American Benefits Council sends Congress suggestions for single national paid leave policy

In a December 6 letter to the U.S. House of Representatives Education and the Workforce Committee, the American Benefits Council (the Council) voiced its support for a single, national standard regarding paid time off. Such a National standard must be practical, voluntary, uniform, and flexible, the Council advises.
The Council is a national trade association for companies interested in federal legislation and regulations affecting the employee benefits system. The Council’s members either sponsor directly or administer retirement and health plans covering more than 100 million Americans.

Leave already provided.

In the letter, the Council advises that the vast majority of large employers already provide paid leave, for employees’ health needs and for those of their family members, and they also provide personal, holiday or vacation time. The Council says that these programs foster greater productivity and that companies currently have flexibility to design programs that meet their employees’ needs and serve their business operations.

Local mandates impose burdens.

The Council further states that the recent surge in state and local paid leave mandates has imposed burdens on these companies – particularly those with operations in multiple states and localities. It has become increasingly difficult, says the Council, for large, multistate employers to equitably administer leave programs where state and local mandates use inconsistent definitions and have varying recordkeeping requirements and thresholds that trigger coverage or accrual of benefits.
As a result, employers have had to focus more on paid leave plan designs to meet administrative and other requirements than on arrangements structured to meet both employer and employee objectives. The Council thinks that a single paid leave approach would resolve these conflicts.
“Such a standard would enable companies to design uniform programs that benefit their employees and their families across the country,” wrote Lynn Dudley, Council senior vice president, global retirement and compensation policy, who added, “By having the option of a single, national standard for paid leave, [employers] can treat all their employees equally, rather than on a fragmented, jurisdiction-by-jurisdiction basis. Companies need programs that fit what have become increasingly mobile workforces.”

SOURCE: American Benefits Council news release and letter to the House Education and Workforce Committee, December 6, 2017.
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