Breaking down barriers: Risk & HR

When risk management and human resources work together for employee absences, everyone wins

Risk managers Numbers. Safety. Prevention. Risk control.

Human resources Culture. Relationships. Experience. People.

Chances are, you’re on one side of the table or the other — and you haven’t spent much time thinking about what the other side is doing. But if you’re not thinking about absence as part of your risk management plan, you’re missing a lot of opportunity to save, to protect your company and to improve the employee experience.


The benefits of having all absences, all in one place.


Control the cost of absence.

Did you know that leaves of absence account for up to 22 percent of payroll? That’s significantly more than the cost of health care. A holistic approach to employee absences — one that includes FMLA, short-term disability, workers’ compensation, ADA accommodations, etc. — gives you more visibility into your company’s risks and their associated costs, so you can better control them.

• Prevent absences with health and wellness programs that focus on the whole employee
• Prepare for planned absences so you’re not caught off guard with overtime or temporary staffing
• End unavoidable absences faster with an effective return-to-work program


Lower your risk of noncompliance.

ADA(AA) requires employers to be consistent from claimant to claimant and employee to employee — if they’re not handling things the same way, hefty financial penalties can follow. An integrated solution can reduce costs, ensure compliance and avoid penalties that come from inconsistencies.

• First-time ADA(AA) offenses can cost as much as $75,000
• Subsequent violations can cost as much as $150,000


Create a better employee experience.

When multiple types of leaves are handled by multiple vendors — with two or three or even more claim-intake methods — it’s a complicated, unpleasant experience for employees. These are employees who are often going through a difficult time in their lives, and repeating themselves over and over again to different vendors can get really frustrating. A holistic approach alleviates that by providing access to one intake and a single vendor for all absences.


Collect better data.

When you’re able to integrate all absence data, the result is a more meaningful, comprehensive look into your absence program.
• Know the total cost of absence for your organization
• Use KPIs to develop meaningful wellness and disease management programs
• Improve your digital experience — get all the information you need from one place, so you’re not trying to piece it together from several places

When risk managers and HR join forces, it all comes together: you have total insight into your absence program, more control over the costs of absence and the risks of noncompliance, and a more seamless experience — for you, for HR and for your clients and claimants. It’s a holistic approach where everyone wins.



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Beverly Westover

Great article on the daily intersection of risk management and HR.

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