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Table Of Contents

Employee Leave 101: Most Common Leave Types

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Table Of Contents

Keeping track of employee leave is one of the most important tasks every HR manager has to do. However, there are more leave types than meets the eye. That’s why HR managers should know them all to synchronize it with payroll. We decided to give you a complete overview of the most common leave types to clear out the confusion.

 But first things first. We can divide the most common leave types into two basic groups: legally mandated leave and other leave options we might have at our disposal.

Legally mandated leave types

 Legally mandated leave types refer to only a few types of leave companies have to provide to their employees from the legal point of view. However, that’s not all in most cases – employees have to earn (or better said, qualify for) it. 

 In legally mandated leave types count: FMLA leave, military leave, ADA leave, jury duty, worker’s compensation leave, and religious observance.

FMLA leave

FMLA leave is among legally mandated leave types and it refers to the time employees have to take some time off from work due to an illness, or an illness of the employee’s immediate family. In the USA, employers with more than 50 employees have to comply with this and provide up to 12 weeks of leave for their employees annually.

Military leave

This leave type stands for some time off from work an employee takes to participate in certain active or inactive military duties. This means employees keep the right to their former position once they finish with military leave.

ADA leave 

ADA leave is among the leave types employees take due to an illness. If an employee gets injured on the job, or it’s disabled it has the right to medical and disability-related leave.

Jury duty

Jury duty leave type refers to the time off from work an employee has to take to serve on a jury. During that time, employers are strictly prohibited from taking any action against employees with negative consequences. Sadly, nonexempt employees face unpaid time off from work while on jury duty, however, many employers do pay it.

Workers’ compensation leave

Worker’s compensation leave refers to the time off from work employees take after they suffered a work-related injury that lasts up to five workdays (40 hours) and they are entitled to full pay. This leave doesn’t count on vacation days or sick leave.

Religious observance leave

Religious observance is the time off from work, employers have to give their employees due to religious observations. Employers shouldn’t discriminate against their employees based on their religion and should enable them to freely practice their religion by giving them time off from work.

Other leave types not legally granted by law

So far we covered some of the most common leave types mandated by law. In the other group are the ones that are often not within the law frame, but offered as a benefit or a perk to employees.

Bereavement leave

Bereavement leave is time off from work employees take to attend the funeral of a family member and deal with all the things following that process. 

Public holidays

This leave type refers to time off from work due to public holidays. Most commonly this includes Christmas, Thanksgiving, New Year’s, etc. The state usually regulates public holidays and the employer has to comply with it. However, there are certain discrepancies when calculating holiday pay for part-time employees versus full-timers.

Vacation days

Vacation days refer to paid or unpaid time off from work employees take to rest, attend to personal matters, and relax. Some states, like the USA, don’t have the regulation to cover minimum vacation days employees get nor does it state how many should be paid. Additionally, each state mandates its laws about when employees can take vacation leave ranging from six months up to one year in the company.

Maternity/Paternity leave

Maternity and paternity leave is time off from work employees can take for their newly born or adopted child. Its longevity depends on the state and the law, however many employers (mostly startups) offer it as an employee perk. 

Adoption leave

Adoption leave refers to the time off from work employees take following the adoption of a child. This time off can be paid or unpaid, depending on a company’s policy and agreement with the employer.

Attendance at parent/teacher conferences

The name says it all. Attendance at parent/teacher conferences is (in most cases) unpaid leave off from work employees take to attend parent/teacher conferences.

Paternity leave

This is something all proud pet owners will love. Pawternity leave refers to the time off from work employees take to take care of their furry, fluffy companions. It doesn’t have to be extreme illness, sometimes owners have to take their pets to the vet for a checkup or therapy which messes up with their schedule and leads to sick leave abuse. With this leave policy, there’s no need for such a thing.

There are more leave types than you can count on your fingers!

We tried to solve this problem for you! That’s why Vacation Tracker enables you to choose among 9 different leave types. Tracking sick days, conference days, jury duty, and paternity leave literally takes seconds to do!

And that’s not all! For businesses with multiple offices and teams, Vacation Tracker enables setting up teams to track their employees’ leave more efficiently. That way each team administrator can approve or deny leave requests for their team members. Additionally, they can see the information for each team individually. Check out these amazing options by signing up for a free 7-day trial!

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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