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Four steps to evaluate absence policies.

Most employers believe that their disability and absence management partners continually update their systems to stay compliant with regulatory changes. But unfortunately, this is not always the case. So it is every company's responsibility to routinely review its leave and absence policies to ensure that they are current. Follow these steps to identify critical gaps.

1. Reassess the Policy's Relevance

Review your policies to ensure that they still make sense for your organization and coordinate with other programs in the workplace. Often, new policies are created without taking into account how they might affect others.

2. Cover All Locations

Look at the geography of your population. Identify any new regions or states your organization operates in and review any new leave laws. With the pace of change and so many different jurisdictions, it can be tough to keep up. But keep up you must.

3. FMLA Compliance

Examine your Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) provisions and offer training. This regulation continues to be a challenge for employers, and even with an outsourced program, supervisors are a critical component in tracking FMLA-related absences. Supervisors should be trained with annual refreshers that provide an overview of the regulation and detail who needs to be notified and what needs to be done when an employee is absent.

4. Look Back and Ahead

Be sure to sit down with your disability and absence management providers to determine how your policies fared in 2010 and set new goals for 2011. Although your renewal meetings may have gone over some of this already, prioritizing these items is key to setting the stage for success--in 2011 and beyond.

Teri Weber, ACI, is a partner with Spring Consulting Group, LLC.

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Title Annotation:Forefront
Author:Weber, Teri
Publication:Risk Management
Article Type:Brief article
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Mar 1, 2011
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