Do you have employees who often miss work? Is this affecting your productivity and profitability? According to the recent Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, the total annual costs related to lost productivity because of absenteeism in the U.S. came to $84 billion. The reasons for an employee taking leave are varied, ranging from injury and illness, pregnancy-related issues, newborn care, adoption, foster care, or elder care for instance.

Keeping accurate records of unpaid leaves, including Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), leave associated with the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA), and jury duty, are required for establishing Affordable Care Act full-time status. Tracking these absences can help you maintain a flawless audit trail for an IRS or Department of Labor inquiry or could be used to respond to notices from private or public exchanges.

Here are 5 tips that can help you reduce the risk of audits and improve productivity:

Communicate Often

Some studies have shown that absence rates have a direct relationship to communication. When employees felt included in office communication, absence rates were below average. Constant and completely clear discussions with employees about absentee policies – how they are changing and might impact their lives – could reduce absences. Improving company communication may reassure employees by helping them be more aware of their rights under the FMLA, USERRA, and local jury duty requirements.

Educate Management

Companies should ensure that their front-line managers can identify when an employee is entitled to leave as defined by the company, state, and federal policies. Some general reasons for employees to take leave from work are sickness, childcare, elder care, and bodily injury. You can give training sessions on employee leave policies and regulations to make sure managers can apply them as needed.

Improve Tracking of Leave

Employers who do not adequately and accurately monitor leaves/absences can have significant productivity loss and inadvertently expose themselves to potential claims by employees. This is a more common problem when tracking the leave of part-time and variable-work-schedule employees or if the process is still performed manually and managed internally. Using an outsourced HR and payroll solution is the most recommended solution.

Streamline HR with Operational Needs

Managing employee absences may require collaboration amongst HR, finance, and operations to set goals and expectations. It is recommended to assess to determine if there is integration throughout your organization. It should also assess the degree to which your company is complying with federal and state labor laws.

Have Self-Service Tools

Giving your managers a complete attendance management solution can reduce the impact of absences on your business. A good system should enable HR managers to easily report intermittent time, look at an employee’s history of leave, and have confidence that all required notices are filed appropriately and timely. Through the system, employees should be able to apply for leave, view a leave calendar, review job protection, and manage their current leaves.

Employers can help reduce the impact of employee absences by placing together HR, finance, and operations systems under a human capital management solution (HCM). An extremely effective HCM system can give:

  • A holistic view of employee data with an all-inclusive trial for auditors
  • The capability to compile information from all kinds of sources for a particular case
  • Notifications of important compliance issues, and
  • The ability to access information across boundaries

It might be time to assess your firm’s policies and how they measure up with federal and state regulations to determine if your HR system is up to date.

Image courtesy of

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This