Managing Absence & Disability in Your Association’s Workplace: 2 Trends to Watch in 2016

As we’ve worked with our association customers through the years, it’s become evident that their roles as employers are equally important as their roles as organizations representing specific industries and professions. One of the benefits of working with a cross-section of organizations is that we’re able to monitor a variety of trends that may be relevant to the nonprofit sector as a whole. A case in that point is our customer the Disability Management Employer Coalition (DMEC).

In a recent interview with HR Drive, DMEC Chief Executive Officer Terri Rhodes highlighted five pivotal disability and absence management trends to watch this year. There are two that I would like to summarize for your reference:

Trend #1: Paid leave emerges as a national issue.
According to Rhodes, paid family and sick leave will certainly be the issue to watch in 2016. She believes more large employers will follow the likes of Netflix, Facebook, Microsoft, Adobe, Apple, Amazon and other leading companies to implement or expand their own leave policies. In addition, she suggested that there also will be even more effort to pass paid leave laws in cities and states, including Washington, D.C. and Maryland.

She also noted that there are varied views on a federal paid leave program. Some larger organizations want to keep the decision of how much employee leave to provide with their HR strategists. On the other hand, she said, “small and mid-sized organizations see advantages in a single, uniform law,” particularly if they are multi-state employers who have difficulty keeping up with regulatory changes.

Trend #2: Employers seek partners to help them with ADA administration.
Rhodes predicted that “growing numbers of employers will look to their current short-term disability (STD), long-term disability (LTD) insurance and FMLA partners to help them manage the ADA process.”

Rhodes made note of the tools and resources, including automated software systems, available to help employers manage the accommodation requests and processes associated with ADA. Even so, she said, “We will continue to see an increase in partnering to manage growing employee awareness and the accompanying compliance demands.”

These trends may already be on your association’s radar. If that’s the case, you’ve likely already put plans in place to monitor them as they develop over the coming year.