Employers might consider a multi-faceted approach to better manage absences and accommodate for worker disabilities, and the index provided a few suggestions. They included using data to benchmark against industry competitors; investing in formal return-to-work and stay-at-work programs to support employee engagement and productivity; adhering to Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) best practices; and building a robust training program to teach managers how to identify conditions and communicate with employees, among other solutions.
Many companies, though, have turned to third parties to help them better manage their leave practices. Forty percent of companies with 1,000 or more employees outsource their FMLA management, as do 27% of companies with 50 or more employees, according to recent research. Additionally, the Everest Group has predicted that the global HR outsourcing market will continue at a rate of 6% to 8% growth for at least the next few years, exceeding $5 billion by 2020.