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HR Teams Face Surge of Leave Requests from Employees

AbsenceSoft, the leading SaaS platform for leave of absence and accommodations management, released the results of its 2024 Leave of Absence and Workplace Accommodations Survey. The survey of HR leaders at employers with more than 5,000 employees across the U.S. uncovers new patterns in leave and workplace accommodations requests and the leading reasons employees are making these requests. The survey also dives into HR’s top challenges with both leave and workplace accommodations and the measures they are applying to overcome these hurdles.  

Today’s workforce is willing to ask for what they need—both in terms of time away from work and adjustments to their job or work environment. Highlights of this survey include the following.  

  • Accommodations and leave requests are on the rise. Approximately 62% of respondents note an increase in the number of leave requests in the past year, while 75% report an increase in accommodations requests.  
  • Mental health needs are a prevalent reason behind the trend. More than half (55%) of respondents report that taking time to manage mental health-related issues is among the top three reasons for employees requesting leave, while 52% say the same for accommodations.  

“Creating a company culture that attracts and retains top talent requires employers to prioritize and adapt to the evolving needs of their employees,” says Mark Schiff, CEO of AbsenceSoft. “Optimizing an organization’s leave and accommodations strategy and processes not only helps reduce employee stress and burnout, but also fosters a more productive work environment.”  

The survey highlights proactive measures employers are taking to address the evolving needs of their workforce. Notably, 51% of respondents share that their organizations have either added or considered adding paid mental health days for 2024. This, along with an increase in other leave benefits such as paid parental leave (54%) and flexible PTO time (52%), reflects the forward-thinking approaches by employers to enhance employee well-being.  

“As the volume of accommodations and leave requests continues to rise and employee expectations evolve, HR teams must be equipped with the right resources to keep pace,” says Seth Turner, co-founder and chief strategy officer. “With the right software in place, HR can keep up with surging demand and create a personalized and seamless experience for employees, all while ensuring they remain compliant with ever-changing laws and regulations.” 

The full report can be found here.  

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