FIRMS ADOPT WORK/FAMILY POLICIES SLOWLY

* Despite passing into law last year, the Family and Medical Leave Act has not managed to inspire most employers to implement new programs.

More than one-half of companies (54 percent) in a poll have no formal work/family policies beyond short-term disability leave, pregnancy leave, and leaves mandated by the new act and state legislation, according to a recent survey.

Conducted by the Alexander Consulting Group in Newburyport, Mass., which specializes in human-resource issues, the survey polled 99 companies. Its findings:

* Eighty-three percent of respondents have no manager or committee to deal with work/family issues.

* Thirty percent say their senior management considers work/family programs ``not very'' or ``not at all'' important.

* The most commonly offered programs are dependent-care reimbursement accounts (48 percent), flexible schedules (47 percent), information and referral services (25 percent), and job sharing (21 percent). WORKERS PUT HEALTH BENEFITS BEFORE JOB

- WASHINGTON

* More Americans are turning down new job offers, even if they would prefer to leave their present job, in order to hold onto health-care benefits, according to a new survey.

Conducted by the Employee Benefit Research Institute and The Gallup Organization Inc., the survey found 18 percent of Americans stayed put in their jobs this year, as opposed to 12 percent in 1993 and 11 percent in 1992. COMPANY GRAPEVINE FLOURISHES

-BLACKWOOD, NEW JERSEY

* E-mail, bulletin boards, company newsletters, and memos may foster communication in the workplace, but most employees rely on the internal grapevine for news about layoffs and takeovers.

About 96 percent of the more than 400 executives responding to a new survey by Communication Briefings, said their employees regularly use the company grapevine.

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