LOA Task Management Reigns!
If you read last week’s blog post you saw that task management tools are part of using a cloud-based leave management system to relieve the burden of mismanaged leave data. You might have wondered, “So just what kinds of tasks are typically offered?” In this blog post, we’ll answer this question as it relates to the FMLA and leave of absence (LOA) management. You’ll see how leave specialists can work freely and escape the clutches of leave management chaos.
A cloud-based leave management system will assist the leave specialist in all aspects of the leave cycle. Task management reminders are a source of improved compliance, from leave intake, eligibility, certification or recertification, and approval, to case management and ultimately employee return to work. Whenever leave requests are initiated, either by the employee or the leave specialist, an automatic system task will be generated notifying the applicable specialist. In this way, leave requests won’t go unnoticed, and an eligibility decision can be made within the federally mandated five business days.
Typically, a notice of eligibility to the employee also contains a request for certification. While we know most employers will be generous and provide subsequent requests for initial certification, the employee can be required to provide certification within 15 calendar days, according to the FMLA. An effective leave management system will have multiple automatic tasks reminding the leave specialist of the deadlines associated with collecting medical certification from the employee in a timely manner.
The next critical deadline in the leave cycle requires the employer to notify the employee within five business days of receipt of acceptable certification that the leave has been designated as FMLA. An approval determination task will be automatically generated informing the leave specialist that they should send this correspondence to the employee.
Case management tasks will vary, but one common type is associated with upcoming exhaustion of the leave. One helpful exhaustion reminder task notifies the leave specialist that less than one week’s protected leave time remains. This reminder helps the leave specialist plan for the employee’s expected return and communicate with them appropriately. Other exhaustion reminders alert the specialist that intermittent time has exceeded either a weekly or monthly limit.
Additionally, an effective leave management system will contain numerous prompts associated with returning an employee to their job or a nearly identical job. One such notice will inform the leave specialist to request a fitness-for-duty (FFD) exam in a timely manner prior to the employee’s upcoming return to work. Without such notice, a specialist might be delayed in obtaining the FFD, which could jeopardize the employee’s timely return.
As a leave specialist, you may or may not regularly engage in all aspects of the leave cycle. Regardless, task management tools within a leave management system will enable and improve your company’s compliance. The tools will remind you of tasks you may not readily be thinking about if you’re used to only a few leaves per month. If you have countless leaves per month, you’ll know exactly what the next step is for each leave. And with all those automated notices, you’ll actually have time to collect your thoughts once in a while!