Outsourcing Benefits Administration

Posted by on August 28, 2014 | Be the First to Comment

The following post comes from a Benefits Administration vendor that our team has had the opportunity to work with on several client engagements. Empyrean Benefit Solutions was founded in 2007 and provides technology and services for managing large and middle-market employers’ health and benefits programs. Empyrean provides enrollment, eligibility management and a range of other plan administration services to three distinct markets: employers, insurance brokers and healthcare exchanges. Lockton still remains vendor neutral, which is why this is just the first of many vendor guest posts. We realize that vendors have a lot to say and have access to some solid data about the happenings of the HR Tech industry and we want to relay that information to you. What better way than to let them tell it to you through us?!

empyrean

As benefits administration becomes more complex and new requirements emerge, HR executives find themselves facing the tough decision of whether to continue handling these tasks internally (“insourcing”), whether to outsource all benefits administration or whether to find a middle ground, retaining pieces of their current process in-house and outsourcing the rest (“co-sourcing”).

 

Today, some organizations opt to insource because they are more comfortable maintaining control of all administrative functions, in spite of the need to continually invest in the technology and the ongoing education necessary to perform these functions. Other choose to insource because they tend to be more paternalistic and want to stay in close touch with their workforce, believing that they can provide a better, more personalized experience for their employees.

Most recently, however, a number of employers have chosen to outsource their benefits administration as a direct result of the ever expanding rules and regulations around the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (health care reform). The new requirements only make benefits administration more complex, more costly and more time consuming than ever, and these employers have come to realize that outsourcing can provide the infrastructure and technology needed to handle the myriad benefits administration tasks, as well as give them access to the expertise needed to ensure ongoing regulatory compliance. According to Everest’s February 2013 Benefits Administration Outsourcing (BAO) – Service Provider Landscape and Capability Assessment, “the Benefits Administration Outsourcing (BAO) market grew at a healthy pace of 13% to reach US$6.1 billion in annualized revenue in 2012.” This assessment went on to say that the market is expected to accelerate at an even faster rate in 2014.

80 percentNot surprisingly, large employers are more likely to outsource benefits administration due to the size of their workforce, their multiple locations and/or the greater complexity of their benefit programs. Midsized or smaller organizations tend to consider outsourcing benefits the solution for lack of internal resources and expertise. Many employers, regardless of size, choose to work with an external advisor when making their decisions regarding outsourcing. Whether soliciting third-party advice or making the determination on their own, most employers consider the following factors and outcomes as part of their decision-making process:

  • Reducing the cost of benefits administration
  • Ensuring ongoing regulatory compliance
  • Freeing up internal HR/Benefits resources to focus on core business needs and more strategic initiatives
  • Improving the overall employee experience through streamlined enrollment processes
  • Positively impacting employee engagement and communication through Web-based, employee self-service technology and more robust decision support tools
  • Providing competent, consistent administration of technical services such as COBRA, Flexible Spending Accounts (FSAs), Health Savings Accounts (HSAs) and Health Reimbursement Accounts (HRAs)
  • Reducing internal investments in infrastructure maintenance and development
  • Utilizing real-time reporting to manage enrollment, support budgeting, measure carrier/vendor performance and provide greater insight into the operational aspects of the benefits program

reducing costFor most companies, the key factors that drive the decision to outsource benefits administration come down to cost savings and ensuring compliance with regulatory requirements. In addition, HR/Benefits executive who have time and resource restrictions are realizing that they can rely on those companies that specialize in BAO to provide the resources and expertise to help them and their staffs keep up with future trends. No matter how the decision is being made, it appears that benefits administration outsourcing is here to stay. In fact, according to research by Gartner, Inc., “80 percent of companies now outsource at least one HR activity, and that number is swiftly growing.”

So, how will you decide whether outsourcing benefits administration is right for your company?

A good place to start is by asking your internal staff and business partners the following questions:

  • Do we have the appropriate resources and infrastructure to handle benefits administration in-house?
  • Do we have the financial support to develop/maintain the skill sets and technology needed to manage benefits administration effectively?
  • Do we have the in-house expertise to understand today’s complex regulatory compliance issues?
  • Can we continue to manage all of our daily administrative functions whiles also supporting the strategic initiatives necessary for our company to grow?

If you have any questions about outsourcing benefits administration or about Empyrean, comment below. If you happen to be a vendor and would like to contribute to Lockton’s HR Technology blog, please comment below or contact Courtney at clawrence@lockton.com .

Sharing is Fun

Posted by on August 26, 2014 | Be the First to Comment

Way back in the day, my mom would constantly remind me to share my toys with the neighbor boys.  Even though my dump truck was bigger and could hold more dirt making it hard to let anyone else touch, I found that the dirt mound got moved a lot quicker when I let my friends make a few trips with my Tonka. Although my toys don’t look like Hot Wheels or science kits anymore (well, okay sometimes), the concept of sharing has stuck with me. So here friends, I would like to share my blog with you! (I hope my mom is reading this! Look, I remember what you taught me!)

sharing toys

I know that I am not the sole HR Technology expert (not even close!), which is why I value what others touched by these area have to say. We can learn so much from each other’s experiences.

Do you have an HR Technology related topic that you would like to talk to the world about? (Okay, probably not the entire world, but you never know…) Maybe as an employer client, you would like to share your recent implementation experience. Maybe as a fellow Lockton Associate, you would like to share your understanding of carrier file feeds or the use of call centers. Maybe as a vendor, you would like to explain why a Benefits Administration or ACA system is important to a business. Maybe as a fellow HR Technology lover, you would like to share your predictions for the future of HR Technology. Regardless of who you are, we want to give you the opportunity to use this blog as your canvas.

Later this week, we will have our first vendor guest writer take the stage and share more about the decision to outsource Benefits Administration.

If you have topic ideas (or for the over-achievers out there so eager to take advantage of this opportunity- an entire post draft!) send them to Courtney at clawrence@lockton.com .

What to Expect in Q3

Posted by on August 21, 2014 | Be the First to Comment

What to Expect Q3

Being in the technology industry, changes happen frequently. It can be a challenge to manage all of the new updates being promised by the various HR Technology vendors. You could make color-coded charts of the different roadmap items, or you could leave that to us! We recently reached out to some of the bigger players in the Benefits Administration technology game for some of their promised system enhancements for the third quarter.  Most of the vendors addressed the impending Affordable Care Act and compliance as well as functionalities to make the systems more configurable. All of the updates are targeted at making their clients’ lives easier, while allowing them to be more efficient and strategic.  So as we’re currently in the midst of Q3, be on the lookout for these updates in alphabetical order:

ADP

ADP

ADP has announced new enhancements to its ADP Workforce Now platform for midsized employers. These enhancements include the ADP Workforce Now Compensation module, which automates compensation planning by creating a pay-for-performance culture. This tool complements ADP Performance Management to help organizations link employee performance to employer-defined award guidelines and budget thresholds and simplify the processes associated with pay increases and bonuses. The next update from ADP is its ACA Compliance Dashboard. This ACA dashboard is part of the Benefits Administration solution and will help companies stay compliant with ACA provisions. A new Application Programming Interface (API) Library will make ADP Workforce Now easier to use for employees, employers and developers by providing access to hundreds of HCM-related data fields. ADP has also expanded its Global Human Resources System of Record to support 33 countries with multilingual and multi-currency capabilities. The last enhancement to expect from ADP this quarter is the enhanced ADP Analytics package with built-in industry standard HCM metrics for HR, time, payroll and talent. This will also enable employers to add customized Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) and allow HR executives to compare their company’s performance against industry standard metrics.

 

benefitfocus

Benefitfocus  

Benefitfocus recently redesigned their Benefits Administration Role earlier this summer. The new Benefits Administration Role is a multi-release plan and will have new features coming over the next 3 releases. Some of these features include: ability to view plan participation details and on-demand open enrollment status, updates to the Message Center, ability to send automated notifications regarding benefit changes resulting from life events, ability to send message center notifications related to outstanding document requirements, ability to generate W-2 reports, automatic enrollment in single-level benefits, ability to set review and approval preferences for automated dependent cancellation and the ability to prorate initial and scheduled employer HSA contributions. Benefitfocus will also be updating their HR InTouch Marketplace by improving the training module tracking, management and reporting with the Training Tool. HR InTouch users will be able to archive and filter content within the HR InTouch Marketplace. HR InTouch Early Adopters (must have the Benefitfocus Communication Package) will also be able to configure pay statements using paycheck presentment. Benefitfocus is adding the ability to add and update emergency contact information and the ability to capture benefit ID information functionalities to the HR In Touch mobile app.

 

businessolver

Businessolver

Businessolver announced continued evolvement of its ACA compliance solution, ACA StatusTracker. This technology currently measures, tracks, applies eligibility and creates ACA-required reporting. New features include addressing rehire rules, protected leave and improvements to analytic reporting. Businessolver also announced new member wellness tools offering employees the ability to track and manage their wellness and any impact on insurance premiums.  Businessolver will roll out its Decision Support engine, MyChoice at the end of Q3 to help consumers make purchasing decisions by providing a full slate of information – not just past utilization. The configurable Layout Manager tools available within Benefitsolver will be getting even more flexible as updates to the WYSIWTG editor allow for easy-to-set-up layout options. This will result in better looking layouts to improve user experience and communication capabilities. The last update from Businessolver is the capability for Benefitsolver to be configured as a microsite built to support multiple webpages based on benefit types, employee demographics, etc. This addition offers a wide range of communication options for HR/benefits teams.

empyrean

Empyrean

Empyrean is also working on its ACA tools offering, Safe Harbor. Safe Harbor will go live and has the ability to track 30 hours, offering coverage and affordability, plans with minimum essential coverage and/or minimum value, and annual reporting. Empyrean will also release its video library, VisualKnowledge.  VisualKnowledge is a value-added feature that will deliver information to help employees understand their health insurance benefits, retirement and living well programs. Another new release from Empyrean is its retroactive payroll feature. This is a complete closed-loop payroll reconciliation integrated with all payroll applications. Empyrean is also offering a Private Exchange Platform which will go live during Q3. This platform will consist of tailored exchange technology and administration services for carriers, third-party exchanges, advisors and employers including stand-alone exchanges and insurance carriers.

 

If you are currently a user of any of the systems above and would like to share your experience with these updates, please do so in the comment box below. If you are a vendor and didn’t see your updates listed, send them to me at mkaiser@lockton.com for future postings. I want to give a big thanks to all of the vendors who participated in our first ever quarterly update!

Can You Fix It? Yes We Can!

Posted by on August 19, 2014 | Be the First to Comment

Check out the latest Lockton success story highlighting some of the work the HR Technology and Outsourcing Practice completed for a client. Just another day at the office: we helped make sure their derailed HRIS implementation got back on the right track.

Success Story- hris rescue

Please feel free to share this story with your clients—even when hope is lost, Lockton can help!

Paying it Forward: SPHR/PHR Certifications

Posted by on August 13, 2014 | Be the First to Comment

Every once in a while, I’m able to find an opportunity that delivers such an outsized benefit for my investment that I’m sure I must look comically cautious in my approach  – like wearing full football pads while trying to tackle a butterfly! Years ago I had one when I folded my consulting practice into the halls of Lockton and there was another when I met this beautiful and enchanting elementary kiddo counselor from Topeka Public Schools, but those are tales for another time. Today’s story is around a new professional endeavor we’re kicking off at Lockton around the SPHR and PHR professional certifications. How wonderful is it that I get to help our Associates pursue the credentials that our clients treasure so much? Our employer-clients benefit through better trained service teams, our Associates benefit with career development and recognition, and even Lockton benefits with our employer-of-choice reputation. This is why Lockton has been named as a Business Insurance Best Place to Work in Insurance several years in a row, because we invest in our Associates.

Best Places to Work 2012

Over the years I’ve discovered in myself a passion for helping people achieve professional certifications. I certainly benefited from the help and wisdom of others when I sat for my tests. (Rich Reda at Lockton and Keith Wiedenkeller at AMC come to mind instantly, but any list I’d offer here would certainly be incomplete!) Paying it forward seems like the best honor I could offer to repay their investment. That fits particularly well here at Lockton where many of our Associates are in that stage of career where they’re finished with formal schooling but have not completed the industry-specific work we’re all challenged to do by our clients and peers.

This October we’re launching an Associate study group for the Professional in Human Resources (PHR®) and Senior Professional in Human Resources (SPHR®) certification from the HR Certification Institute (HRCI). Why join a study group you ask? Studies show that people who participate in study groups do better on tests as they keep each other accountable and learn the material better re-teaching it to each other. (University Counseling and Consulting Services, University of Minnesota) Not to mention that there is joy in the commiseration of testing, fueling camaraderie among fellow testers. And I can only imagine that it will be really fun too! (Yes, HR is fun!) I’ll get to cheer on my co-workers from all over the country as they prepare for the mid-2015 exam while hearing their stories, and perhaps sharing a few of mine as well!

phr

For the last three years or so I have led a Lockton CEBS (Certified Employee Benefits Specialist) study group that has given me so much joy as I watched participants achieve a certification I’d objectively stack next to most master’s programs for depth and difficulty. Staying involved with this type of continuing education has helped me not only stay sharp regarding our industry’s issues but also helped me get to know scores of Lockton’s new Associates who share the same my passion for benefits. We will likely start in on CEBS again in Q3 of 2015 when this PHR/SPHR Associate study group concludes, but it will be nice to take a break with some new material!

Surprisingly, there’s a little controversy with this decision. (Actually, I’m 100 percent sure that it surprises no one that something I’m doing has a little controversy!) Recently, the biggest HR association group, SHRM, or the Society for Human Resources Management, just announced their own SHRM-branded certification. With their huge membership base, I’m sure they’ll get a lot of uptake eventually, but it’s left a lot of us scratching our heads over how this isn’t just a huge expression of association egocentricity. While I’ll certainly take their certification transfer when I’m eligible in January 2015, I’m not sure that I trust that all the rough edges will be polished in time for our study group’s needs.

HRCI has said publically that the SPHR and PHR designations are not going away. Since most of our educational webinars (like the July 24 ACA FT/PT Compliance one I spoke on) are already set up for continuing education credits for attendees, we know that the vast majority of folks who ask for continuing education forms are SPHR and PHRs seeking their recertification credits. Many of the clients I’ve worked for over the years have held these designations, but certainly not everyone had them. Since HR has such a common “trial-by-fire” pedigree, it’s often that folks find themselves in an HR career without starting out their career with that as their North Star. Many folks pick up the duties because someone needed to at the time, and years later find themselves in a rewarding and ever-changing journey without end. Perhaps certifications can help to fill in the gaps between formal schooling and the knowledge we each need on a daily basis to lead our companies?

In some of the marketing around their new designation, I found a highly interesting and convicting piece of data from Hank Jackson, SHRM President: “Currently only 12 percent of HR professionals are certified— well under the levels found in other professions.” I know professional certifications can offer comfort to employer-clients that their brokers and consultants understand their needs and point of view. It’s my hope that Lockton’s new Associate study group will help increase this number and the overall abilities of our teams to “Live Service” daily.

Renaissance vs. Dilettantes

Posted by on August 11, 2014 | Be the First to Comment

While I am still a bit loopy from pain medications, I thought it would be best to have someone else step in to fill the blog this week. This gem comes from Wendy, our Operations Manager and NPR listener.

job interview

As I was driving to work this morning, I heard a reporter on NPR relate the results of a study in which organizations were asked their perceptions of applicants that have held many jobs, or what we used to call in the HR community as “hoppers”.  I couldn’t help but consider HR technology’s role in the job fulfillment process and how it supported the study’s findings.

The study set out to analyze how conservative companies are in their hiring and whether the perception of an applicant’s suitability is based on the number of previous jobs held.   The reporter outlined two types of applicants:  ‘Renaissance’ and ‘Dilettantes’.  Renaissance applicants are defined in the study as people who do many things well—think of Thomas Jefferson who painted, played several instruments, was a math whiz, all while serving as Governor.  Dilettantes are defined as people who do a lot of things, but not with a depth of knowledge or experience.

A renaissance-type applicant could be mistaken for a dilettante-type applicant.  Someone may have a wide variety of job experiences in their arsenal, leading the evaluator giving the resume a passing glance to determine the applicant is a dilettante.  However, the skills gained may have been obtained in a manner that allowed the applicant to practice those skills as they went on to the subsequent positions, leading to more of a renaissance characterization.

Conversely, a dilettante could easily be mistaken for a renaissance.  Someone may have longevity at one or two companies in multiple positions with great-sounding titles, leading the evaluator to assume the person has gained experience characteristic of a renaissance type.  However, the positions may not have allowed for deep knowledge or the person may not have performed well enough to claim a depth of knowledge.

In the business world, recruiters are faced with renaissance and dilettante applicants all the time. It can be a struggle to ensure the resumes they are basing interview decisions on truly reflect the applicants’ suitability.   Recruiting software such as SilkRoad and iCIMS can help with the process of initially evaluating applications.  In my early years of HR system management, recruiting software was just being released and was touted as the best thing since sliced bread.  You could enter a few key words and search the hundreds of applications to find the top 10 resumes based on ‘hit’ scores.  The recruiter could then review the resumes and set up interviews with applicants they determined were the most closely-matched.  The ability to screen out the truly inappropriate matches (e.g., no work experience at all) was definitely welcomed.

Since the time of those first releases many moons ago, applicants have become even more savvy, interspersing words and key phrases in their resumes that usually pass their resumes through initial filters so that a recruiter will not discard their applications out of hand.  Additionally, recruiting software has progressed to scanning social sites such as LinkedIn and Facebook for suitable candidates, allowing companies to proactively contact renaissance people.  Many recruiting software companies also enable mass job blasts to specific industry types enabling some level of assurance that the applicants would have the necessary skill.  If a company has clearly defined the requirements for the open position and has configured the software to search based on the requirements, some differentiation between applicants may be achieved.  Even with all of the advancements in technology, a true determination of whether the applicant is a dilettante or renaissance can only be discovered by talking with the applicant and determining if they truly have the required qualifications to be successful in the job.

The outcome of the NPR-reported study showed  that although a lot of companies indicate that they like a breadth of knowledge (a lot of things), it’s more important to them to have employees who have a depth of experience, with those experiences building on each other over time.  Technological advances are fantastic and truly save time in the recruiting effort, but technology cannot guarantee a skilled hire.   Whether you have a hiring profile that targets renaissance people or dilettante people, however you define them, it is still critical to inject a human component into the search process.

What are your thoughts on renaissance versus dilettante applicants? Which would you rather hire and work with?

Welcome to the HR Technology Blog!

Posted by on August 8, 2014 | Be the First to Comment

Hey you! Yeah, you! The new guy!

Thank you for visiting Lockton’s HR Technology blog! We hope you find everything you were looking for and more!

Please take a few minutes to check out this video to help you better understand who we are and what we are trying to do here.

If you have any HR Technology quetions or topics you would like me to cover, please let me know by commenting below or tweeting them to me @HRTechKaiser.

Shoulder Surgery Humor

Posted by on August 6, 2014 | Be the First to Comment

I love my co-workers!

My painkillers have gone missing. What’s this… a note on my desk?

ransom note

Global Leave Administration 101 (Continued)

Posted by on July 31, 2014 | Be the First to Comment

Since I’m most likely under the influence of some amazing pain killers right now and spending all my time writing career-limiting e-mails, we’ve pre-arranged for the second part of the mini-series on Global Leave Administration to be posted today. (I know, are we not just the bees’ knees?!) Earlier we shared on the Global Leave Administration portion (check that out here, if you missed it); now let’s turn our attention to the other side of this coin: Compliance.

Absence compliance systems actually guide HR through the leave process, initiating actions for each leave type.  The system determines eligibility, not HR.  The system enforces local regulations based on rules determined by attorneys specialized in this service.  The vendor sets up all the rules to track leave balances, capture audit trails, alert HR and employees of missing documentation and deadlines, update the system when new regulations are enacted, as well as store and auto-populate required documents.  These vendors provide the employer with a library of leave regulations, so the employer can get answers to their questions at the touch of a button.  The problem is that there doesn’t seem to be much available outside of the US and Canada.

global

Although it has been said that leave laws in other countries are not nearly as stringent or complex as the leave laws in the US, someone in the UK may beg to differ.  From what we’ve gathered, it appears less difficult to comply with global leave laws as long as someone is able to leave their US-centric thinking behind. Managing leave balances seems to be the biggest concern, which is why a time and attendance system may work for some employers.  For the other companies out there who are consistently opening new offices in other countries or who have existing offices operating in multiple countries─ making it difficult to track all the various laws─ the need for a global absence compliance system is invaluable.  A couple of vendors, Presagia and Optis, have offered to pave the way, but for a pretty penny, I’m sure. Your firm can hire them to go ahead of you into each country for a full discovery of the regulatory environment so you can program your Leave Administration technology or inform your services provider. However, whichever of these vendors gets to the tipping point first may open the doors for a flood of companies who have been searching long and hard for a solution to this dilemma.

This reminds me of a funny story (in a disappointing way – which isn’t that funny come to think of it.) I was at a vendor’s annual customer conference earlier this year when the Executive VP of International told me that they were indeed offering true Global Leave Administration. However, the devil is always in the details! It turns out that the global system can be used for these purposes – but it’s all on the employer to program the software or write the reports needed. That’s sort of like pointing at a pile of iron ore and plastic and telling me my new motorcycle is here! (With some assembly required!) That’s why compliance support is so essential to most employers. Few have HR IT folks just sitting around ready to drum up code on demand.

We will keep monitoring this situation and hitting up all the tradeshows, seeking this elusive snipe. Have you heard of any other companies offering global leave solutions? Any vendors want to weigh in on this topic and offer your wares? Please share them with @HRTechKaiser or by commenting below. We’d love to hear your war stories and who knows, if we get enough comments to this blog posting, perhaps we’ll spur some vendor’s Product Management teams into Global Leave action!

Global Leave Administration 101

Posted by on July 29, 2014 | Be the First to Comment

It sure seems everything HR has gone global these days. When I first got into HR Tech consulting almost everything that came across my desk was US-centric: the domestic-only employers who were hiring me, the HRIS systems with hard-coded US fields, and the US-only vendors. ¡Ay, caramba!! How times have changed. We recently helped a Chicago-based client of ours place their payroll business into 47 countries. And last year, a St. Louis company took us to 42 countries including the US. (Although neither of them saw a reason we needed to visit each country in person for happy hour comparisons like we thought we needed to!)

Well, wouldn’t you know, I was recently asked to give a presentation on the state of Global Leave Administration, so I begged one of our teammates, Brianne, to help broaden my mind. Among our client employers, there certainly is a growing interest in having the ability to track leave out of a single global instance, but these are highly unchartered waters. Since I’m going to be out this week for shoulder surgery (too many staff floggings!), we’d thought we’d run a two part summary of the research Brianne unearthed on the topic of global leave admin. (After all, it’s better than a “Greatest Hits” montage!)

Proper leave management is required to ensure cost control, legal compliance and a more productive workforce.  The technology solutions currently available provide the employer with the tools to track leave, determine eligibility and coordinate with payroll.  But just tracking leave balances isn’t enough.  Knowing the various leave laws specific to each country is a task yet to be undertaken, and a daunting one at that.  Determining leave laws and ensuring compliance is complicated, and as we researched the subject, we were unable to find any vendors that could fully meet the needs of employers.  However, if someone was looking for a global payroll expert ten years ago, they would’ve been faced with the same problem, and now there are numerous global payroll providers available to employers.  Brianne and I both believe that we will find this also to be true of global leave administration in the not-so-distant future.

globe

From a technology standpoint, there are several vendors who have the capability to separate employees into different rules groups, offer multiple language and currency options and allow the employer to report on the entire organization from one system.  These systems enable the employer to track leave balances, categorize leave, grant self-service functionality (such as time-off requests), maintain audit trails, automate processes, setup notifications, track intermittent leave and store pertinent documents.  These systems provide the tools employers need to track leave, but ultimately the employer is responsible for setting up the rules within the system to enforce local regulations and corporate policies.

Let’s walk through an example.  An employee, Jane, is located in Country A and she is currently expecting her first child.  Jane submits a request in the leave system to begin using her maternity leave 15 weeks prior to her due date.  However, in Country A the law doesn’t require the employer to allow maternity leave until the employee is 11 weeks from her due date.  Before Jane can even submit her time off request, a notification pops up alerting Jane that she cannot request maternity leave until she is 11 weeks away from her due date.  So the system is setup to stop the employee from taking the leave too early, and at the same time informs Jane of the specific rules regarding her maternity leave.  However, in this situation the employer would have to be aware of these rules and setup the notifications to automatically generate.

Let’s keep going with this same example.  Say Jane goes into labor and has the baby a few weeks early.  HR can go into the system and open a new case for Jane’s maternity leave.  The case manager allows HR to track Jane’s leave, store documents and review statuses and upcoming deadlines.  In Country A, 90 days of maternity leave is paid 50% by the employer and 50% by social security.  Once HR has input the maternity leave into the case manager, the system automatically populates the time-off in the employee’s timecard, which is then passed to payroll and then Jane is paid at 50% for that time.  The employer is required to submit the maternity leave to Country A so that Jane can receive social security for the remaining 50%.  The system generates the form from a library of stored documents and notifies HR when it is time to submit the paperwork.  Again, in this scenario the employer is responsible for setting up the system with the proper notifications and uploading the appropriate forms for HR to use.

One vendor, Workforce Software, is working to standardize their global templates, which would make it easier for new clients to setup the rules for each country.  But there still remains a gap where the employer is responsible for understanding the existing leave laws specific to each country.  Many employers would rather depend on a vendor to track these rules and update the system with any changes, which currently only exists for the US and Canada. (Canada’s leave laws are very similar to the US.)

If you’ll check back in on Thursday we’ll dive deeper into this need in part 2: Global Leave Compliance. In the meantime, have you heard of any other companies offering global leave solutions? Any vendors want to weigh in on this topic and offer your wares? Please share them with @HRTechKaiser or by commenting below. We’d love to hear your war stories, and who knows, if we get enough comments to this blog posting, perhaps we’ll spur some vendor’s Product Management teams into Global Leave action!