Paid Family and Medical Leave Madness: How Your Company Can Prepare

April 26, 2022

Today I’ll be discussing the latest trends around paid leave, and what states currently have passed laws or pending legislation. With new legislation evolving every day it’s challenging to keep up. Just like paid sick leave laws flourished in the 2010s, paid family and medical leave laws are ramping up as we continue into the 2020s. As firms focus on meeting the demands of the modern workforce, tackling the complexity of paid family and medical leaves is challenging. The good news is that there are steps you can take that will help.

What is happening nationwide?

Across the U.S., we are seeing an increasing number of states getting involved with absence management, a trend visible since 2018. According to the Disability Management Employer Coalition, an additional 14 states are considering paid sick leave and 26 states have proposed Paid Family and Medical Leave (PFML) programs in 2022.

Meanwhile at a federal level, legislation for universal paid family and medical leave programs were proposed in 2021, which would amend the Social Security Act to include 12 weeks of paid family medical leave benefits per 12 months.  Employees are watching this as closely as employers are, which is  another reason to make sure your firm is staying a head of the curve for both state and federal legislation market trends. If that drives you to wonder if your policies are current, you’re not alone.

As statutory leave laws continue to evolve, many employers are already looking at updating their polices. 52% of employers indicate that complying with mandated state and local paid leave is a top priority for their absence management programs.

Facing challenges that arise from the complexity

Trends in Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) are also influencing new programs that are being implemented to address a more diverse workface. Plans that were previously considered unconventional company paid leave policies, like miscarriage and stillbirth paid leave programs, paid leave for fertility treatments and adoption are gaining popularity among progressive employers driving the demand for more inclusive coverage.

How is your company matching up to these changes? 68% of employers have or are considering expanding their definition of use under their sick plan. This is a trend that’s not going away. It’s important to review how best to integrate your company family leaves with state laws in order to reduce administrative burden, improve the employee experience, and be more cost efficient.

What questions do you have about paid leave? Share your thoughts with me at [email protected]

Welcome to Carlozo’s Corner, a new weekly installment I’m pleased to contribute to the FENG newsletter. I’m Anthony Carlozo, a client executive at Marsh McLennan Agency (MMA), the employee benefits division of Marsh.

At Marsh McLennan Agency, I work with organizations of all sizes to help them minimize their risk and maximize the value of their benefits programs.

Here I’ll be sharing insights about a current market trend and the strategies I’m seeing employers adopt to adapt to today’s evolving business landscape.