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Employee Leave 101: The 7 C’s of Leave Management for your Business

Every business needs to have a process in place for managing employee leave, whether it’s for a family vacation, medical reasons, or other personal cases. While some time-off management is regulated by law and should be important to you, it’s also beneficial for the health and well-being of your staff.

To manage the process properly, ensure your HR manager is up to speed on the seven C’s of leave management.

1. Compliance

Laws under the Family Medical Leave Act are always changing, making compliance difficult. Businesses that do not follow these strict guidelines will be penalized, which is why you must have a team in place to stay up to date with any legal changes.

Here are a few takeaways from the U.S. Department of Labor:

  • FMLA is required by companies that employ at least 50 employees within a 75-mile radius of the workplace.
  • Employees are eligible for leave if they’ve been with the company for at least 12 months or worked at least 1,250 hours.
  • Employers must provide an eligible employee with up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave each year. Learn more about what qualifies as a reason for job-protected leave.

2. Communication

It’s crucial that employees are aware of leave policies, which should be clearly stated in an employee contract or handbook. If someone qualifies for leave but isn’t reasonably made aware of the policies, you could be risking a lawsuit. The bottom line is employees have rights, and they must know how to exercise those rights.

Communicate your leave policies verbally and in writing to your staff. As long as workers are informed on the front-end and managers have a solid understanding of the policies, you should be in good shape. Read also: 4 Tips for Improving Communication in the Workplace

3. Commitment

Amid the countless items on your business agenda, routinely focus on leave management. That doesn’t have to fall solely on your shoulders as an owner. Make sure someone within your company is committing time toward compliance, strategies, and improvements regarding your program.

4. Consistency

Leave policies should be consistent throughout your company. Take the time on the front end to analyze and assess rules and parameters, laying out a policy that will work at all levels. Once it takes effect, you will set a solid tone, and your employees will have a strong foundation as to what to expect moving forward. A stable and fair company-wide policy will make leave management easy. As with all aspects of business, things work best when everyone is on the same page from the start.

5. Change

At times, change is necessary. Leave policies may be regulated, but there is flexibility. If you feel employees are abusing job-protected leave, extended absences are hurting your company, or the cost to temporarily replace a worker on leave is too high, you have the power to adjust the program – within reason. You don’t want to do anything extreme or make changes too frequently, but tweaks can help put your business in a better position. Just make sure all changes are communicated well before they take effect. 

6. Centralization

If employees or managers have questions about FMLA, they should know exactly where to go for answers. HR representatives should be equipped with answers, and you can include leave policy FAQs on your company’s intranet.

7. Competitive Advantage

Remember that leave management can help you gain a competitive advantage. If the program you have in place is poor, potential employees may opt to work for someone else.    There is never a shortage of pressing business to tend to, so make your job a little easier with Workful’s time off management tools. You can easily set up your company’s time-off policies and track your employees’ PTO balances and requests. Workful syncs your employees’ time off and time clocks with your payroll, so you can focus on growing your business instead of calculating paychecks. Learn how our services will help save time and reduce stress today.