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Overcoming the Roller Coaster Ride That Is Year-Round Employee Leave Management

Managing employee leave can certainly feel like you’re on a huge, never-ending roller coaster ride — a ride that comes with all the ups and downs, twists and turns, and sudden surprises you’d expect from any thrilling amusement ride. It’s a heck of ride for most HR leaders who are responsible for managing employee leave to keep the wheels of the company’s business goals on their tracks.

You’ve just survived the winter holiday season and its challenges of managing so many employees taking time off to be with family and loved ones. Things may quiet down for a couple of months, and then you’ll be into the spring season of requests for time off to coincide with school breaks.

After that, there will be the annual onslaught of employees jockeying for summer vacation time and managing all of the hoops that you and your managers will need to jump through to accommodate those requests. Then you’ll get a short breather in the fall, but only until the annual cycle starts again, with the disruptions and workflow reassignments to meet the needs of leave requests during the next winter holiday season.

The ride can be even more dramatic and have more contortions (and potential repercussions for noncompliance) if your company relies heavily on seasonal workers or part-time workers who are also eligible for leave benefits. The same is true if you have fluctuations in the number of full-time employees during the year. The leave-management roller coaster ride can also be more jostling if your company needs to meet various leave requirements because of factors such as union contracts or unusual state or local regulations and laws.

Throughout it all, you need to know how to lower your risk against:

  • Noncompliance under the FMLA and state laws
  • Productivity loss
  • Employee disengagement

In fact, simply staying on top of state leave documentation can be time-consuming, especially if you have a manual process in place. With so much at stake, you need to know the lay of the land. (To learn more about how to best manage complex leave laws, download the Optis white paper “The Land of Unusual Leaves — It’s a Jungle Out There.”)

As for handling leave requests from temporary or seasonal employees, you need to be sure your leave management system accounts for them. Just because temporary and seasonal employees may be ineligible for company-paid leave, they most likely are still protected under workers’ compensation laws. According to the federal Small Business Administration, “businesses with employees are required to carry Workers’ Compensation Insurance coverage through a commercial carrier, on a self-insured basis, or through a state Workers' Compensation Insurance program.”

When it’s all said and done, the best and most cost-effective way to smooth the ride of your leave management roller coaster is to implement an automated leave management system like LeaveXpert® from Optis. It ensures that your organization operates efficiently and stays in compliance despite the ups and downs of seasonal requests.

For HR leaders and company managers, an automated leave management system makes sure that leave policies are fairly and accurately enforced across the organization. Requests for leave are routed and approved based on your company's unique business processes. Most important, to make future rides on the leave management roller coaster even smoother, an automated leave management solution like LeaveXpert delivers easily accessible and consolidated time-off information for analysis, reporting, and financial planning. You’re able to make better business decisions moving forward.

Increase employee productivity by managing absence accurately and quickly. With LeaveXpert, your HR department can easily gain insight into the impact absence has on your organization, including FMLA, disability, and other company-specific leave events.