Since it was signed into law in 1993, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) has been an on-going challenge for HR professionals. Simply put, it was designed to prevent employees from losing their jobs when forced to take time off due to their own serious health condition or that of a family member. Actually administering the FMLA properly is where it can get tricky. While federal regulations have attempted to close the loopholes that opened the potential for abuse and misappropriation of FMLA absences, navigating the guidelines can be challenging, and the documentation can seem cumbersome. Without a doubt, FMLA has made a serious impact on the way employers view and administer absence management. Therefore, having a solid leave program in place is absolutely essential. It can help reduce risks, save money and minimize disruptions in the workplace.
66% of HR Professionals have reported having issues with chronic abuse of intermittent leave.
There is probably no task more cumbersome for HR Professionals than managing intermittent leave under FMLA.
Although employers are growing more confident in understanding the FMLA, they still struggle with administering intermittent leave. The vast majority of employers believe they are not capturing all the situations within their organizations that should be designated as FMLA. Lack of training/knowledge of leave laws can lead to staffing issues, mismanagement and abuse and can have a significant impact on employee morale and productivity.
Intermittent FMLA leave is especially common for chronic medical conditions, psychological or mental conditions (i.e. depression, anxiety disorders, etc.), and conditions that sometimes result in incapacity (i.e. asthma, migraines, etc.).
Although administration of intermittent FMLA remains a challenge, there are ways employers can reduce abuse and manage the process more efficiently.
If it seems too daunting, don’t hesitate to seek help. There are several outsourced solutions that can reduce staffing costs through a more efficient and automated process. While effectively administering FMLA Intermittent Leave isn’t always easy, it is possible. If done correctly, it can help employees when they need it most – while minimizing disruption and reducing abuse.
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