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Guidelines for starting a total absence management program

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Companies that want to create a total absence management program should start by tracking the amount of leave that their employees take each year and analyzing the cost of such absences, said Tom Parry, president and CEO of the San Francisco-based Integrated Benefits Institute. This can help executives understand the business case for leave integration.

“Employers often get stuck because they don't have the data to demonstrate they've got a problem and, therefore, there is a solution needed,” Mr. Parry said.

“I think the first order of business would be to understand what kind of data you want out of that integration, and understand what your current partners can bring to the table and what they're doing for others,” said Jim Blaney, Radnor, Pa.-based CEO of Willis North America Inc.'s human capital practice.

Secondly, employers should bring all of their stakeholders together to discuss how they can combine their data for integrated leave management and provide that data to the employer in the company's preferred format, he said.

Such talks should include group health, workers comp and disability insurers, wellness program providers and any other firms that manage employee health.