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13 Leave Types to Include In Your Leave Policy

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Table Of Contents

Running a successful business usually requires a lot more than providing customers with the best service on the market. To make a stellar end-product, business owners and managers usually have to comply with several demanding administrative tasks that will allow them to achieve success. One of these tasks is creating a stellar leave policy that will be respected and followed company-wide.

Because we understand the complexity and importance of this task for businesses, we decided to help along the way, and provide you the insight on the 15 leave types you should include in your leave policy.

Why should your organization have a leave policy?

An employee leave policy is extremely important if we want our business to run smoothly, as it sets a frame and clarity for both employees and managers about what kind of leave they should ask for and approve, and what situations and times they can do so.

With more common leave types, such as maternity or disability leave, the state sets clear rules employers should respect. However, a workplace might need to broaden up leave types to cover all those unexpected situations we’re coming across in life such as caring for an aging parent for instance. 

Sometimes unforeseen circumstances are creating the need for employees to take an extended leave of absence, and leave policies should be in place to cover these situations.

What happens when employers fail to provide a leave policy?

Without a proper leave policy in place, employers are exposing themselves to certain risks including employee assumptions, and arbitrary rule-making that can lead to employee inequality and dissatisfaction. 

What to include in a leave policy?

Creating a leave policy will vary based on the workplace’s individual needs and the nature of the job. However, there are some common points to follow. Employers should always include these things when creating a leave policy:

  • Who’s eligible for leave?

  • Minimum and maximum lengths of time for a leave of absence

  • How often employees can take different leave types?

  • What requirements do they need to comply with to ask for a leave?

  • Who to ask for a leave?

13 leave types to include in your leave policy

Now, when we’ve explained the importance of leave policy for the workplace, we should review which leave types employers need to include in their leave policy if they want their business to run smoothly.

Leave type #1: Sick leave.

One of the most common leave types to include in your leave policy is sick leave. Sick leave is defined as time off given by the employer that allows employees to recover from the illness. 

Leave type #2: Public holidays.

Public holidays are one of the most common leave types and represent the days that must be observed by every institution in the country, including schools, banks, and government offices. Including these days in the employee leave policy is important in case you want to stay compliant with the labor laws, and avoid paying hefty fines.

Leave type #3: Religious holidays.

There are many proven benefits of growing and nurturing a diverse workplace. In case your employees come from different religious and cultural backgrounds, you should adjust your leave policy to attend to the needs of each employee. You should make sure to make room for employees to take leave during their religious holidays. You can ask them to send an email each year with the dates of religious holidays they want to take days off for. Or you can use a Vacation Tracker that will automate and streamline this process for you.

Leave type #4: Maternity and Paternity leave.

Whether they’re taking time off to recover from the delivery, or to take care of their newborn child, employers should be there to support their workers in their new role in life. 

That said, having clear rules on maternity and paternity leave is crucial for creating a happy and engaged workplace that cares for its employees. Before including maternity and paternity leave in your leave policy you should consult with state laws, but also think about providing a few extra days off to accommodate the employee’s needs.

Leave type #5: Bereavement leave.

Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult situations in life, and when those situations happen, employees are usually forced to require a sudden leave. Including bereavement leave in your leave policy gives some space for employees to grieve their loss, and take some time off without any hassle.

Leave type #6: Compensatory leave.

Working long hours at work is sometimes pretty much needed – in case we run on a tight schedule, or something needs to be fixed promptly. In case employees work overtime they should be eligible for compensatory days off, to compensate for the effort.

Leave type #7: Adverse weather leave.

For most of the world, who operate in a stable climate, there’s rarely the need for adverse weather leave. However, unusual situations can happen, preventing employees from coming into the office. And since staying home isn’t a personal choice, but a necessity, employers should clearly define it and include it in their leave policy.

Leave type #8: Time Off for Protests.

Democracy needs to be respected! It seems like this is the motto of several companies in Silicon Valley that decided to include time off for protests as a corporate standard. You could try to include time off for protests in your leave policy too, showing your employees you’re every bit as democratic as the society we strive to live in.

Leave type #9: Jury Duty Leave

Jury duty is common in the US, but it exists in several other countries as well. When employees get assigned to jury duty, they usually have to go to court on a particular date to serve on a jury. To accommodate their employees’ civic responsibilities, employers should include jury duty in their leave policy.

Leave type #10: Voting leave.

Employers should respect the civic duties of their employees, and that’s why including voting leave is one of the main things to consider when making a leave policy. Building a democratic society should be the priority of everyone, and employees should be able to express their opinion, without fearing for their jobs.

Leave type #11: Self-Quarantine Leave

COVID-19 has changed a lot in our lives, and it made the need for another leave policy type: self-quarantine leave. A good way to handle this leave type is to offer it as a remote time (for employees who can work from home) or as unpaid time off for those who have to come into the office but cannot due to health precautions.

Leave type #12: Furlough. 

Furlough is one of the most common leave types employers and employees use as an alternative to layoffs, where you’re not working but you still have the access to employee benefits.

Leave type #13: Leave of Absence (Unpaid)

Leave of absence is time off we usually take when we use all of our paid time off and vacation. In the US, employers who offer an unpaid leave of absence aren’t required to follow the FMLA rules.

If you are interested in hearing more about leave laws in different countries, check out our Leave Laws section.

Ana Mladenovic
Ana Mladenovic

A cat enthusiast and a cupcake maniac, Ana is a freelance Content Writer passionate about HR, productivity, and team management topics. When she’s not at her keyboard, you can find Ana in the kitchen, trying to make delicious cookies.

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