When an employee applies for a job, there are certain things he or she considers before joining the organization. Work location, working hours, and leave policies are some of the major factors that influence a candidate’s decision about the job. During the hiring process, one of the first things that most applicants ask the recruiters is about the organization’s leave policy. An organization can lose the chance of hiring the best talents in absence of a clear and well-documented leave policy. Besides this, potential employees also want to know the types of leaves that the company is providing to its employees.
Every organization needs to have a well-communicated leave policy. Both the employers and employees need to have clear communication about the leave policy. Today, we are going to discuss in detail some of the most important types of leaves that an organization should include in its leave policy.
Leaves are nothing but a period when you don’t go to work. The leaves that you are entitled to are mostly ‘paid leaves’ and the leaves that you take after you’ve availed all the earned leaves are termed as the loss of pay or leave without pay. In other words, it is called, LOP or LWOP.
Importance of a Good Leave Policy
Good and standard leave policies help maintain a positive work environment, reduces the problems involved in managing the employee leave process, saves time and cost for your organization. Keeping things well-defined will also help in avoiding disputes or confusion. Also, a leave policy will help in defining the number of leaves, the types of leave, and the procedure to apply for leaves. With a leave policy, the organization can assure the employee that they will be provided time off in case of any emergency or for taking care of personal issues.
Types of leaves in a company
National laws are dictating the minimum leaves to be provided by the employers to their employees. However, different companies have different leave policies and the specifics on leave rules may vary from organization to organization.
1. Sick Leave
Sick leaves, also known as medical leaves are the leaves that are given by the company to its employees to recover from an illness and take care of their health. These are provided to the employees on the grounds of sickness or accidents met by the employees. These leaves are to be mandatorily provided to the employees as per the labor laws. When an employee takes a sick leave, he can take rest for the day without worrying much about the loss of pay. These leaves are often prone to misuse, so sometimes, an employer might ask for a medical certificate in case the number of leave taken exceed two or three times a year. As per the law, these leaves can be given up to 15 days in a year.
2. Casual Leave
Companies provide casual leaves in addition to assigned employee leaves. These leaves are provided to accommodate any urgent personal requirements. These leaves are taken by an employee for events like traveling, vacation, or family functions. Giving the employee these paid casual leaves will allow them to maintain a work-life balance. Employees can take a maximum of 8 to 15 days of casual leaves in a year.
3. Maternity Leave
All the companies must include these leaves in their leave policy. A woman would require at least 3 to 4 months of rest after her delivery. This leave type must be included in the leave policy to ensure that female employees don’t stress about their work while taking care of the newborns. This leave is provided to the new mother for 7-17 weeks for complete rest. The organization should also be ready to give extra leaves in case of postnatal complications.
4. Paternity Leave
Where maternity leaves are for the mother similarly, paternity leaves are there for the fathers. The idea behind is to give the fathers the right to take paid time off from their jobs, following the birth (or adoption) of a child.
Paternity leaves are an opportunity for the fathers to experience the role of a caregiver and to recognize and appreciate the challenges that come with the role – for both father and mother. Moreover, this shoulders the burdens of new mothers, so they don’t solely feel the challenges and responsibilities of a baby.
The fathers in the corporate sector are legally allowed to be away from their job so that they can spend time and care for their new baby.
5. Compensatory Off (or Comp-Offs)
Compensatory offs are given when the employees are asked to work on a weekend or holiday. These are those leaves that are explicitly provided by the employers to keep their employees engaged and motivated.
6. Religious holidays
Religious holidays like holidays on Christmas, Eid, Holi, etc. must be provided to the employees. Because these are the times when the employees must want to take the day off and spend time with their family for celebrating the festival. These days should be accommodated in the leave policy to provide the employees with the option to take leave during their festival.
So these are some of the most essential types of leaves that must be included in the leave policy. A good leave policy helps maintain a positive work culture in the organization.
7. Sabbatical Leave
A sabbatical leave is a paid or unpaid period of time away from the physical job. Employees are still considered a part of the organization during this time but don’t report to their jobs.
The idea behind sabbatical leaves is for employees to gain fresh experiences, point of views, and skills that can amp up their professional as well as personal growth. Often employees practise this type of leave to just hit pause, and rest for a bit.
Sabbaticals are beneficial for employers as well. Employees who use the opportunity to augment their skills and experiences come back polished. A higher level of engagement, renewed interest in the job, everything leads towards enhanced productivity levels for the organization.
8. Bereavement Leave
Bereavement leave or compassionate leave as most call it, is a paid time-off that employees can utilize following the demise of a family member or close friend.
Leaves such as this, allow people time to grieve and mourn after the loss of someone close. Bereavement leave presents some off time to the individual going through a rough phase and for them to not worry about work for a while.
Generally, a bereavement leave policy consists of three to seven days varying on the company’s policies and the kind of relationship an individual had with the deceased.
9. Earned Leave
As the term suggests, Earned Leaves (EL) are the amount of leaves earned by an employee for providing more than 240 days of service towards the organization in a given year. These leaves, if not used, are carried forward and later can be used up as leaves for vacation or travel.
They are called earned because the employees ‘earn’ these leaves for the number of days they’ve worked for the organization. Earned leaves are also known as Vacation Leave (VL) or Privilege leave (PL).
These types of leaves are earned in the previous year and can be enjoyed in the preceding years.
10. Marriage Leave
Marriage leave, as the term itself explains, is the type of leave an employee can use when they are getting married or a close family member is. It’s a legal right that employees can utilize to get married without losing their wages.
A marriage leave grant is anywhere between 1 to 15 days but in India, many companies offer 2-4 days of marriage leave as a norm.
11. Leave without pay
Leave without pay or LWP as most call it, is a temporary form of leave with no pay status. The leave is granted by the employer on the employees’ request.
The time off from work can be because of the employee’s personal reasons and the leave is approved by the appointing authority and additionally no pay is received by the employee.
12. TOIL (Time off in lieu)
This type of leave is an agreement between the employer and the employee. Herein, employees are given time off from work instead of being paid for the extra hours they worked. The terms and conditions are all agreed in advance.
“In lieu” is a French term that means “instead of”. So, the paid time off from the job instead of getting paid for extra hours is time off in lieu or TOIL.