New Voya initiative helps employers navigate the complex leave landscape
Voya Financial’s employee benefits business has started a new leave management offering that aims to deliver employers a fully integrated service that makes the process of managing paid time off for their workforce easier, while also providing their employees with a high-touch, proactive service experience.
“The leave landscape has always been relatively complex for our employer partners to be able to administer because there's more than 200 federal statutory and company driven paid and unpaid leave requirements,” says Lou Strippy, vice president of life and disability distribution and national accounts at Voya Financial. “As that complexity has grown, it was important for us to make sure that we continue to invest in capabilities that are going to be the necessities that employers are looking for.”
Over 30 states currently have active paid family and medical leave legislation, which has led to large employers increasingly looking for support from outside benefits providers. Research from the Disability Management Employer Coalition shows that almost half (47%) of companies with 1,000 or more employees outsource their FMLA administration, which is up from 35% in 2014.
Voya is offering its comprehensive leave management solution to all employer clients, and it will be available to them and their employees effective Jan. 1, 2021.
“The FMLA landscape is really making it more challenging, from an administration standpoint, says Alexandra Dumont, market line leader of life, absence and disability at Voya’s Employee Benefits division. “As a disability insurer, we have the ability to fully administer the paid medical leave portions of that which have a lot of similarity to what we offer from a short term disability standpoint, although short term disability is still more expansive in general.”
Voya’s leave management service offers employers an alternative to internally administering FMLA to help reduce costs and liability through fair, accurate and consistent administration. Employers will have access to a 24-hour online portal that is accessible by most mobile devices and provides real-time claim status and reporting tools.
Another benefit includes the Americans with Disabilities Act and Stay at Work solutions, which can help employers comply with the ADA by managing leave of absence requests, accommodation requests, and SAW accommodation requests. Voya’s SAW program is designed to support and assist employees to help them continue performing their job functions under the guidelines of the ADA.
There will also be a streamlined claims management and high-touch customer service, which offers job protection, disability benefits, work accommodations and SAW — all managed in one place. To provide personalized customer service, one case specialist is assigned to manage all types of leaves and will call the employee within 48 hours, once they receive a claim notification, to share their direct contact information.
“The complexity of the leave landscape has always been there and has become more complex over the course of the last 12 to 18 months,” Strippy says. “Once the pandemic really hit us in full force over the course of the last 10 weeks, employers have been focusing even more on how employee productivity and time away is going to be impacting the way that they do business.”