HR Policy: Leave of Absence – Part II
Our previous blog post discussed eligibility & legal compliance, as well as the importance of defining what a Leave of Absence means within your organization.
Continuing from last week’s blog, and the need for a corporate policy for Leave of Absences, this week’s post (part two of three) covers supervisory discretion & authority, management’s involvement in requests, seniority & group benefits, necessary paperwork and policies for part-time employees.
- Supervisory Discretion and Authority
- Management Involvement in Leave Requests
- Seniority and Benefits
- Part-Time Work Policies
What authority will your front line supervisors have in granting leave requests? They may have the best viewpoint in determining circumstances surrounding leave requests, but they often lack the training to deal with situations that may lead to accusations of discrimination.
It is a good idea to have two levels of management assigned to determining leave appropriateness. With two levels, it is more likely leave requests will be treated consistently.
Although pay is usually suspended during a leave of absence, how are seniority and benefits handled? These issues may be addressed in provincial and federal law depending on the type of leave. When determining your organization’s stance on extending benefits, remember your carrier must agree to the provisions of your leave of absence policy. If you are fully insured, you may want to provide a generous continuation of benefits in a leave situation. Your carrier, however, may not agree to cover a participant for extended periods of time during a leave. If you have a union, you need to know what the union contract requires in regard to continuing benefits or accruing seniority while on a leave.
What forms and documentation will your organization require for leave requests? By creating forms for request for leave, responses for leave, and so on, your organization will have a better opportunity to apply administrative consistency.
Often, employees can work part-time during a medical leave of absence. Your policy should address and encourage employees to return to work part-time with their physicians’ permission. Your leave policy should address accommodations that your organization may make for a part-time return to work situation.
Next week’s blog post (Part III) will conclude this three part article with discussion on notifying employees, unplanned leaves & confidentiality.
Interested in learning about how the Silverberg Group can help write & create your Leave of Absence Policies? We want to be a part of your HR team. Email us.
Silverberg Group specializes in employee benefits consulting for companies of all sizes, and is Alberta owned & operated. From employee benefits programs to executive packages, we translate industry information into innovative options and solutions that best suit your organizational goals. Since 1996, over 800 clients have put their confidence in our industry expertise and our exceptional service. Let us become part of your company’s human resources team.