Tools and Best Practices for Leave Management

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Leave Management can be a minefield of personal, legal and regulatory problems. The U.S. government regulates this process to resolve common and marginal cases and ensure that companies protect workers' rights. While these regulations can complicate the leave process, compliance with these regulations ensures smooth transitions between leave and work for your entire team.

We all want to provide a safe, healthy and happy working environment for our employees, but even the healthiest employees may need time off at some point to take care of family members or unexpected personal issues. HR professionals and supervisors need carefully planned policies and access to legal requirements to ensure that employees who request leave are treated fairly.

"Employers are required to display and retain a poster prepared by the Ministry of Labor summarizing the key provisions of the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) and explaining to employees how to file a complaint.

If Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) applications are not taken seriously, this could create complicated and expensive legal problems for both the company and individual supervisors. In 2011, the EEOC estimated that the cost of a successful payout of a wrongful termination claim could cost a company between $87,500 and $450,000, and these damages have likely increased in the intervening years.

Fortunately, HR software has kept pace with regulatory changes and the increasing need for data protection. A combination of internal policies and carefully implemented software support can prepare your company for the success of leave management.

Read More... Best Leave Management Systems

Leave Management Best Practices

Document: Every interaction, e-mail, phone call and meeting should be documented to ensure compliance and reduce the risk of legal intervention. For privacy reasons, your documentation should remain secure and private, out of reach of unauthorized parties. Even better, you can centralize your HR, time and attendance, and compliance management in a single system with access controls.

Create a policy and follow it: all management should be informed of your leave management policy and follow it to the letter. Think about it:

  • Notification requirements (including a 30-day notice period and as soon as practical)
  • Request official or certified documents. If the employee does not provide certified documents (from a doctor or medical service provider) within the 15-day window, the request may be rejected. Ask for second and third opinions to resolve disputes.
  • Carefully track interrupted leave days, reasons and call outs (use tracking software to do this)
  • Centralization. While supervisors and managers should be involved in the process, they should have a single source of truth for all decisions and a centralized group to advise on leave issues.

Regulatory and Compliance: HIPAA and FMLA can change, exposing your organization and individual employees to the risk of lawsuits or audits. Stay current and ensure that this information is easily accessible to all responsible parties. Use your company's policies to define data protection standards based on current industry regulations.

Measure: Setting a policy is not the end of the road. Measure the effectiveness of the policy by setting goals and KPIs, measuring the return to work and compliance. Monitor the effectiveness of the policy and update requirements as needed.

Find Out More... Why Your Company Needs a Leave Management System

HR software features to support leave management

Time and attendance tools or integrations: These tools give your employees the freedom to request time off in their spare time, and enable accurate tracking of requests, approvals and rejections. Use this information later for efficiency and compliance analysis.

Compliance tracking: Use the best tools to set policies and log meetings. You shouldn't have to use an external database or spreadsheet in addition to your secure HR platform. Document every interaction with employees during their requests and leave periods for peace of mind. Legal integrations make this even more useful.

Security/Privacy: leave management brings with it serious privacy issues when it comes to what you can ask an employee and what can be shared with other employees. Granular user permissions and access management bring tighter security to the private data you store.

Tools to support leave management

IceHrm: IceHrm is a Human resource management system for small and medium-sized organizations. This HRM software centralizes employee data and allows secure access to your data, providing a high level of security.

TrackSmart: With this time and attendance tool, you can access centralized employee data privately in addition to the absence management tool. Use the reporting features to monitor your progress against leave-related KPIs.

Zenefits: Zenefits offers a full-service HR software platform that integrates time, benefits, compliance and payroll. Use attendance tracking and compliance tools to program your leave policy and track your progress toward your goals.

Bindle: This leave management tool provides your team with a centralized place to request leave. Use the audit tools to document requests, approvals and rejections, and the calendar to ensure you are fully staffed for planned absences.

Zoho People: Zoho manufactures a variety of business-related products, and People is their branded HR system, which includes time and attendance, leave management and HR processing. The leave management tools include analysis reports and mobile self-service functions.

eFMLA: This online workspace gives employers access to all required forms and includes tracking capabilities to document all interactions. As a dedicated FMLA tool, this subscription software does not include other HR functions such as time and attendance tracking.

Looking for an automated leave management system, we suggest you IceHrm which is one of the best HRIS systems which has so many HR functions automated into one system.

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