During the pandemic, remote and hybrid work uprooted many policies and procedures that companies had long held to, such as requiring employees who worked from home to ensure they weren’t also caring for others. As the pandemic unfolded, employees became responsible for home-schooling children or caring for immediate family members. Employees and employers discovered that they could be productive while juggling work and home responsibilities.
Employers are now considering changes to their company policies to reflect what they’ve learned.
Despite massive changes to the work/life experience during the past two years, employers with 50 or more employees still must make sure their leave policies comply with the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA). “The basis for the FMLA is that you get to take protected leave” with the promise that your job will be there for you when you return, said Phillip J. Strach, a partner with law firm Nelson Mullins in Raleigh, N.C.
Employers are now moving beyond doing what’s required by federal and state law. Today they are focused on offering new parents more flexibility and choice to compete in a tight labor market.
Employers don’t need to be concerned about where employees are working from, “as long as they have access to the equipment they need to do their jobs, including Wi-Fi, and are accessible during the hours that the employers need them to be accessible.”
This can mean that employees can take what is now known as “workation,” taking their computer to a tropical location, for instance, and working from the beach.
Obviously, working while on maternity leave or vacation only “works” the employee is a knowledgeable worker whose job is typically done on a computer.
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