10 Types of Leaves In Company For Better Employees Retention [+ Examples]

company leave types
10 Types of Company Leaves

Including paid leaves in working policies is a must for many employers to grow their business and drive the workforce. If team members know they have access to their proper leave entitlements, they will have more confidence and trust in the business. An employee-friendly leave policy helps drive employee satisfaction and loyalty, thus leading to higher productivity and better results in the workplace. 

There are different types of leaves that can be included in a leave policy address different leaving demands of employees in an organization. In this article, we'll be looking at the 10 most common types of leaves that every company includes in their policy. 

Why You Should Have Leave Policies

Leave policies are the right of employees and a statutory obligation of employers.

For employers, work leaves allow them to retain valuable workers. It is an essential factor in situations where employees may resign or seek alternative employment if there is no transparent leave policy. 

Having a defined policy for employees and implementing it consistently also help signal the professionalism of the company. With clear rules and transparency on different types of leave, companies and organizations can foster employee trust, satisfaction, and productivity. Eventually, businesses can only grow if they can ensure the well-being of their workforce.

A good leave policy must consist of the following elements: 

  • Objective
  • Scope
  • Eligibility
  • Procedure
  • Guidelines
  • Exceptions

These factors help identify clearly how your leave policy can be applied, and to whom it is valid. A good leave policy is not entirely about granting leaves, but rather it is about helping employees get easy access to their entitlements and avail them effectively. 

Without further ado, let's discover 10 common leaves to include in your leave policy. For each type of employee leaves, we'll be providing you with the legal requirements and cases where these types of leaves can be applied. 

10 Types of Leaves - Definition & Examples

1. Annual leave

This company leave type is not required by federal law in the United States; however, the specific law can vary among states. Regardless of the law, most firms and companies do give paid annual leave to their employees. 

Annual leave is designed to allow employees to take time off work while still being paid. For example, they can use their annual leaves for whatever matters they prefer including but not limited to relaxation, travel, and personal matters. 

Companies and businesses often deploy annual leaves in three ways:

  • Unlimited paid time off: Employees have an endless amount of days off;
  • Accrual bank: Employees receive accrued leaves on a monthly or quarterly basis;
  • Annual allocation: Employees have a maximum number of days off per year (8-15 days on average). 

2. Casual leave

Casual leaves are called upon occasions when employees need time off work for travel, family events, and personal matters. For example, employees can avail of these types of leave to handle things like appointments, health checkups, attending events (i.e conferences, weddings, birthdays, etc.), or anything that doesn’t fall under sick or vacation time.

More than often, casual doesn’t have to be used on anything specific and employees can use such work leaves without counting in their vacation days. Most companies allow up to 15 days of casual leave for their workers.

3. Sick leave

Sick leaves are among the most essential types of employee leaves. Employees use sick leaves to take time off the office for health matters. For example, your employees can request sick leave when they are sick, have flu, or go through treatments for any diseases. Such leaves allow them to get the rest they need while worrying nothing about losing pay. 

On average, companies must provide 15 days of sick leaves annually. In certain cases where your employees are facing severe health issues, you must also be flexible and allow them to take longer time off. 

It's commonly seen that unused sick leaves can be carried forward to the next year. Nevertheless, you should ask your employees to take a rest if they are having health problems. This is for the benefit of both sides regarding the work quality. 

In many countries, sick leaves are mandatory enforcement to ensure the well-being of employees. Depending on where your business is located, you must check the national or local laws to comply accordingly. In the US, you must check your state's regulations and make sure your company is following mandatory sick leave laws. 

4. Marriage leave

Marriage leave is one of the special leave types that some companies may provide for their employees when they get marriage or organize a wedding. Depending on your location, this might be a legal entitlement to working policies. It's best to contact your local authorities to double-check the requirement.

The marriage leaves can grant up to 15 days off for marriage matters. Nevertheless, most companies allow a 3-day leave as a norm. If workers use up days off allowance for weddings and honeymoons, they may have to use other eligible leaves or accept leaves without being paid. 

To avail of this type of leave, employees must be able to provide a copy of their marriage certificate. Such documents will be used for approving the leave. In some countries where a marriage leave is part of employers' legal obligations, days off are only allowed for the first legal marriage. 

5. Maternity leave

Maternity leave is part of the leave policy for women in motherhood to take care of the newborn and recover from the delivery. A mother can take maternity leave when it's close to her delivery day and continue forwards several weeks after giving birth. You should consider including this in your listed types of employee leaves to help employees take some time off caring for their newborns.

Maternity leave is commonly provided to mothers for a period of 7 to 17 weeks, depending on the norm where your business is located. Ideally, a time allowance of 14 weeks off work is considered reasonable for a mother to take care of her baby during the first three months. Nevertheless, you should be open to allow extra time for any possible postnatal complications.

Many companies across different states are not legally obliged to provide paid maternity leave. However, the FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) does provide women with the right to take a maximum of 12 unpaid absent weeks for this purpose (including adoption). 

6. Paternity leave

Paternity leave is granted to fathers, husbands, or partners of pregnant women, surrogate parents, or anyone adopting a child. This leave policy allows employees to have time to cater to their newborns without any worry. 

Usually, fathers of infants can get up to 2 weeks of company leave to take care of their babies and support their partners post-delivery. 

Some companies do not provide paid paternity leave for their employees since this is not a mandatory requirement by the law. Nevertheless, it is essential that employers acknowledge the stress of being parents to newborns and offer paid days off. 

In the US, there are only eight states that provide dads and mothers with partially compensated parental leave. The list includes the following states: California, New York, New Jersey, Washington, Rhode Island, Oregon, Massachusetts, and Connecticut.

7. Unpaid leave

If your employees have used up all types of leaves in the office and are still in need of a break, they can still take days off with a pay deduction. This leave policy applies for reasons that do not fall under any listed eave categories in your policy, such as paternity, maternity, vacation, sick, etc.

Unpaid leave is unlike other types of leaves, where employers take full responsibility for allowing employees to take days off work. When employees decide to take unpaid leaves, they should be aware that there will be a pay deduction.

Any absences under unpaid leaves will result in a salary cut-off for the employees. You should be clear and transparent about how many days off in total your employees can have and how their salaries are counted with days off outside of leaves allowance. 

8. Public holidays

Public holidays or national holidays are types of leaves nationally recognized and regulated by the government. A few examples of public holidays include Independence Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, New Year's Day, etc. The number of public holidays can vary depending on where your company is located. 

It is worth noting that days off for public holidays are not counted towards employees' annual leaves. This means that the paid hours for public holidays will not be taken away from the employee's amount of accumulated paid leave.

You can include such leaves for public holidays by looking into holidays listed in the country's law. You may also consider a leave policy that is specifically designed for foreign workers to take some time off to enjoy their country's national celebrations. 

9. Bereavement leave

Bereavement leave is an employment leave given upon situations where there are funerals in the family or the deaths of beloved ones. This is an amount of time needed for the employee to grieve and, most importantly, to recuperate from their loss. 

For example, employees can request bereavement leave to participate in tributes or funerals or to take care of any personal matters following the death of their family members. 

In the US, bereavement leave is not legally mandatory. However, many companies still design an internal leave policy, while others consider bereavement leave an unspoken rule. Bereavement leave is often available upon request for full-time contractors of the company. 

10. Compensatory leave

Companies and organizations often include compensatory leave (also known as comp off) in their employee leave when extra-working hours are part of their working culture. For example, your employees work more hours than required, and therefore they are eligible to receive a paid day off or extra pay for the extended working hours.

It's important to note that only workers that work for additional hours or go to work on days off (i.e national holidays, weekends, etc.) are qualified for this leave policy. There is often a procedure designed for claiming and availing comp-off leave.

Nevertheless, it is illegal to offer compensatory time in many cases. If you are a private and non-governmental business owner, you cannot give compensatory leave to non-exempt employees. You should follow compensatory time off rules to avoid violating Fair Labor Standards Act. 

🔑 Key Takeaways

A well-designed leave policy lays the ground for not only attracting skilled workers but also retaining valuable employees. By evaluating and incorporating different types of leave in your policy, your business can operate more effectively. 

It's also important to ensure clarity and transparency in your leave policies, since it helps set expectations and satisfy your employees' leaving needs. With a good leave policy in hand, your employees can become more productive and engaged in their jobs - a significant benefit for the sustainable growth of your company in the long run. 

Cake is an innovative online resume maker that empowers anyone to create professional resumes and portfolios that can also serve as personal websites. In addition, the solution also provides a comprehensive employer branding service, allowing companies to successfully establish and promote their brand across diverse talent pools on a global scale. 

With Cake, professionals and organizations can present themselves in a polished and professional manner, showcasing their unique skills, experiences, and offerings to the world.

— Originally written by May Luong —

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