This template will provide a comprehensive framework for managing leaves of absence, allowing HR professionals to handle requests efficiently and consistently.
By having a clear policy in place, HR can minimize confusion and misunderstandings, ensure legal compliance, and maintain positive relationships with both employees and management.
What is an employee leave of absence policy?
An employee leave of absence policy outlines the rules and procedures for employees who need to take time off from work for unexpected reasons that may require extended absences. This leave is unpaid most of the time.
The policy covers essential aspects like eligibility criteria, application process, duration, pay and benefits, job security, and return-to-work procedures.
A employee leave of absence policy should include:
- Clear guidelines on eligibility and application requirements
- A detailed list of acceptable reasons for leave
- Information on the amount of notice required before taking a leave and the process for providing such notice
- Details regarding pay and benefits during the leave period
- Provisions for job security and reinstatement upon return from leave
Step-by-step instructions for writing your own employee leave of absence policy
- Review relevant laws and regulations, such as the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) or the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), to ensure compliance.
- Define the types of leaves available, such as annual, sick, parental, or military leave.
- Establish clear eligibility criteria, including minimum employment tenure and hours worked requirements.
- Outline the application process, including the necessary forms, documentation, and timelines.
- Specify the amount of notice required before taking a leave and the consequences of failing to provide adequate notice.
- Determine pay and benefits during the leave period, considering factors like salary continuation, health insurance coverage, and retirement plan contributions.
- Address job security and reinstatement concerns by including provisions for maintaining seniority, accrued leave, and other benefits.
- Provide a sample leave of absence request form to help employees understand what information they need to submit.
- Include a section on return-to-work procedures, outlining any requirements for medical certification or fitness-for-duty evaluations.
- Review and update the policy regularly to reflect changes in laws, regulations, or organizational needs.
Employee leave of absence policy template
1. Brief & Purpose
This policy outlines the guidelines for employees requesting a leave of absence from [Organization Name]. It is designed to ensure that all employees are aware of their rights and responsibilities when taking a leave, and to provide a framework for managing leaves of absence in a fair and consistent manner.
The following types of leaves are available to eligible employees:
- Personal or family illness or mental health issues
- Medical appointments
- Statutory or contractual holiday entitlements
- Bereavement leave
- Jury duty
- Military service
- Personal reasons
Employees are eligible for leaves of absence if they have completed at least one year of service with [Organization Name] and have worked at least 1,250 hours in the previous 12 months.
3. Application Process
A. Employees must submit a leave of absence request form to their supervisor at least 30 days before the start of the leave, unless emergency circumstances prevent this. The request form must include the following information:
- Type of leave being requested
- Start and end dates of the leave
- Reason for the leave
- Name and contact information of the employee’s supervisor
- Signature of the employee
B. Supervisors will review the request and determine whether the leave is approved or denied within 10 business days of receiving the request. If additional information is needed, the supervisor may request supporting documentation.
C. If the leave is approved, the supervisor will inform the employee in writing, including details about pay and benefits during the leave period.
4. Pay and Benefits
A. During a leave of absence, employees will receive their regular salary continuation pay, minus any deductions required by law.
B. Employees will also continue to accrue seniority and other benefits during the leave period.
C. The organization reserves the right to modify benefit levels in the event of a prolonged leave.
5. Job Security and Reinstatement
A. Upon return from an approved leave of absence, employees will be reinstated to their previous position or a comparable job with the same pay, benefits, and other terms and conditions of employment.
B. If the employee’s position has been filled during their leave, the organization will make reasonable efforts to find a suitable alternative position.
6. Return-to-Work Procedures
A. Before returning to work, employees on medical leave must provide a doctor’s note or fitness-for-duty certificate, as applicable.
B. Failure to comply with return-to-work procedures may result in delayed reinstatement or denial of future leaves.
7. Policy Enforcement
This policy supersedes all prior policies and will be reviewed and updated annually or as needed. Any exceptions to this policy must be approved by the [insert appropriate title] of Human Resources.
By implementing this policy, [Organization Name] aims to support employees in managing their personal and professional obligations while maintaining a positive work environment. We encourage open communication and cooperation between employees, supervisors, and HR to ensure consistent application of this policy.
Disclaimer: This policy template is meant to provide general guidelines and should be used as a reference. It may not take into account all relevant local, state or federal laws and is not a legal document. Neither the author nor Workable will assume any legal liability that may arise from the use of this policy.