The Leave of Absence Experience and Business Impact Report 

November 14, 2023

In today’s workplace, paid leave benefits are now seen as a necessity by many employees, especially because there are no federal policies for paid leave in the United States. From compliance to employee experience, leave policies and processes have become increasingly important to bottom lines and organizational goals.

As a leading provider of leave management solutions for over 10 years, we wanted to understand exactly how paid leave programs are impacting everything from recruitment, retention, and ultimately the overall employee experience. Our latest survey of 1,200 job seekers and employees highlights how paid leave programs are affecting everything from recruitment, retention, and ultimately the overall employee experience.

You can download the full report, or read on for key highlights and takeaways.

The Impact of Leave on Recruitment

Offering a paid leave program, and letting potential employees know about it can be an important part of recruiting a talented workforce. Flexible time off (FTO) programs also remain very popular and were ranked as the most desired policy for potential employers to have. From recent jobseekers, we learned the following:

  • 42% of respondents wouldn’t apply for a job that doesn’t offer paid leave.
  • 86% of respondents said they are more likely to apply to a job that offers paid leave benefits.
  • Flexible time off, mental health days, and parental leave are the top preferred leave benefits.

To see additional questions and results, download the full report.

Understanding the Employee Leave Experience

How well a leave of absence is handled can impact the employee experience in many ways — from morale, to productivity, and even long-term retention. A clear, well-considered leave process is more essential than ever. Employees feel supported instead of stressed and confused, managers and co-workers know what to expect, and everyone is on the same page for their plans to return to work.

Most importantly, however, good leave processes will help your organization stay compliant with FMLA and other state leave laws. No one wants to inadvertently cause a DOL complaint that could evolve into audits or costly lawsuits.

Here’s what we learned from employees that had recently taken a leave of absence:

  • Half of those surveyed requested leave from their managers, making manager training on leave programs essential.
  • 85% of respondents felt comfortable requesting and taking a leave of absence.
  • About one in ten respondents experienced one or more issues with their leave, including miscalculated pay, benefits problems, and even losing their job.
  • Confusing and unclear leave processes were a top driver of poor leave experiences.
  • Clear leave processes and supportive managers had the biggest impact on positive leave experiences.
  • A poor leave experience impacts motivation, loyalty, and overall retention.
  • Positive leave experiences boost morale, improve productivity, and increase loyalty.

To see additional questions and results, download the full report.

Final Thoughts

The importance of paid leave is growing, with more employees seeking it out proactively in their job searches. Employees are also growing more comfortable requesting and using their leave benefits, while companies are offering more and different leave benefits to attract talent.

However, if your organization makes leave management a strategic priority, there are many ways to improve employee leave experiences right away. With the right technology, you can improve your processes with centralized data, instant eligibility calculation, personalized text messages, and much more. Solutions like AbsenceSoft can also save your team time and keep you compliant with the over 180 leave laws active in the United States today.

To learn more about how to improve your leave processes, and to see AbsenceSoft in action, schedule a demo with a CLMS-certified specialist today.