leave policy template

How To Create A Leave Policy Template Like A Pro

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It’s no secret that everyone needs a break now and then.  

You wouldn’t want to keep an engine going 24/7 without ever stopping, would you? Just like vehicles need to rest, so do your people. 

Whether it be to recharge from work or just go out and do something fun, all businesses offer some type of time off to their employees. However, for your leave policy to actually be successful, i.e benefit both parties, establishing a leave policy is incredibly important. Keep reading to learn more and download your own free Leave Policy Template.

The importance of a leave policy

When an employee needs to take a leave of absence, the purpose of a leave policy is to help provide clarity and set expectations. 

Hence, a leave policy essentially helps establish a pre-determined period where an employee can be absent from work for a host of reasons. A leave policy also allows employers to retain valuable employees in situations where, without an approved leave of absence, an employee’s only option might be to resign or find alternative employment.

This can be bereavement, vacation time, being sick, or maternity-related. At its most basic level, the term leave policy represents a set of rules governing the time frame surrounding when employees in your business are allowed to take time off from their job. Some of the most commonly offered leaves (also included in our leave policy template) are as follows:

Casual/paid time off leave

The foundation of all leaves, paid time off helps to address the needs of those things that come up in everyday life. It allows employees to take time off for vacation, family events, and just their personal time. Giving your employees paid casual leave will allow them to prioritize their private life when required. This makes them feel appreciated in the company and boosts engagement.

Most companies give a maximum of 8 to 15 PTO days off per year. However, this differs greatly based on which part of the world you are located in.

Sick leave

Sick leaves are crucial to allow employees to take time off and rest without losing their pay. Sick leaves are a mandatory requirement in most countries to ensure the well-being of their staff. As a rule of thumb, most companies must provide 15 days of paid sick leave to their employees. This can vary according to each employee’s individual circumstances, or if they suffer from more severe health problems.

Maternity leave

Ease the transition into motherhood for your female employees by creating a maternity leave policy they can rely on. 

Given that giving birth to a child is one of the world’s most miraculous events, it seems appropriate to view time off in the same light. Stay prepared by offering maternity leave following your country’s local laws. Ideally, most leaves are around 14 weeks long (just enough time to take care of their newborn for 3 months.)

Paternity leave

Paternity leave is also a great way for dads to spend some time with their newborns. 

Unlike maternity leaves, new dads usually get 2 weeks of leave to take care of their newborn kids. ​​Many companies do not offer paid paternity leave for the birth of their child because it’s not mandated by law. However, it is important that HR teams recognize the stresses of adjusting to the newborn and taking care of the child in their first few days and grant them this time off.

Bereavement leave

Needless to say, losing a loved one is traumatizing. And any employee working in the organization is prone to losing them. 

The death of a close family member or a spouse, for instance, can be very painful. That is why some people are forced to take unpaid leave immediately after the demise of their dear ones. Bereavement leave is given to employees who are experiencing grief due to the loss of a loved one.

A bereavement leave policy can be of any length, but depending on the country, region, or company culture this period might vary from person to person. Some countries may allow only one or two days off and other countries may offer employees up to a month off. 

Unpaid leave

Lastly, if your employees have exhausted all other types of leaves on this list and still want to take some time off, they can do so by taking unpaid leave. 

This leave is pretty self-explanatory — any leave taken outside of the paid leaves will ultimately result in a pay cut. Tell your employees how much they’ll lose per leave day they take outside their eligible leave days, and explain the number of leaves they have.

Other factors to consider

The number of days off available to your employees also depends on other factors like the days off they’ve accrued and rolled over within a certain time frame. Let us explain what they mean below.

PTO accruals

PTO accrual is the accumulation or gradual increase of your paid time off hours during the year. 

Accrued PTO is the type of leave employees earn over time, based on the number of days or hours they’ve worked. In other words, you build it up, little by little, so you can use it when you build enough for desired time off. Employees can use that time for vacation days, sick leaves, or personal time. It’s really up to them to use it however they’d like.

Think of it as an employee benefit that’s just like your money in the bank. Hence, PTO is earned, saved, and spent as if it were cash in a bank account. 

Rollover days

To put it simply, PTO rollovers are extra vacation days that get carried forward from the previous year. 

A PTO rollover basically means that you can use those extra days at a later time in the next year. As a result, you can decide what to do with these days depending on your personal schedule and needs. If you want, you can take all your rollover days in one week. Or, spread them out throughout the entire year. This may also depend on your company’s policy on rollovers, so consider reaching out to HR first!

What should you include in your leave policy?

Having a leave policy does not guarantee that every employee who requests leave will be approved. Instead, it allows for an honest conversation between the employee and the employer.

Therefore, creating a leave policy varies greatly based on your workplace’s individual needs and the nature of the job. However, there are some common points to follow. All employers should always include the following things when creating a leave policy:

  • Terms of eligibility 
  • 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
  • The process of requesting a leave
  • If approval is required
  • Whether you will allow negative balances
  • The unit you measure a leave type in
  • If it’s paid or unpaid
  • and anything else you deem fit!

Your Free Leave Policy Template

This article aims to serve as a resource where you can download a leave policy template in case your company ever needs one. Not only will you be able to edit this leave policy template, but you can also choose to incorporate other details into it. This can be:

  • the length of leaves, depending on your own requirements and needs
  • your company’s policies on a certain type of leave (e.g unlimited PTO)
  • HR policies on the procedure of requesting leaves
  • maintaining employee record of leave
  • or anything else you deem fit

We have included the 5 most common leave types in our leave policy template. Keep scrolling to read them all!

Vacation Leave Policy Template

Sample Leave Policy Template Disclaimer: This is a sample policy that can be adapted for your workplace needs. Suggestions are given about what to include. However, items can be added or removed to suit your individual workplace needs. 

____________________________________________________________________________

 

Policy: Vacation Leave Policy 

Policy #

Approver: 

Effective (insert date): 

Revised on: 

____________________________________________________________________________

 

PURPOSE: This policy outlines our company’s provisions to provide paid vacation for employees to take time for rest and recuperation.

POLICY STATEMENT: The amount of vacation to which an employee becomes entitled is determined by their length of service as of his or her employment anniversary date. Vacation accrual starts at the beginning of the anniversary/calendar year, i.e. [date].

SCOPE: This company vacation leave policy applies to all our employees (full-time, part-time, or contract) who have been with our company for at least 6 months. It accumulates at __ hours every ___. The company will offer at least the minimum benefits mandated by law and this policy is merely complementary to the existing legal guidelines.

PROCEDURAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Notification of vacation leave: Employees must notify their immediate supervisor of their planned vacation dates using manager specified procedure, at least 2 weeks prior to the leave 
  • Vacation accrual: The maximum amount of vacation hours you accrue is determined by your rate of accrual. Employees must ensure that they have enough accrued leave available to cover the time off requested.
  • Rollover to next year: We encourage employees to use their available vacation time. If the available vacation time is not used by the end of a calendar year, accrued, unused leave may carry over to the next year. 
  • Vacation pay: Vacation will be paid at the employee’s base rate at the time the leave is taken.
  • Upon return to work the employee must complete a signed employee absence record and submit it to their immediate manager in order to keep track

NON-COMPLIANCE: Non-compliance with this policy will be brought to the attention of the appropriate supervisor or HR manager for further action. All leaves will be handled with discretion.

Sick Leave Policy Template

 

Sample Leave Policy Template Disclaimer: This is a sample policy that can be adapted for your workplace needs. Suggestions are given about what to include. However, items can be added or removed to suit your individual workplace needs. 

____________________________________________________________________________

 

Policy: Sick Leave Policy 

Policy #

Approver: 

Effective (insert date): 

Revised on: 

____________________________________________________________________________

 

PURPOSE: This policy outlines our company’s provisions for employees who become sick and need to be absent from work.

POLICY STATEMENT: Sick leave can only be used by ill employees. Sick leave accumulates at __ days per month as per the employee’s employment contract. The company will offer at least the minimum benefits mandated by law and this policy is merely complementary to the existing legal guidelines.

SCOPE: This company sick leave policy applies to all our employees (full-time, part-time, or contract) who have been with our company for at least 6 months. It is separate from other types of leave.

PROCEDURAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Notification of sick leave: Employees must notify their immediate supervisor of their inability to work using manager specified procedure 
  • Return to work from sick leave: Employees must notify their manager when reporting to work following their sick leave. Employee must provide a medical practitioner signed proof of illness notification for absences longer than 3 working days 
  • Family health days: Each employee will be allowed a maximum of 10 days from their sick leave credits for tending to family illness concerns. Family is defined as, an employee’s parent, step-parent, child, step-child, brother, or sister 
  • Medical appointments: Time off to attend personal medical appointments is allowed 
  • Upon return to work, the employee must complete a signed employee absence record and submit it to their immediate manager in order to keep track

NON-COMPLIANCE: Non-compliance with this policy will be brought to the attention of the appropriate supervisor or HR manager for further action. All leaves will be handled with discretion.

Maternity Leave Policy Template

Sample Leave Policy Template Disclaimer: This is a sample policy that can be adapted for your workplace needs. Suggestions are given about what to include. However, items can be added or removed to suit your individual workplace needs. 

____________________________________________________________________________

 

Policy: Maternity/Paternity Leave Policy 

Policy #

Approver: 

Effective (insert date): 

Revised: 

____________________________________________________________________________

 

PURPOSE: This policy outlines our company’s provisions for all employees who are expecting a child and/or require time to care for and bond with their newborn.

POLICY STATEMENT: The eligibility of an employee will be assessed according to legislative guidelines and leave lasts upto ___ weeks. It falls to the company’s discretion to grant paid maternity leave or unpaid maternity leave for an employee deemed legally ineligible.

SCOPE: This company parental leave policy applies to all our employees (full-time, part-time, or contract) who have been with our company for at least 6 months. Individual circumstances will be considered.

PROCEDURAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Notification of parental leave: Employees must notify their immediate supervisor of their planned leave dates using a manager-specified procedure, at least 1 month prior to the leave. They must complete forms or submit a document stating the date of the expected childbirth and the desired beginning date of maternity leave (it must not be earlier than a specified number of weeks before childbirth)  
  • Tenure: Depending on the legislation, an employee can begin their maternity leave prior to or after the expected date of childbirth
  • All pregnant employees can utilize reasonable paid time off for any kind of prenatal care including but not limited to medical examinations
  • All new mothers can petition for an extension of unpaid maternity leave on grounds of medical or other reasons that are subject to the company’s judgment (e.g. complications during pregnancy or childbirth may be cause for extension)
  • Job responsibilities: The positions of employees and the benefits associated with them will not be affected during the maternity leave. However, the company may temporarily replace the position during that time
  • Upon return to work the employee must complete a signed employee absence record and submit it to their immediate manager in order to keep track

NON-COMPLIANCE: Non-compliance with this policy will be brought to the attention of the appropriate supervisor or HR manager for further action. All leaves will be handled with discretion.

Parental Leave Policy Template

Sample Leave Policy Template Disclaimer: This is a sample policy that can be adapted for your workplace needs. Suggestions are given about what to include. However, items can be added or removed to suit your individual workplace needs. 

____________________________________________________________________________

 

Policy: Parental Leave Policy 

Policy #

Approver: 

Effective (insert date): 

Revised: 

____________________________________________________________________________

 

PURPOSE: This policy outlines our company’s provisions for all employees who are new parents expecting a child and/or require time to care for and bond with their newborn.

POLICY STATEMENT: The eligibility of an employee will be assessed according to legislative guidelines and leave lasts up to ___ weeks. It falls to the company’s discretion to grant paid maternity leave or unpaid maternity leave for an employee deemed legally ineligible.

SCOPE: This company parental leave policy applies to all our employees (full-time, part-time, or contract) who have been with our company for at least 6 months. Individual circumstances will be considered.

PROCEDURAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Notification of parental leave: Employees must notify their immediate supervisor of their planned leave dates using a manager-specified procedure, at least 1 month prior to the leave. They must complete forms or submit a document stating the date of the expected childbirth and the desired beginning date of parental leave (it must not be earlier than a specified number of weeks before childbirth)  
  • Tenure: Depending on the legislation, an employee can begin their leave prior to or after the expected date of childbirth
  • All pregnant employees can utilize reasonable paid time off for any kind of prenatal care including but not limited to medical examinations
  • All new parents can petition for an extension of unpaid parental leave on grounds of medical or other reasons that are subject to the company’s judgment (e.g. complications during pregnancy or childbirth may be cause for extension)
  • Job responsibilities: The positions of employees and the benefits associated with them will not be affected during parental leave. However, the company may temporarily replace the position during that time
  • Upon return to work, the employee must complete a signed employee absence record and submit it to their immediate manager in order to keep track

 

NON-COMPLIANCE: Non-compliance with this policy will be brought to the attention of the appropriate supervisor or HR manager for further action. All leaves will be handled with discretion.

Paid Time Off/Annual Leave Policy Template

Sample Leave Policy Template Disclaimer: This is a sample policy that can be adapted for your workplace needs. Suggestions are given about what to include. However, items can be added or removed to suit your individual workplace needs. 

____________________________________________________________________________

 

Policy: Paid Time Off/Annual Leave Policy 

Policy #

Approver: 

Effective (insert date): 

Revised: 

____________________________________________________________________________

 

PURPOSE: This policy outlines our company’s provisions for the amount of time off we offer to our employees per calendar year or month. Paid time off can be considered equivalent to vacation time, but employees can use it in any way they want.

POLICY STATEMENT: We offer __ hours of Paid Time Off to our employees. These employees can use their PTO from the beginning of the year, without having to wait to accrue it. Part-time employees will also receive PTO on a pro-rata basis in the same fashion. 

SCOPE: This company annual leave policy applies to all our employees (full-time, part-time, or contract) who have been with our company for at least 6 months.

PROCEDURAL REQUIREMENTS:

  • Notification of leave: Employees must notify their immediate supervisor of their planned leave dates using a manager-specified procedure, at least 2 weeks prior to the leave. 
  • PTO accrual: The maximum amount of PTO hours you accrue is determined by your rate of accrual. Employees must ensure that they have enough accrued PTO available to cover the time off requested.
  • Rollover to next year: We encourage employees to use their available PTO. If the available PTO is not used by the end of a calendar year, accrued, unused leave may carry over to the next year. 
  • PTO pay: All PTO will be paid at the employee’s base rate at the time the leave is taken.
  • Upon return to work, the employee must complete a signed employee absence record and submit it to their immediate manager in order to keep track

 

NON-COMPLIANCE: Non-compliance with this policy will be brought to the attention of the appropriate supervisor or HR manager for further action. All leaves will be handled with discretion.