Survey highlights trends in employee absence management

Telecommuting, paid leave among key findings

Posted October 17, 2016

In its third year, Lockton Companies’ 2016 “Human Resources Trends: A Spotlight on Absence Management” survey highlights the many challenges — and opportunities — facing employers across the United States.

Survey results represent more than 265,000 employees across a wide variety of industries. A few of the most significant findings from the survey include:

  • Paid sick time. While 90 percent of employers offer some type of paid sick time — either through a standalone benefit or paid time off (PTO) program — the benefit doesn’t always extend to part-time workers. A number of companies surveyed don’t provide paid sick leave to part-time employees.
  • Telecommuting. On a more positive note, occasional telecommuting is now offered by 60 percent of employers — up 12 percent from last year. An added bonus: the popular work perk isn’t limited to companies of a certain size or industry. Every industry included in the survey reported employees working outside of the office from time to time, including 71 percent of health care employers, 65 percent of manufacturing companies, and 58 percent of transportation employers. Forty-four percent of small employers (fewer than 100 employees) allow occasional telecommuting, compared to 70 percent of large employers (5,000 or more employees).
  • Paid time off. More and more employees are also able to take PTO or vacation time — without waiting months and months. The average waiting period continues to decrease as more employers offer immediate accrual of those benefits.
    • Currently, 21 percent of employers participating in the survey offer different PTO benefits for exempt and non-exempt employees. With new overtime rules from the Department of Labor (DOL), employers that offer separate PTO benefits to exempt and non-exempt employees will need to take a closer look at how those benefits are structured — and what the impending changes will mean for employees.
  • Paid parental leave. Finally, while paid parental leave programs have dominated the headlines this past year, only 24 percent of employers surveyed offer some form of the highly-coveted benefit, and only 13 percent of those companies provide paid leave for secondary caregivers.

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