NEW YORK, N.Y. – Guardian Life announces a new absence management offering, Guardian Absence Solutions, for companies seeking to simplify their employee leave programs. The new solution provides a guided, comprehensive absence management experience that supports optimal return-to-work outcomes for employees, while addressing the growing complexity and compliance challenges employers face around managing employee leave.
According to Guardian’s Absence Management Study, more than eight in ten employers (82%) report keeping up with changes to federal and state leave laws is a challenge, and 8 in 10 employers say COVID-19 raised senior leadership awareness of the importance of effective absence management.
With well-being and improving workforce absenteeism top of mind, employers have access to an all-in-one, integrated solution that leverages Guardian’s 60-year experience in disability and employee leave to effectively manage short- and long-term disability, state and federal leaves as well as company paid and unpaid leaves. The solution will be powered by a digital ecosystem that will be fast and simple for the employer and employee.
“At the heart of Guardian Absence Solutions is our focus on employee well-being, while providing employers the expert support needed to get employees back to work in a safe and timely manner via a digital-first solution that will ease the administrative burden of managing multiple types of employee leave,” said Chris Smith, Head of Group Benefits, Guardian Life. “Our research shows that companies who outsource their employee leave programs report better outcomes, such as an increase in return-to-work rates, improved regulatory compliance and reduced costs.”
With the increasing complexity of managing multiple types of employee leave, more employers are seeking to centralize and streamline administration. Our findings confirmed that employers are outsourcing their short-term disability and Family Medical & Leave Act (FMLA) administration, at a much higher rate – more than double since 2012. This new program aims to simplify administration by including integrated intake, a unified claims portal, consolidated billing and continuous monitoring of leave regulations to help ensure federal and state compliance.
Guardian Life Partners with EIS to Accelerate its Digital Capabilities
To create a seamless and positive digital employee experience, Guardian Life has partnered with EIS, an insurance software company with an API, cloud-native product platform, to bring advanced capabilities to the market, while integrating EIS’ software with Guardian Life’s absence management platform. The new digital platform will modernize the leave experience with a customized interface that includes mobile and digital omnichannel communication capabilities. This latest effort further advances the company’s evolution to create digital-first customer experiences.
Our study, which has been monitoring leave trends since 2012, shows the use of technology in leave administration has dramatically increased since 2016 with the pandemic further accelerating this trend. For example, 4 in 5 organizations prefer a single intake portal for employees to report all absence types. As for employees, they want to submit claims electronically, use text and chat during a claim and leverage self-service platforms to upload documents.