By Cyril Tuohy
Seeking to deepen its relationship with agents, brokers and employers while helping them to navigate the rapidly-evolving employee benefits landscape, Guardian Life has launched a new absence management program.
Known as Guardian AbsenceWorks, the program consists of two customizable products designed to meet the needs of small and large employers. The product is supported by Reed Group, a recognized absence management service industry leader and Guardian subsidiary.
“The addition of Guardian AbsenceWorks to our disability portfolio has reinforced our position at the forefront of the employee benefits landscape,” Ray Marra, Guardian’s vice president of group products at Guardian, said in a news release. “This is crucial at a time when demands on employers are increasing in an environment fraught with complex regulation, including adherence to the Family and Medical Leave Act.”
Small employers often lack the staff to properly track employee absences, Marra said, and even large companies with more advanced human resource teams and technology platforms find it challenging to keep up with the changing state and federal laws.
Employee absences cost companies billions of dollars in productivity and morale, according to many estimates. Mismanagement around the Family and Medical Leave Act, as well as long-term and short-term disability, can often lead to complex legal and compliance issues.
AbsenceWorks is designed to reduce the complexity and the unwanted impact of employee absences for employers with anywhere from 50 to 5,000 employees, the company said. “The result for customers is greater confidence, employees return to work quickly and safely, and an improved bottom line,” Marra also said.
New York-based Guardian Life, which underwrites life insurance, disability income insurance, dental insurance and offers funding vehicles for 401(k) plans and annuities, acquired Reed Group in January to expand its disability and absence management product portfolio.
Guardian has approximately 5,000 employees in the U.S. and a network of over 3,000 financial representatives in more than 80 agencies nationwide. It manages $30 billion in assets.
Cyril Tuohy is a writer living in Pennsylvania. He has covered the financial services industry for more than 15 years. He has also written about food, restaurants and travel. He can be reached at [email protected].
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