What is a Leave Program

By Jennifer Cook, Chief Operations Officer

This is when your staff wins the Powerball, and all walk out on you the next day.  No, I joke, that is not what I am referring to.

There is a myriad of situations that can cause employees to be out of work, and as a leader of your business you want to make sure you have strategically planned for how you will handle these situations.  As an example, I am referring to medical leave, paternity leave, personal leave, and even just basic paid time off historically referred to as vacation time.

It is critical to not only understand what type of leave program you are going to implement, but also the solutions you are going to put into place to aid both the business and the employee during these periods of absence.  The impact of an absence is obviously lack of productivity for the business, and loss of income in some cases for the employee, however it is much more.  The absence may cost you compensation that you could otherwise offset with insurance.  Failing to recognize what type of leave might be protected by federal, state, or local law can expose you to risk.  Neglecting a consistent and appropriate return to work program and process could allow inured or ill employees back to work too soon exposing you to workers’ compensation claims.

Some organizations when small just pay employees randomly when they are out to keep everyone happy or to help them personally.  As you grow you will learn this approach, often inconsistent, is costly and inappropriate, and may not be compliant.

We encourage you to examine your current leave program and determine if you are taking advantage of every type of solution to ensure you are mitigating risk and liability while protecting the business and the employees to the greatest extent possible.  Speak to your human resource leader today to develop a strategic leave program that maximizes resources while offering robust benefits and protection to the workforce and business.