Staffing Kansas City

Employers are Considering a New Approach to Flexible Leave Programs

With full time work-from-home positions increasingly being taken off the table, employers are looking for new ways to remain competitive and improve attraction and retention. A new survey published by WTW in early 2024 found that 84% of employers surveyed in the WTW 2023 Leave, Disability and Time-off Trends survey plan to change a number of their leave programs this year. 517 employers took part in the survey.

The survey found attraction and retention as the primary drivers for making these changes. 73% of employers have made or plan to make changes to their leave programs. Employers site this change as a way to enhance employee experience. This mindset was similar for companies of all sizes, ranging from small to large. 32% report DEI initiatives as another reason for making changes to existing employer leave programs.

Expanded Policies

Other opportunities include enhanced offerings of parental leave, bereavement leave and caregiver leave. For employers that currently offer paid leave, this could include an expansion of leave time to increase the value of current programs. For example, bereavement leave would expand to include more covered persons/reasons and provide a longer duration of leave. Others are considering paid leave for caregivers to offer more formal support.

An initiative of unlimited PTO is also on the books for more companies with 16% predicting granting unlimited PTO to exempt employees in the next two years. For those not offering unlimited PTO, many are looking at offering more days off as part of the standard leave policy.

Importance of Flexibility

“Following a great deal of change over the past few years, including how and where people work, employers are recognizing the importance of flexible leave programs that accommodate the diverse needs of their employees and evolving work styles,” said Alex Henry, Group Benefits Leader, WTW. “The leave landscape is evolving at a rapid pace due to social, political and regulatory changes. Employers need to adapt to remain competitive, and offering a generous leave program can be a real differentiator for attraction and retention.”