4 Tips for Effective Disability Leave Management
Lost productivity because of employee absence costs US business $226 billion a year. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that to be $1,685 per employee!
As a business owner, human resources manager, or professional manager – you should be able to track how many of the workplace absences taken are health-related or a symptom of poor job performance.
Are your absence policies compliant with federal regulations? If not, you risk fines or employee lawsuits. Investing in your disability leave management will reduce risk and benefit your employees.
Read on for practical disability leave management strategies your workplace can introduce today.
1. Define Your Absence Policies
Your absence policies define your accruals process and leave types. They state whether balances carry over and how and when to apply for leave.
Every workplace should provide communication and education around your absence policies to both employees and managers. This helps employees understand the different types and application steps. Especially for disability leaves.
Managers will learn what to expect during a disability absence. This allows them to plan their team’s workload and stay within the rules.
Provide this information during onboarding and throughout an employee’s employment. Keep your policy manual up to date with any regulation changes.
2. Keep Accurate Records
Federal rules apply when it comes to ensuring accurate records for time worked. For paid leave, like sick or disability leave, these rules are mandated at the state level.
Accurate records benefit the leave process. Managers can plan work schedules. Human Resources can determine disability leave eligibility. Employees know how much leave they have accrued.
Reporting can also identify trends and help with budgeting financial leave liabilities.
Tracking software helps with accuracy and ease of use. It can calculate accruals and disability benefits, and track workplace incidents and workplace accidents.
3. Train Managers in Disability Leave Management
Training supervisors on disability leave will avoid costly employee claims. As the company’s leave policy is updated, so should the training.
Knowing when to direct their employees to Human Resources is an important part of the manager training. A recent Morneau Shepell survey found employees returned to work faster when they talked directly with their Human Resources department, rather than their supervisor.
Consider hiring a vocational consultant to help setup these policies.
4. Provide Preventative Measures
A workplace free from physical injury or repetitive strains will prevent some absences. Giving employees access to information that can help them learn to be more healthy will also help to reduce the need for a long-term absence. For example, ways to quit smoking or eat more healthy foods.
When you combine a wellness program with a return-to-work program, you can reduce employee absences and have them return to work faster. Return-to-work plans may involve lighter duties or reasonable accommodations to meet the employee’s needs.
Furthermore, employers should perform ergonomics assessments to ensure that employees are working in a safe environment. Ergonomics Assessments can help prevent repetitive injury by providing workers with comfortable workstations and other preventative tools.
Help Your Employees Return to Work Sooner
Effective disability leave management involves four parts:
- A defined absence policy
- An accurate tracking system
- Training for employees and managers
- A proactive approach to work safety and employee health
We understand that setting up effective disability leave management may be overwhelming. For this reason, most business will hire a vocational consultant to manage the process for them, so they can focus on running their business.
We would be honored if you considered contacting the vocational experts Solutions Northwest Inc. to help you get your employees back to work and provide advice to reduce absences. Contact us today to chat with our Vocational Experts to see what we can do for you!
At Solutions Northwest Inc., our vocational experts are involved in ADA Accommodations , personal injury, workers’ compensation, and family law.
Contact us today to make an appointment.
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Contact the Vocational Consultants at Solutions Northwest Inc. Below:
Corporate Office: 120 State Ave. NE #397
Olympia, WA 98501
Business Hours: 8am-5pm M-F
Corporate FAX: 360-866-4773
Contact our Vocational Consultants
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