3 Course Learning Objectives To provide a basic understanding of… – Absence Management – A Supervisor’s Role – Sick, Parental, Family Care (SPF) Absence – Use of and Application of SPF Absence – Who to Contact for Assistance
4 Course Layout Module 1: Absence Management Basics Module 2: Focus on the Supervisor’s Role Module 3: Details of SPF Absence Module 4: Use and Application of SPF Absence Module 5: Next Steps…
6 Absence Management Defined The dual responsibility of employee and supervisor to ensure absences are managed within employee’s leave balance quotas/ entitlements and Commonwealth absence provisions while maintaining operational efficiency.
7 Why is Absence Management important to you and your employees?
8 Importance of Absence Management Promotes positive office morale through fair and equal treatment of employees Reduces the need for overtime work Increases the efficiency of your operations and makes your job easier
9 Absence Management Roles and Responsibilities Employee Supervisor Human Resource Office staff
10 Employee Responsibilities Manage leave within absence quota balance limits Request absences in advance, whenever possible Schedule absences at times least disruptive to operations whenever possible Obtain/provide supporting absence documentation as required Adhere to established call-off procedures and attendance work rules Request to use leave in accordance with established policies and procedures
11 Employee Responsibilities How should employees learn about their responsibilities?
12 Supervisor Responsibilities Maintain efficient operations Apply the call-off policy consistently Have an understanding of absence types Timely approve or deny leave requests and ensure absences are recorded Monitor absences and counsel employees about leave usage as needed Administer discipline as necessary
13 Human Resource Responsibilities Time Advisors, SPF Coordinators, and Labor Relations Coordinators within the Human Resource Office are responsible for: Providing guidance to employees and supervisors Administering absence policy Ensuring correct processing in SAP
14 Summary of Module 1: Absence Management Basics The employee, supervisor and Human Resource staff all have roles and responsibilities for effective absence management. The supervisor has a responsibility to assist in educating employees about absence policy and procedures and administer discipline as necessary.
15 Course Progress Module 1: Absence Management Basics Module 2: Focus on the Supervisor’s Role Module 3: Details of SPF Absence Module 4: Use and Application of SPF Absence Module 5: Next Steps…
17 Focus on the Supervisor’s Role We will look at your role in … Adhering to a call-off policy Understanding absence types Timely approval/rejection of leave request Counseling employees
18 Adhere to the Call-off Policy Every organization needs one Must be standard and consistent May be different between organizations based on work performed Consult with Human Resources Office when developing procedures
20 Understand Absence Types Exercise What type of leave would you approve for…
21 Timely Approve/Reject Requests What should you consider before approving a leave request?
22 Timely Approve/Reject Requests Employees must request approval of all absences Absence requests should be made in advance whenever possible Emergency requests should be carefully considered for approval/disapproval in accordance with worksite priorities Each request should be reviewed on its own merits Criteria used in review should be applied consistently for all employees Know the time frame for approving absences in accordance with the union contract
23 Timely Approve/Reject Requests Consider this scenario… Assume operations would not allow leave to be approved, but Mary calls to tell you that her son called her on her way to work to let her know that he missed the bus. You know Mary’s son is a latch-key kid and would be home alone all day.
24 Timely Approve/Reject Requests Unsure it should be approved? After learning the reason for a leave request or call- off, verify whether the absence should be approved For a call-off, it is appropriate to ask for a telephone number to call the employee back if you feel you need to consult with others prior to approval/disapproval
25 Timely Approve/Reject Requests Can absences be disapproved? DON’T BE AFRAID TO SAY NO!! Supervisors control approval of Annual and Personal Leave, based on operational needs Must notify employee upfront of disapproval and consequences Note: Supervisors may want to discuss issues with Labor Relations staff before denying leave.
26 Timely Approve/Reject Requests Disapproving a Call-Off You are needed at work because… [project needs to be completed, another employee is scheduled to be off today, etc. OR you have no absence quota available to use]… Therefore, I am disapproving your request to be absent, and this is a direct order to report to work. Failure to do so may result in disciplinary action. Note: Before using this script consult Labor Relations staff.
27 Call-Off Role Play Which denies a leave request in a call-off…
28 Counsel Employees As Needed Counsel as soon as concern is obvious
29 Counsel Employees As Needed After the counseling, follow-up as appropriate Consult with Labor Relations Review absence records on a regular basis/after each call off Approve or reject reasons for absence Record absences as AWOL if not approved Discipline as required
30 When in Doubt… Call the Human Resource Office
31 Why is it important to ensure all employees receive absence management education?
32 Summary of Module 2: Focus on Supervisor’s Role Supervisors must adhere to call off policies, timely approve/deny absence requests and counsel employees as needed. Employees should be reminded of absence policies and procedures annually.
33 Course Progress Module 1: Absence Management Basics Module 2: Focus on the Supervisor’s Role Module 3: Details of SPF Absence Module 4: Use and Application of SPF Absence Module 5: Next Steps…
34 Module 3: Details of Sick, Parental, Family Care (SPF) Absence
35 Overview of FMLA The Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires qualifying employers to provide certain benefits to employees for a specific qualifying reason as long as the employee was employed at least one year and worked at least 1,250 hours during the previous 12 month period.
36 Overview of FMLA (continued) Requirements of the FMLA: Provide at least 12 weeks of leave (with or without pay) within a 12 month period Leave provided must be with benefits Employees must be offered a right to return
37 Qualifying Reasons for FMLA Use Serious health condition of an employee Serious health condition of a qualifying family member when the employee is attending to the medical needs of the family member Birth, adoption or foster care placement of a child
38 FMLA Rights and Responsibilities What occurs if we violate an employee’s rights under FMLA?
39 What is an SPF Absence? An SPF Absence is an absence from work with benefits due to: – A serious health condition of an employee; – The serious health condition of a family member when the employee is attending to the medical needs of the family member; or – For the birth, adoption or foster care placement of a child. NOTE: Generally SPF Absences are designated as FMLA leave.
40 Key Points in Review SPF Absence is effective January 1, 2008 One year of service and 1250 hours of work are required One 6 month rolling entitlement with benefits (SPF) First 12 weeks may be used intermittently or on a reduced-time basis One 6 month entitlement without benefits (ESPF) Accrued sick leave must be used Most paid leave used reduces the entitlement Note: Paid annual, personal and sick leave used for reasons that do NOT qualify as a serious health condition are not deducted from the SPF entitlement.
41 What do I need to know? Exercise Answer these questions about SPF Absence using the Policy at a Glance
42 IMPORTANT!!! Communication among the employee, supervisor, and Human Resource Office regarding SPF absences is essential. All information shared and provided must be kept confidential.
43 Employee Responsibilities Notify the supervisor of the need to use SPF Absence at least two weeks in advance, if possible Upon request, provide completed forms in a timely manner Follow call-off notification policy Manage absences to avoid needing to use any unpaid absence.
44 Supervisor Responsibilities General knowledge of SPF/FMLA policies and procedures Communicate with employees to determine whether an absence qualifies as an SPF absence Provisionally designate SPF absences Before allowing an employee to return to work, ensure they have been released to return to work based on the approval letter or other release from the health care provider Consult with SPF Coordinator within Human Resource Office as needed
45 Human Resource Responsibilities Determine SPF absence eligibility/entitlement Monitor SPF absences and entitlements Review medical documentation Approve/disapprove SPF absences Prepare letters to employees and provide copies to supervisors
46 Summary of Module 3: Details of SPF Absences SPF Absences are generally covered by the FMLA and are sometimes referred to as FMLA leave There are eligibility requirements and entitlements associated with both SPF and ESPF Absences Communication among the employee, supervisor, and Human Resources regarding SPF absences is essential
47 Course Progress Module 1: Absence Management Basics Module 2: Focus on the Supervisor’s Role Module 3: Details of SPF Absence Module 4: Use and Application of SPF Absence Module 5: Next Steps…
48 Module 4: Use and Application of SPF Absences
49 Use of SPF Absence We will look at your role in … Identifying absences as potential SPF Absences Approving SPF Absences Returning an employee to work Reviewing questionable absences
50 Identifying SPF Absences What are some “triggers” that absences may qualify as SPF Absence?
51 Identifying SPF Absences Simply ask, “Do you or a family member have a serious health condition?” Ask in a private place, possibly in a “counseling” setting Share the Serious Health Condition Certification form, Request for SPF Absence and Employee Notice Notify the SPF Coordinator of the discussion, if you believe the absence could qualify as SPF Absence
52 SPF Absence Approval Process Employee requests leave and provides medical Supervisor provisionally approves SPF Absence within two days Supervisor cannot approve or deny absences, but can add comments that are viewable only by the SPF Coordinator The SPF Coordinator will review all medical information and approve or disapprove the SPF Absence. Supervisors receive a copy of the approval or disapproval letter so they know what leave requests should be approved as SPF Absence.
53 SPF Absence Approval Process For call-offs, you may ask for the reason… Q-You have an approved SPF Absence; is the reason for the absence due to the approved SPF Absence? A-Yes or No is the only reply needed, except if there is more than one approved SPF Absence reason, in which case you must ask to which one the absence applies.
54 Return to Work/Rights Employees should notify you of their return to work 24 hours in advance If the approval letter does not cover the entire period of absence, an updated Serious Health Condition Certification form or other type of release to return to work from the Health Care Provider is required. Employee has the right to return to the same or equivalent job during SPF Absence. Note: Employees approved to use intermittent SPF Absences are not required to provide additional medical documentation as long as the absences are within the approval period and the reason is due to the approved SPF Absence.
55 Questionable Absences What might constitute possible inappropriate use?
56 Questionable Absences In the event you suspect possible inappropriate use… Consult with Human Resources Likely, you will be advised to have a counseling session or investigatory interview/pre-disciplinary conference with the employee
57 SPF/ESPF Impact on Other Policies SPF/ESPF Absences can impact other Human Resource policies
58 Summary of Module 4: Use and Application of SPF Absences Be aware of SPF Absence “triggers” Provisionally designate SPF Absences within 2 days When an employee returns to work and the entire absence period is not covered in the letter of approval, ensure a release to return is provided Notify Human Resources when the employee returns Consult with Human Resources when possible inappropriate use is suspected SPF Absence impact other Human Resource policies
59 Course Progress Module 1: Absence Management Basics Module 2: Focus on the Supervisor’s Role Module 3: Details of SPF Absence Module 4: Use and Application of SPF Absence Module 5: Next Steps…
61 Transition to New SPF Absence Policy Employees currently using Sick Leave Without Pay, Parental Leave Without Pay, and Family Care Leave Without Pay Absences under current provisions, will transition to SPF Absence provisions upon return to work.
62 SPF Absence Resources SPF Coordinator in Human Resource Office Website for employees, www.spf.state.pa.uswww.spf.state.pa.us Manual provided with class, which will be posted to www.spfsupervisors.state.pa.uswww.spfsupervisors.state.pa.us
63 The End Governor’s Office of Administration Bureau of Employee Benefits and Services