What to Look For in a FMLA Software Solution
Tracking Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) leave is becoming one of HR’s largest administrative nightmares. With Paid Family Leave Laws just around the corner, finding the right leave management software has just jumped to the top of the priority list. There are just too many labor, legal, and compliance costs associated with absenteeism and poorly managed leave. Who has time for the increasing FMLA lawsuits?
When considering an FMLA administration software for improved FMLA management, there are a few items to keep in mind...
1. Understand which processes can be automated, and which can’t. The ability to automate FMLA processes will be contingent upon the FMLA application’s access to data. For example, in order to automate FMLA entitlement calculations, the software would have to have access to employee-hours data in order to determine which employees have worked the requisite 1250 hours/12 months. Also, continuous and intermittent leave may be charged to different accrual balances based on company policies. When accruals and leave are managed in the same system, leave tracking and accrual updates can happen simultaneously.
2. FMLA software should help educate employees on the benefit. The average employee doesn’t know how FMLA works, and in some cases even view it as a threat. While software cannot completely replace the human element required to effectively communicate the protections afforded to employees through FMLA, the system can certainly provide educational tools (pre-qualifying questionnaires, tutorial videos, canned communications).
While it is definitely idealistic thinking, the ultimate goal is for employees to actively request FMLA as they would personal time-off.
3. Can you store all documents in an electronic case-file? FMLA management can be paper-intensive, but it doesn’t mean you need to buy a new filing cabinet. Online document storage allows administrators to keep all medical certification, FMLA authorization, or return to work forms stored in an accessible virtual case-file.
4. Can you track both continuous and intermittent FMLA cases? Continuous FMLA leave is fairly simple to track, but intermittent cases are much more dynamic. Consider a software that allows supervisors to either auto-populate leave schedules for regular appointments, but also manually input and update hours as needed.
5. Does the software include electronic DOL forms? The transactional process of generating, sending, and receiving required FMLA forms is the most time-intensive aspect of FMLA management. Consider a software that has electronic DOL forms that can be auto-populated and quickly downloaded to a PDF.
6. What kind of ready-reports does it offer? Supervisors need to know when their employees are returning to work. Consider a software that provides global entitlement reports for helping employers identify those employees preparing to return to work. There may be ADA accommodations tied to an employee’s return, so the more lead time the better.
Related Blog: What is the True Cost to Poor Employee Leave Management?
7. Does the software have integrations with other HR systems, such as HRIS, payroll, and time and labor tracking? HR integration means increased automation, reduced data-error, and lower labor and compliance costs. Having an FMLA software that automatically updated employee accruals according to custom employer policies would be a definite time-saver for administrators.
8. Is there any consultative support tied to the software? FMLA can be tough regulation to navigate. Consider a service that offers both administrative technology and expert consultation for an extra layer of compliance protection.
Benetech offers administrative and consultative support for clients looking for some FMLA administration outsourcing support and improved FMLA compliance. Learn more with a quick tour of the system.