For many companies, a leave policy consists of letting their employees know about their paid leave days and the national holidays they get. But, leave policies are more important than you’d realize. One of the first questions from most candidates who are being recruited by a company is about the organization’s leave policy. Besides the number of leaves, potential employees also want to know the types of leaves that the company has provided, for different needs and emergencies that the employee has.

In this article, we’re looking into the 10 types of leave of absence every company must provide its employees.

Why You Need a Leave Policy in Your Company

A leave policy helps you define the number of leaves your employees have, the types of leaves that they are eligible for, and how to apply for leaves. With a leave policy, you can give them assurance that you will provide them with the essential time off to take care of any issues they have or take time off to vacation, recover from an illness, celebrate their festivals, deal with life events, or simply relax.  

Read about how to create a leave policy and manage your leaves.

Here are 10 types of leaves you need to accommodate within your leave policy:

1. Sick leave

Sick leave is time off given by the company to allow employees to recover from an illness and take care of their health. Sick leaves are crucial to allow employees to get the rest they need without worrying about losing pay. Sick leave is a mandatory requirement in many countries to ensure the well-being of the employee. 

Companies must provide 15 days of sick leave in a year to their employees. However, you must also be flexible with your sick leaves and allow employees to take longer ones if they have severe health issues. 

In many companies, any sick leaves that have not been taken by the end of the year can be carried forward to the next year. However, it’s important you ask your employees to take the day off if they are sick.

2. Casual leave

Casual leave is taken by an employee for travel, vacation, rest, and family events. Such leaves are given to allow the employee to take time off for any life events they have like traveling to another country or weddings they have to attend. Giving the employee paid casual leave will allow them to prioritize their private life when required, making them feel appreciated in the company.

In most companies, employees can take a maximum of 8 to 15 days of casual leave in a year. 

3. Public holiday

Public holidays are days that are given as leave by the government. Such holidays must be observed by every institution— schools, banks, government offices, and even private companies. Public holidays include Independence Day, Memorial Day, Labor Day, bank holidays and any nationally-recognized day like the death of a prominent leader of the country.

Include these leaves within your leave policy by looking into the holidays that your government has mandated for your country.

4. Religious holidays

Christmas, Eid, Easter, Holi, Yom Kippur— your employee is sure to place importance on religious holidays that they celebrate and would want the day off to spend time with their family and observe the festival. It’s important that you accommodate these holidays they have by providing them with the option to take leave on the day of the festival. 

Take note of every religious holiday from resources online and ask employees to send a message to you every year, listing the religious holidays that they want time off for.

5. Maternity leave

From taking care of the newborn to recovering from the delivery, maternity leave is an important time for new mothers. Ensure you have accommodated this type of leave in your policy to help employees to not worry about their work while they are busy with their newborn. 

Maternity leave is provided to the new mother for a period of 7 to 17 weeks, depending on the country that the company is based. Ideally, 14 weeks is a good amount of time to be given to the mother, allowing them to take care of their newborn for the first 3 months.

You should also be open to providing extra leave days in case of any postnatal complications.

6. Paternity leave

Paternity leave is granted to new fathers—  husbands or partners of a pregnant woman, surrogate parent, or someone who adopted a child— to take care of their newborns without any worry.

Unlike maternity leaves, new fathers usually get 2 weeks of leave to take care of their child post-delivery. Some countries mandate 1 to 2 weeks of paternity leave for new fathers.

Companies rarely provide paternity leave for the birth of their child since such leaves are not mandatory by law. However, it is important that HRs recognize the stresses of adjusting to the newborn and taking care of the child in their first few days. 

7. Bereavement leave

Losing a loved one is an unavoidable situation and in such events, employees take sudden leave. As HR, you need to have a bereavement leave policy that provides the employee with the time to grieve their loss, manage any responsibilities they may have due to the death, and allow them to ask for a bereavement leave without any hassle. 

Most HRs give their employees 3 to 7 days as bereavement leave, depending on the closeness of the relative. If you aren’t sure how to create a bereavement leave policy, you can read our guide about it.

8. Compensatory leave

Employees who have clocked in more hours than they were required to can be eligible for compensatory days off. Ensure that any employee who has put more time in or come to work on days they were off (like Saturday) are given a compensatory day off or “comp off”.

Compensatory time-off must be automatically recorded within your backend and employees must be informed that they have an extra day of leave for the time they put in.

9. Sabbatical leave

Simply put, sabbatical leaves are “a break from work” where employees can pursue interests they have or take time off for physical and mental health reasons. Unlike other leaves, sabbaticals are long leave periods, from six months to a year. Sabbaticals are commonly taken by employees at educational institutions where professors may want to take a break from their teaching role to do research on their projects. 

Companies whose employees have served them for more than 3 years often give these employees a sabbatical leave to reward them for their loyalty and hard work.

10. Unpaid Leave (or leave without pay)

Now, if your employee has exceeded the number of leaves they were eligible for and are taking a leave that doesn’t fall under special leaves like maternity or bereavement leave, they can still take a leave with a pay cut. Any leaves taken in the year outside of the paid leaves will result in a pay cut for the employee. Ensure that you’ve made clear the number of leaves the employee has and let them know how much pay is cut per leave day they take outside their eligible leaves.

Note: Companies with an unlimited leave policy don’t have to define unpaid leaves. However, you should be able to track and ensure employees aren’t taking advantage of your policy. 

Ready to set up a leave management system for your company?

Tracking every employee’s leaves is a time-consuming task. With AttendanceBot, employees can request leaves right within Slack and managers are sent messages for approval. Once approved, every leave is automatically recorded within the dashboard so that you can monitor the leaves taken and track whether an employee is taking more leaves than they are eligible for.

Did we miss out on an important leave type? Let us know at