Employee burnout and mental wellness, sickness, and care for a loved one are driving the increase in leave requests.
GOLDEN, CO – January 17, 2023 – AbsenceSoft, the leading SaaS platform for leave and accommodation management, today released the results of its 2023 Employee Leave of Absence Forecast Survey. The survey of corporate and HR leaders across the U.S. who have overall responsibility for employee experience, policies and HR technology, highlights their urgent workforce challenges and the state of employee leaves of absence. The survey also reveals how they plan to address these issues in the coming year.
Nearly all survey respondents said employee leave requests are on the rise. In 2022, there was a 21-40% increase in leave requests from the previous year. In 2023, respondents expect that percentage to increase by 41-60%.
The top three drivers of this increase in leave requests were sick-related requests, burnout and other mental wellness reasons, and to care for a loved one (FMLA), respectively.
In order to address workplace challenges, employers have overwhelmingly added, or are considering adding, additional paid time off as a benefit in 2023. Respondents said they will offer this through more vacation time or mental health days, company-sanctioned sabbaticals, and other paid leave options. About 70% of employers have added or are considering adding parental leave in 2023.
Close to 55% of corporate and HR leaders cited employee health and well-being, along with mental health, as one of their biggest workforce challenges over the past 12 months. Retaining employees, followed closely by recruiting talent and managing employees in flexible working environments were also among their biggest workforce challenges over the past 12 months.
“What started as a pandemic perk is now becoming a necessary benefit for employees, just like health insurance and 401Ks,” said Mark Schiff, chief executive officer, AbsenceSoft. “Paid employee leave is being encouraged more than ever to allow employees to better care for themselves and their loved ones. This has a direct impact on employee retention and engagement.”
However, managing this uptick in new leave options and employee requests remains a challenge. About 44% of corporate and HR leaders say their organization is only somewhat effective or not at all effective at managing employee absences. Some even responded that they still use sticky notes, spreadsheets, and calendar reminders to manage employee leave.
Nearly half of respondents said their biggest struggles with leave management are calculating employee eligibility, as well as ensuring compliance with Federal laws, State laws, and company policies.
The survey also asked respondents about the challenges they faced handling workforce accommodations. Nearly half said their biggest challenges were finding accommodations that work, as well as managing the paperwork and workflow of accommodations requests.
“Many HR teams are overwhelmed by compliance, with Federal and State laws around leave, and the overall administration of employee leaves and accommodations.” said Seth Turner, AbsenceSoft co-founder and chief strategy officer. “In fact, many organizations remain unprepared to handle the consequences of mismanaging leaves, which can include legal action against employers.”
“Having a software solution that can automate the ‘administrivia’ of leave and accommodation management can alleviate these pain points, increase accuracy in the entire leave process, ensure compliance and ultimately, let HR focus on what matters most: the employee,” continued Turner.
In the next five years, corporate and HR leaders say they plan to prioritize leave and accommodation software as part of their tech stack, ranking this type of software as their number one priority.
AbsenceSoft conducted the survey of 600 corporate and HR leaders who have overall responsibility for the employee experience, HR policies, and HR technology purchase decisions in organizations of more than 500 employees. The survey was conducted in late 2022.
To learn more and to access the survey and infographic, visit the 2023 Employee Leave of Absence and Accommodations Survey.
AbsenceSoft, an absence management SaaS solutions provider, delivers modern, scalable, easy-to-use and flexible software to manage FMLA, ADA, disability, and other forms of leave easily, efficiently and cost-effectively. With AbsenceSoft, companies can process leaves 10 times faster than traditional methods, while ensuring compliance with the myriad of federal and state regulations. By streamlining the absenteeism management process, HR can improve the employee experience during an often stressful time. This results in increased employee satisfaction, higher productivity and reduced turnover. Founded in 2013 and based in Golden, Colo., and backed by Norwest, AbsenceSoft is trusted by companies of all sizes and in every industry to care for employees, save time and stay compliant. Learn more at https://www.absencesoft.com, or follow the company on LinkedIn, Facebook or Twitter.
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