How to start a leave-sharing program

Want to start a leave-sharing program where you work? Here are some thoughts from experts:

_ Workers trigger most leave-sharing programs. Usually, it happens when an employee runs out of benefits and co-workers want to help.

_ Employers can design leave-sharing programs that break even or save money.

_ Employers like leave-sharing when the time donated is precious to workers, such as paid vacation. They like it less when the time is a use-it-or-lose-it benefit, such as sick leave.

_ One kind of leave-sharing is a transfer program in which solicited workers simply donate leave to those who need it. The other is a leave bank, to which workers contribute in order to be eligible for benefits at a later date.

_ Transfer programs can run low if the demand for time has been high.

_ Leave banks are easier to replenish, but they need a governing board to decide who gets help and how much.

_ Leave-sharing programs must be standardized. If you want to help qualified workers handle family emergencies, for example, you'll need to define qualified worker, family and emergency.