After controlling costs, the next most frequently cited goal of the survey’s participants was improving efforts to track absences and measure their costs. It’s a top priority at 44% of all the companies surveyed, and tops the list at 57% of large companies, those with over 10,000 workers.
Results of the survey indicated that the priorities of employers have changed. In the 2001 survey, 71% of the 476 employers surveyed said that controlling costs was among their top three program priorities, with 15% listing attraction and retention of employees as a top priority. In contrast, the previous year’s survey found that employers placed attraction and retention on a par with controlling costs.
Findings show that overall, respondents spent an average of 15% of payroll on absence-related benefits in 2000 – 10% on vacations and holidays and 4% on absence benefits.
In addition, when the survey was conducted last summer, 39% of the sample expected an increase in either their occupational or non-occupational disability claims.
Survey highlights include that:
- 45% of respondents integrated their short-term disability and long-term disability plans under a single carrier or administrator, up from 39% of participants in the 2000 survey,
- under respondents’ worker’s compensation programs, 76% of respondents had a formal return-to-work program in place, with more than half of those rating the program as very effective, and
- the estimated ultimate loss rate for workers’ compensation among the respondents averaged $1.72 per $100 of payroll, a 10% increase over 2000
Results also show that:
- 35% of respondents had Paid Time-Off (PTO) banks for either salaried or hourly employees,
- 66% of respondents allowed employees to use these PTO days for care of sick family members,
- while 22% of plans permitted their use for any type of personal emergency, and
- 25% percent of respondents with vacation-only plans indicated they are considering moving to a PTO plan