication includes the absence case, specific leave plans qualifiers, and leave request rejection or approval. It is also the step that walks through time management, specific paid benefits and then synchronizes it all. At this step, the absence case stores any documents, notes, and contacts in a stored file.
- Manage Leave and Payments is a step that runs automatically in FINEOS Absence based on the rules defined at the plan level and service agreement created by each employer. Once a request links to a paid leave plan and is approved, it will automatically create payments unless indicated otherwise in the system.
- The Completion stage is a step by step workflow process designed to support employees as early as possible with extensions, transitions, accommodations and/or a return to work plan.
- Closure of the absence case is the step in which all data is archived and stored safely.
I will be continuing to blog about each of these steps in more detail, so stay tuned to the FINEOS blog for more! If you’d like to have a conversation about FINEOS Absence, please reach out to me directly at Randi.Weir@FINEOS.com.