Benefits 101: Personal Leave

March 5, 2024 | By Cleveland Benefits Partners | Filed in: Custom Content, Work/Life Balance.

A better work/life balance is at the top of the list for many employees.  However, with the absence of nationwide paid leave regulations for American workers, employers typically determine the extent of paid time off for their employees.  In an increased effort to remain competitive and improve employee attraction and retention, a new survey found that a majority (84%) of U.S. employers plan to add to their leave programs within the next two years to enhance their employees’ experience.

Due to changes in how and where people work in recent years, employers are contemplating updating their paid time off (PTO) and leave programs to meet the needs of their employees.

Specifically, these are the areas that are being revamped:

Caregiver Leave – Paid caregiving leave is time off with partial wage replacement to care for a family member with a serious illness.  It is different than parental leave (leave to care for a newborn or newly adopted child) and from medical leave (leave to care for one’s own serious illness.

Many companies are realizing that with the aging of the baby-boom generation, millions of working families are part of a growing “sandwich generation” as they juggle to care for young children as well as aging parents.  Paid caregiver leave is gaining popularity; 25% of companies have a policy in place and another 22% are planning to offer it in the next two years.

Bereavement Leave – Bereavement leave is offered by some employers to provide time off to an employee following the loss of a loved one.

Many companies are realizing that since grief can have an impact on employees  well- being, both physically and emotionally. Complications from unresolved grief may include anger, fatigue and depression and can plague employees for months or even years.  Offering paid leave to employees dealing with grief isn’t just the right thing to do – it’s a smart move for companies.  Employees that feel valued and cared for at work are more likely to stick around, reducing turnover costs.

Parental Leave – The purpose of paid parental leave is to enable the employee to care for and bond with a newborn, newly adopted or newly placed child.  In fact, one-fifth of companies that offer parental leave plan on increasing the length of their programs in the next few years.

General Paid Time Off – PTO is a benefit where an employee has access to paid time off that may be used for personal reasons, vacation, or sickness.  23% of employers plan on increasing the number of days off provided.

Your workplace may be a “good” place to work but the truth is, your key employees might just be one LinkedIn message away from being recruited to another company.  Having competitive leave policies in place to create the best employee experience is critical.

Retention and turnover affect everyone in the company, not to mention the company’s bottom line.  After all, employee turnover is very costly.    It never hurts to review your leave policies to ensure you are doing what you can to remain competitive while keeping your team happy and healthy.

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