The needs of American workers are rapidly evolving. And the COVID-19 pandemic has only sent that evolution into overdrive. During the recent webinar, Absence management redefined: During the COVID-19 pandemic and beyond, we learned that employers are adapting to this changing environment by:
- Changing policies due to COVID-19. Over 75% of employers have made temporary or permanent policy changes.
- Evolving ways to communicate with employees. Employees want options for accessing information and demand more digital communication channels.
- Focusing on the employee experience. Employers ranked having standard, written policies that were clear and easy to understand as having a positive impact on employee experience.
- Expanding company plans as state leave laws grow. 87% of employers are likely or very likely to move to broad paid leave policies.
- Outsourcing to help drive better outcomes. The number of employers who outsource Short Term Disability (STD) and Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) administration increased significantly over the past eight years.
For additional insights, check out our Absence Management Activity Index & Study.
The Guardian Absence Management Scorecard is a tool you can use to help your clients gauge their absence management efforts which are also benchmarked against similar companies. At the end of the Scorecard, you have an opportunity to discuss recommendations that can help maximize program effectiveness.
Companies that follow the five best practices for absence management success are better positioned to create better outcomes for their employees, especially as COVID-19 continues to impact presenteeism, absenteeism, and the future of work.
In addition to following the five best practices, our research recommends these supporting activities:
- Offer wellness/prevention programs
- Offer wellness program incentives
- Integrated disability/FMLA reporting
- Disease management referrals
- Centralized STD/FMLA administration
Here are top reasons employers turn to outsourcing leave management. If these reasons resonate, or if the Absence Management Scorecard identifies these challenges among your clients, Guardian Absence SolutionsSM can help.
1) Lack of expertise and/or difficulty interpreting and managing FML leaves can lead to Department of Labor investigations and fines, and lawsuits that can be costly and disruptive — regardless of the judgement. Guardian provides continuous monitoring of federal and state leave regulations by an accomplished team of legal and compliance professionals.
2) Keeping up with coordinating different leave types and tracking intermittent leaves. Guardian offers expansive leave coverage, including federal and state leaves, company leaves, insured and self-funded short-term disability, and State Paid Family Leaves; plus easy reporting and tracking of intermittent leave via a mobile optimized, self-service portal.
3) Ensuring employees have the tools and support they need during an often difficult time. Guardian offers convenient claims intake, both online via our self-service portal, or by talking with a live representative. Claims are automatically assigned to a designated Absence Manager with whom the employee can schedule time online at any point. We also offer flexible mobile claim updates, single certification for all leave types, and notification of claims decisions via the employee’s preferred contact method.
With Guardian, you can offer clients a guided absence management experience that supports optimal return-to-work outcomes, protecting their company by taking complexity and compliance head on.
How we help your clients:
- Compliance with all federal and state regulations
- Claims administration portal that unifies absence event information for a truly integrated experience
- Integrated claims intake and consolidated billing
- Expansive leave coverage, including federal and state leaves, company leaves, insured and self-funded short-term disability, and State Paid Family Leaves
- Close collaboration on return-to-work and stay-at-work strategies to maximize total productivity
- Real-time dashboard reporting, highlighting top diagnostic categories and leave reasons; current claim status/info and historical data also available
How we help your clients’ employees:
- Unified service experience across all claim types with a convenient, centralized management of the absence event
- Preference-driven methods of contact, including text, phone, and email
- Mobile optimized portal with access to self-service claims information, including the ability to enter intermittent absences and return-to-work dates, submit new absences, enroll in direct deposit, electronically sign releases, and upload paperwork
- Proactive outreach by leave and clinical professionals to support timely and safe return to work
- Customer service to support absence-related questions