FMLA in the workplace
Last year, the US Department of Labor released a study on FMLA in the workplace that provided some great insights into employer policies, perceptions of FMLA, and how FMLA is really being used. According to the study, 13% of workers used FMLA leave in the previous 12-month period, and the average amount of leave taken was about 27 days. Among the employees surveyed, 57% had taken FMLA leave to recuperate from their own illness or serious health condition, 19% had taken leave for reasons pertaining to their parent, spouse, or child, and 22% had taken leave to bond with a new child. The majority of employers have a very positive or a neutral perception of FMLA leave: 91% of employers surveyed stated that they believed that compliance with FMLA policies had no effect or a positive effect on workplace morale, absenteeism, and employee turnover. A final interesting feature of the study includes statistics on how employers track FMLA: over 36% of employers are using both an HR person and software to track FMLA leave.
Despite these positive statistics, FMLA leave is only becoming more complicated, and the cost to an employer who mismanages FMLA leave can be astronomical. Employers frequently have difficulty determining if an employee is eligible, tracking down the proper information they need to certify that the employee’s reason for an absence is legitimate, and run the risk of becoming involved in costly litigation or dealing with low workplace morale at a company where FMLA leave is not managed well. Employers who violate the provisions of FMLA can find themselves facing a hefty fine, as well. In light of these factors, new ways of managing FMLA leave are gaining precedence, and FMLA outsourcing is emerging as a cost-effective and helpful way to manage FMLA leave.
FMLA outsourcing helps employers manage the challenges of compliance, administration, and dealing with their employees. According to an independent study by Aon Hewitt, over half of the employers surveyed felt they could improve the way FMLA is managed at their company. The same study also found that over 70% could not track the work history of their employees, and that 4 out of 10 employers are unwittingly granting leave to employees whose relationships are not included under FMLA.
FMLA outsourcing can help companies manage issues like these by providing the support of a knowledgeable team that will ensure compliance with the law. Over 20% of employers are already outsourcing FMLA management to a third-party company, and 34% of employers have expressed interest in doing so. Outsourcing FMLA management will result in a reduction of the administrative burden on a busy HR department or employer by helping to manage paperwork, ensuring compliance with leave policies, and even facilitating communication between employers and their employees who are on leave. When used properly, FMLA is a very beneficial resource for both employees and employers, and third-party firms are very useful in helping companies receive those benefits and avoid risks.
FMLA Administration Outsourcing: Pros and Cons
Of course, there are both pros and cons to FMLA administration outsourcing. A third-party firm will reduce the administrative burden, increase compliance, and decrease risk. However, even if an employer uses a third-party company, it is the employer who will be on the receiving end of legal action if something goes wrong, not the company the work was outsourced to. And, once an employer hands over FMLA management to a different company, they generally relinquish a lot of the control they would have had over decision-making if they had kept the work in-house. Also, it is important to remember that a third-party company will be handling the FMLA management for more than one company; so, while they have experience in FMLA management and were created solely to handle this important law for an employer, they may not be aware of other workrelated issues the employee may be having or have a handle on the company culture related to a complicated leave issue like an in-house HR representative would.
If you’re an employer considering FMLA administration outsourcing, be sure to carefully weigh the pros and cons and to thoroughly vet the company or companies you might be interested in working with before making any final decisions.
FMLA Administration Outsourcing: The Best Tools to Effectively Manage FMLA Leave
If you’re looking to outsource leave management at your company, look no further than Qcera. Qcera is a software program and co-management system designed to help employers and HR representatives easily and effectively manage FMLA leave. Qcera is your source for FMLA information, providing fair and consistent leave management for all employees, and eliminating time-consuming administration and training. Qcera offers solutions like LeaveSource Enterprise, which combines all federal, state, and employer leave policies into one web-hosted application. LeaveSource increases FMLA compliance and reduces a company’s risk of liability.
LeaveSource is both customizable and secure. Regardless of how large your company is, how many employees are taking leave, or how many policies you need to administer, LeaveSource can be configured to handle the load. Qcera also offers LeaveSource, a unique form of FMLA co-source administration that helps employers reduce their administration burden while simultaneously retaining control and contact with employees who are taking leave from work. LeaveSource has leave of absence specialists who will help you administer leave policies and leave certifications. LeaveSource will also verify that your employee has returned to work, initiate the recertification process in the event an employee has requested an extension on their leave, and coordinate with the disability carrier’s approvals and denials of benefits. When it comes to FMLA administration outsourcing, Qcera is simply the best. Find out how Qcera could help you by starting your free demo today.