These Employee Benefits Make Leaves of Absence Smoother for Everyone

Think leaves of absence are nothing but an inconvenience?

Consider this: implementing strong, clear leave policies and programs can help your organization better attract and retain talent, boost morale, and provide employees with a higher level of work-life integration than your competitors. In fact, the business benefits of leaves—even paid leaves—can far exceed their costs.

This was the subject of a recent Business News Daily article, which reported that workers in New Jersey who were given paid leave protections “boasted higher morale and productivity,” and that businesses offering paid leaves “experienced a significantly lower turnover rate.” Google is just one compelling example: the company saw a 50% drop in resignations among new mothers when it increased its paid maternity leave from 12 weeks to 18 weeks, according to a post by Inspire Human Resources.

Of course, none of this changes the fact that dealing with leaves can be challenging. There are laws to follow, paperwork to fill out, responsibilities to be reassigned, etc. However, with proper planning, you can manage leaves quite efficiently, particularly if your organization implements benefit programs that are designed to help smooth leave transitions.

3 Programs Worth a Look

3 Programs Worth a Look

1. LifeCare’s LeaveCoach —A unique benefit that provides your employees with access to personalized coaching and support as they transition into and out of leaves. Designated LeaveCoaches:

  • Host group and one-on-one meetings with employees who anticipate a leave
  • Provide expertise on your company’s leave policies and programs
  • Direct employees to appropriate benefits and other programs during their leaves
  • Help employees prepare for the transition back to work as their leaves come to an end
  • Provide one-on-one guidance and training to your organization’s managers so they can better support employees who take a leave

95% of employees who’ve used LeaveCoach say they feel more loyal to their employer for offering this benefit.

2. Workplace lactation programs—For working mothers, lactation programs are invaluable in smoothing the transition back to the office. The award-winning Mothers at Work program, for instance, enables your organization’s new mothers to breastfeed while returning to work by providing them with 24/7 access to lactation consultants, discounted breast pumps, breast milk shipping, and prescreened referrals to other lactation resources.

3. Work-life personalized support—A high-quality work-life program, especially one that offers one-on-one assistance through a professionally staffed team, delivers the comprehensive support your employees need to prepare for and return from leaves with maximum efficiency. New parents, for example, can locate reliable child care, which can speed up their return to work. Employees who are planning to take a leave to care for a sick or elderly loved one can work with the program’s specialists to educate themselves on their particular challenges and secure confirmed referrals to senior care providers nationwide. And when parents of children with special needs find it necessary to take a leave, they can get targeted help to find the best support programs, therapeutic activities, federal and state benefits, and even long-term care when necessary.

These are just three employee benefit programs that help you better manage your leaves of absence—and ensure that your most valuable people return to you when their leaves end.

Proceed with Caution on Those Leave Requests!
One last word about leaves: give careful consideration to your employees’ leave requests, even if your company isn’t subject to the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA).

An Atlanta employer learned this lesson the hard way after firing a worker who requested a few weeks off to undergo treatment for prostate cancer. The employer (who was not subject to the FMLA) paid a higher price for its decision than a few bad headlines—$75,000, to be exact, to settle an EEOC lawsuit. As it turns out, the employee’s requested leave qualified as a “reasonable accommodation” under the American Disabilities Act (ADA).

Bottom line, supporting your employees’ leave requests is often wiser—and can end up costing you a whole lot less—than denying them or simply treating them as a nuisance.

If you’d like to learn more about implementing programs that support smoother leaves of absence, contact us here or call us at (866) 675-3751.