"We believe employers should be encouraged to provide the paid leave their workforces need, and let employees decide how to use it," wrote SHRM CEO and President Laurence O'Neil. "Providing some agreed-upon amount of paid leave for workers should be considered as a way for employers to satisfy federal, state and local leave requirements." (PR Newswire)
It’s predicted that Congress and the Obama Administration will promote “paid sick leave” legislation this year because many believe current labor laws have fallen behind the times. Along with SHRM, they believe the current labor laws must adapt to the changing needs of a diverse and mobile workforce.
SHRM’s “Principles for a 21st Century Workplace Flexibility Policy” was also issued to Congress and the Administration, encouraging lawmakers to create a federal leave policy that encourages employers to voluntarily provide paid leave.
"SHRM believes employers, not the government, are in the best position to know the benefit preferences of their employees," O'Neil said. "HR professionals have decades of experience in designing and implementing programs that work for both employers and employees. We're eager to share this expertise with policymakers and welcome a positive dialogue on a workplace flexibility policy for the 21st Century."
The organization seeks a federal policy that would:
- Encourage employers to offer uniform and coordinated paid leave;
- Create administrative and compliance incentives for employers who meet the leave standard;
- Provide certainty, predictability and accountability for employers and employees; and
- Allow for different work environments, industries and organizational size.
Research data also released today by SHRM reveals that most U.S. employers currently provide some form of paid vacation leave for full-time employees. The survey of more than 500 randomly polled HR practitioners showed that nine out of 10 respondents provide paid vacation leave, eight out of 10 provide sick leave and 42% offer leave through a paid time off (PTO) program for full-time employees.
"Solid benefits program makes it easier for organizations to attract and retain great employees," O'Neil said. "Both employers and employees want a workplace characterized by fairness, balance, flexibility and freedom of choice. We're ready to take the lead in working with all parties to find a solution for America's workers, their families and employers."
Do you agree with SHRM’s push for setting a new policy on workplace leave? What types of paid-time-off benefits does your organization currently offer full-time employees?