Different Types of Leave for Employees in India

Different Types of Leave for Employees in India

Different Types of Leave for Employees in India

One of the first questions from most candidates who are being recruited by a company is about the organization’s leave policy. The employees of any government, non-government or private organization are entitled to certain types of leaves during their work tenures to help them maintain a proper work-life balance. 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.

The employees can utilize various types of leaves to take time out for activities that are important to them including spending time with friends and family, taking part in sports and recreation, volunteering, or even undertaking further study among others.

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

1. Holidays

These are the leaves that are always paid for and no deductions are made from the salary of the employees.

There are the following types of holidays in India:

· National Holidays: These are the fixed holidays that we have in India on the 26th of January, 15th of August, and 2nd of October every year.

· Weekly Holidays: There are either one or two weekly holidays at the end of the week for all the employees depending upon the organizational policy.

· Festivals: Various religious and regional festivals also account for holidays in India. There are very few festivals like Christmas, which fall on the same date every year. However, the exact dates of some festivals depend on the lunar calendar and are subject to change on the sighting of the moon. Each company can devise its own policy regarding how many festivals it will give a paid leave for, every year.

2. Casual Leave

The type of leave that is granted for short durations and can ordinarily be taken with prior information to the employer except in cases when informing the employer is not possible. Casual leaves are the type of leaves used most by employees. People apply these office leaves for unforeseen events where they may need to take a day or two off from work to take care of personal matters. Most companies allow casual leaves of up to 3-5 days a month with the employer’s approval. To know more, read our guide on how to apply for casual leaves with sample applications. Across industries and organizations, there are different rules for the number of days that casual leaves can be taken at a stretch varying between three to five to seven days. As a rule, official holidays are not counted when calculating the number of casual leaves if they fall during the period of casual leave.

3. Earned/Vacation/Privilege Leave

Privilege leaves, also known as earned leaves are paid leaves that are earned annually by employees as they work with a company. The type of leave which the employees earn as they work for an organization for a specified number of days. The privilege leave is sanctioned to the employees without any salary deductions. This type of leave requires prior approval from the employer except in cases of emergency. The employees are usually allowed to accumulate their privilege leaves and even encash them in case they are not availed. The number of privileges leaves admissible may vary on the basis of industry and region. The number of privilege leaves varies across organizations, but usually, an employee is entitled to 18 privilege leaves where they can ditch work and take some time off for themselves.

To get a privilege leave sanctioned, the employees need to get approval from their employers in advance, unless there is an emergency.

This type of leave is a dream for all employees as they can encase these leaves in case they don’t wish to use them or can accumulate them to take a long leave when needed.

4. Sick Leave/Medical Leave

An employee can call in sick if he is not in a state to come to the office for work. As the name suggests, sick or medical leaves are the type of office leaves used when an employee falls ill and cannot come to work. Usually, an employee is entitled to sick leave only after a stipulated period of employment in an organization. The number of sick leaves permissible may vary from organization to organization and as a matter of fact, no prior intimation is required for availing this type of leave. Each company provides a different number of sick leaves to its employees. Since sickness is unforeseen, no prior intimation is necessary while applying for sick/medical leaves. A medical certificate from a registered medical practitioner may be required to testify the sickness if the sick leave is being extended for a long period of time. An employee is entitled to sick leaves after having worked with a company for a set time. However, some companies require a medical certificate from the doctor’s office testifying to the employee's ill health.

5. Paternity leaves

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.

6. Maternity Leave

This provision is especially available for those women employees who plan to have a baby. Childbirth is a miracle, but working women expecting a child may find it hard to balance work and health. To make life easy for them, most Indian companies have the provision of maternity leaves- the type of leaves available for women employees who are pregnant and are expecting a child soon.

The duration of paid maternity leave is 12-26 weeks and this can be further extended with 16 months of unpaid leave. No deductions can be made from the leave account of the female employee.

Maternity leaves are also used in case of miscarriage/abortion but the duration of leaves in this situation is 6 weeks (as per the Maternity Benefit Act, 1961). While the duration of maternity leave may vary in each company.

7. Study Leave or Sabbatical Leave

An employee may be granted a study or sabbatical leave to enable him to update his knowledge and experience in a way that he will be of greater use to the Institute after re-joining. Sabbatical is the type of leave granted by companies to allow their employees to up skill and gain more knowledge in their field so they can contribute better to their organization in the future.

Apart from the various leaves mentioned above, certain sectors and industries also have provisions for commuted leave, leave not due, paternity leave, extraordinary leave, childcare leave, hospital leave, special disability leave, and child adoption leave. The duration of all these types of leaves and the circumstances under which they become due are subject to specific company policies.

An employee can request a sabbatical for education advancement, family/health crisis, or to take a career break. This type of leave is not approved immediately, so one must plan it far in advance. A sabbatical is a long-term break and is usually unpaid.

8. Quarantine Leave

This type of leave is granted to an employee only if there is an infectious disease in the family or household of the employee that can be hazardous to the health of other people in the organization.

9. Marriage leave

This is the type of leave employee’s use when they or someone in their family is getting married. It is an official document with which employees can request a few days off to get married, or to attend the wedding of a close friend/relative without having to worry about work.

Just like any other leave application, this too must be written in a formal format and tone. To know more, read our guide on Marriage leaves -how to apply with sample applications.

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.

We hope with this guide on different types of office leaves, you will find out all there is to know about which application to use and when.


All the very best!

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