An employee may ask for a leave of absence for a multitude of reasons: pregnancy leave, parental leave, a personal emergency or illness, military service or caregiver leave to offer support to a family member. By law, most employers are required to offer unpaid leave up to a maximum number of weeks, which will vary by your Country, Province or State.
If an employee requests a leave of absence, as an employer, you must consider the following to minimize the impact of the leave on your business:
Get the Request in Writing
If an employee requests a leave of absence, ensure you get this formal request in writing, rather than just verbally. Documentation is important so you know exactly what your employee is asking for and the reasons why. A clearly documented leave of absence request can help you make decisions on whether to grant the leave or not, and can protect your business down the road if necessary.
Determine if the Employee Qualifies for a Leave of Absence
In most cases, to qualify for a leave, an employee must have worked for your business for a certain period of time, ranging from 12 weeks to 12 months. (Depending on laws that apply to your region.) Based on the reason for the leave, you may also wish to ask your employee to provide a medical certification to verify an illness or other serious health condition.
To reduce the impact that a leave of absence may have on your organization, work with your employee to offer alternative accommodations that will allow them to stay on the job. A telecommuting option, reduced hours or a change in job responsibilities may be a good solution to eliminate the need for the leave altogether while still supporting the unique requirements of your employee.
Ensure You Have Proper Coverage
When an employee is absent for a period of time, you should schedule carefully to ensure you have adequate coverage for the duration of their leave. This is where staff scheduling software becomes incredibly helpful. To avoid errors and reduce stress on you and your employees, a staff scheduling system can automate the process, making sure you have the right employees scheduled at the right time.
Synerion’s employee-based scheduling system makes it simple to identify which employees have the training, skills, and availability necessary to fill any gaps in your schedule left by a leave of absence. Should any gaps appear, our automated software will alert you and suggest appropriate staff members to fill that shift.
For more information on Synerion’s staff scheduling software features, contact us today!