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Curbing Intermittent Leave Abuse to Reduce Costly Oversights

Sick days happen. And when they do, employees need to be able to have the time they need to care for their health. It is, of course, in your best interest and theirs to allow employees adequate time. You want to ensure that your employees are healthy, happy, and operating at full capacity for the benefit of your company. But you also need to comply with FMLA requirements.

However, when employees take leave in small chunks, these sick days can take a toll on your company. While leave is important and required by the FMLA, you need to be sure that your efficiency and bottom line don’t suffer.

Does your company have the right systems and policies in place to minimize the cost of intermittent leave? The Society for Human Resource Management suggests several ways to curb leave abuse and reduce costly oversight. But implementing these best practices is a lot easier and more likely to be successful when you have an online leave management system to help you. Here are five ways leave management software can help you reduce leave policy abuse:

  1. Tracking intermittent leave

    By accurately tracking your employees’ leave — logging the type of leave, reason, specific times, doctor’s notes, etc. — you can discover any patterns or suspicious behavior. For example, tracking might allow you to realize that a certain employee often takes leave on Fridays, leading you to speak with the employee and figure out why this is happening and if their reasons are legitimate. With an online leave management system, all requests will be automatically logged and available for easy access, so you can quickly review and compare.

  2. Having written requests and responses

    While FMLA guidelines allow for verbal leave requests, the best way to minimize confusion, miscommunication, and dishonesty is to ask employees to submit written requests and obtain written approvals. An automated system with an employee self-service portal makes it easy to complete written leave requests and responses online, capturing and storing all the details you need to make sure your employees and managers are on the same page.

  3. Requiring and collecting medical certifications

    One of the best ways to curb leave abuse is to require medical certifications. By asking doctors for detailed instructions for the employee’s duties and stop and start times, you will be able to determine eligibility and accurately plan for the employee’s time away. Rather than trying to organize all these medical certifications on your own, a leave management software system will effortlessly track and store the certification requirements and receipts in one place for your easy review.

  4. Helping employees return to work successfully

    The last thing you want is an employee returning to work before they’re ready, causing low productivity or extended leave time. The ability to track their return-to-work details with leave management software will allow you to set requirements for fitness-for-duty exams and manage accommodation requests. You’ll be able to know with confidence exactly when and in what capacity your employees will be returning to work.

  5. Combining FMLA and short-term disability forms

    Sometimes FMLA leave and short-term disability payments overlap, and when they do, combining the two forms can save time and money for you and your employee. Rather than having the physician fill out two forms and charge fees for both, provide a single form to increase efficiency. The right leave management system will also be able to integrate with short-term disability claims and keep all needed information relating to leave management readily available.

Disorganized, time-consuming leave management can be a liability for your company and a burden for you, but it doesn’t have to be. It’s time to consider an online leave management system to reduce leave abuse and minimize costs. Optis’ cloud-based leave management system, LeaveXpert®, will help you strengthen your leave management processes, so you can monitor employee leave with accuracy and efficiency.

It’s easier than ever to get a handle on leave management. In addition to the tips above, Optis LeaveXpert and its built-in FMLA software provide the ability to do custom reporting, manage workflow tasks, track employee demographic data, and more. With three different editions, LeaveXpert works to help organizations of all sizes see bottom-line business results through effective leave and absence management. Start your free 30-day trial today!