Types of leaves

Types of Leave in Company: Complete Guide for Employees in India

What are Leaves?

Leaves are defined as “a paid or unpaid form of absence from the workplace for various reasons such as ill-health, recreational vacations, or personal emergencies.” An organisation’s leave policy has a significant impact on several important factors, including:

  • Hiring and keeping top talent.
  • Improving employee productivity and morale
  • Ensuring employees’ mental and physical well-being
  • Creating a positive working culture

Different types of Leaves:

Earned Leave(EL)/Privilege leave(PL)/Annual Leave(AL)

Earned Leave (EL) is paid time off for working days. It is often referred to as Vacation Leave (VL), Privilege Leave (PL), Flexi Holiday, or Annual Leave (AL).

EL is typically used for personal purposes, such as vacations or festivities that are not official holidays. If you need to take a week or more off, this is “long leave.” To avoid delays at work, plan before the date and notify your team or management.

Labour laws mandate that earned leave be provided, but the amount varies by state. Leave eligibility is determined by the number of days worked except on holidays, weekends, and non-working days.

According to state laws, earned leave has the unique feature of allowing unused time at the end of the year to be carried over to the following year.

Earned leave can also be exchanged for cash through Leave Encashment. Typically, one day of EL equals one day’s basic pay, but some organisations use total earnings for this calculation.

Casual leave(CL)

Casual leave enables employees to take short-term leave for personal reasons such as illness, family events, or emergencies. Here are some standard rules for casual leave:

  • It is allowed for personal reasons such as illness, family events, or emergencies.
  • Typically, it is a temporary one, lasting a few days.
  • They are not taken from the annual leave balance.
  • Policies change by organisation and state.
  • Some organisations give certain casual leave days each year or month.
  • Other organisations provide casual leave on an as-needed basis.
  • The nature and urgency of the situation determine the duration.

Sick leave(SL)

Medical leave, often known as sick leave, is provided to employees who are unwell or hospitalised. Here are some standard guidelines for medical leave:

  • Medical Certificate Requirement: Employers might request a medical certificate if the leave exceeds two or three days.
  • Combined Leave: In certain cities, such as Delhi, casual and sick leave are combined.
  • Reduced Pay: In states like Tripura, employees may only get 50% of their salary on sick leave.

Maternity leave(ML)

The Maternity Benefit Act of 1961 assures working women receive compensated maternity leave. Here are the main rules:

  • Employers must provide 26 weeks of paid leave to women who have worked at least 80 days in the 12 months before their estimated delivery date.
  • This leave applies to the first two children. For a third child, only 12 weeks of leave are allowed.
  • Miscarriage, adoption, surrogacy, and tubectomy leave are also covered under the Act.
  • The Maternity Benefit Act is a central government rule, whereas state laws govern yearly, casual, and sick leave.

Paternity leave

Paternity leave, also known as New Parent Leave, is provided to expectant fathers following the birth of a child. This leave allows fathers to care for their newborns while supporting the mother.

Common rules related to paternity leave:

  • Purpose: To look after the newborn and help the mother.
  • Legislation: Not imposed by Indian labour laws.
  • Availability: Many progressive companies offer this kind of support.
  • Duration: Depending on corporate policies, it can last anywhere from 2 days to 4 weeks.
  • Time Frame: Must be used within a particular time frame, typically within eight weeks of the baby’s birth.

Bereavement leave

Employees receive Bereavement Leave when a family member or loved one dies. It enables people to attend funerals, handle personal matters, and grieve.

Common Rules for Bereavement Leave:

  • It is also known as compassionate leave.
  • This is useful in the event of a loved one’s death or to care for a sick relative.
  • Not imposed by Indian labour laws.
  • Many progressive companies offer such an option.
  • The duration lasts typically from 2 to 20 days.

Compensatory off leave

Compensatory leave, commonly called comp off or comp time, is a special type of leave. Unlike regular leaves, which accumulate over time, compensatory leaves are acquired by working extra time on holidays or days off.

Common Rules for Compensatory Leave:

  • Earning Compensatory Leave: Working extra hours during holidays or specified days off.
  • Usage: Can be used as leave in compensation for overtime worked.
  • Eligibility: Only applies if additional hours are done on non-working days, such as holidays or weekends.
  • Approval: Prior approval is required from management or the human resources department.
  • Encashment: This can be used at the employee’s choice, depending on the number of extra hours accumulated.

Marriage leave

Some firms offer Marriage Leave, which allows employees to take time off for their wedding. While mandatory in Malta and Vietnam, it is not legally needed in many other nations, including India.

Common Rules for Marriage Leave:

  • Some companies provide this service; however, it is not required everywhere.
  • The duration is usually between one and fifteen days, with an average of three days.
  • HR might ask for proof, such as an invitation card or a marriage certificate.
  • Usually permitted once during an employee’s tenure.
  • Remarriage or repeated marriages can require annual leave or unpaid leave.

Loss of Pay Leave (LOP)

Loss of salaries occurs when an employee does not receive money while on leave. This leave is typically offered for personal reasons, such as extended travel or study breaks.

Common Rules for Loss of Pay Leave:

  • The employee receives no salary during the leave period.
  • It is usually permitted for personal reasons, such as extended travel or study breaks.

Sabbatical Leave

A sabbatical is a type of leave provided by employers to help employees improve their skills and expertise, allowing them to make a more important contribution to the firm later on.

Common Rules for Sabbaticals:

  • Purpose: Sabbaticals are usually granted for educational development, family or health reasons, or to take a career break.
  • Advance Planning: Because sabbatical approval takes time, proper planning is required well in advance.
  • Duration: Sabbaticals are long-term, unpaid breaks that allow employees to focus on personal or professional growth.

Compassionate leave

Employees who are going through a personal or family crisis, such as a loved one’s serious illness or death, are eligible for compassionate leave. It enables them to handle critical situations, seek support, and manage practical factors.

Common Rules for Compassionate Leave:

  • Personal or family emergencies, such as extreme illness or death, are covered.
  • They are intended to allow time to attend to urgent issues and seek emotional support.
  • The duration and conditions vary by employer.

Our blog post about the many types of leaves offered by companies in India is now complete. Let us know if you have further concerns or questions in the comment section below.


1. What are the different kinds of employee leaves?

Ans: Employee leave is classified into four types: voluntary, involuntary, paid, and unpaid.

2. Is casual leave paid?

Ans: Yes, casual leave is a type of paid leave. Employees can usually only use it for three days at a time.

3. Is a medical certificate required for three days sick leave?

Ans: Employees taking sick leave for more than two or three days must present a medical certificate to their employers.

4. What is PH in attendance?

Ans: A PH, or Personal Holiday in Attendance, is a paid break employees can take within the calendar year.

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