Leave policies are essential in allowing employees time off so their personal lives can be taken care of, giving them more focus and satisfaction in the workplace. In this article, we list the most common types of leave, as well as some lesser-known ones.
Managing leave policies for a workforce in a single country has its own challenges with different labor union and state requirements. A global team demands even more management and compliance with local employment laws. We want to give you a complete picture of leave regulations so that you can create a policy that doesn’t impact your operations. This ensures your employees’ job satisfaction and effectiveness.
Six Common Types of Leave
This is mandatory in most countries, although they may calculate the number of days or length of time differently. Annual leave is also called paid leave of absence. It is a set number of days each year that the employee can use for rest or recreation while still receiving payment from their employer.
In the EU, 4 weeks of paid annual leave is the required minimum for all employees. The US annual leave average is 10 days (though there is no legal minimum), and in China the minimum is 5 days each year.
When employing workers in multiple countries, you will need to be aware of local guidelines for annual leave to apply them accordingly.
Sick leave is time off given for an employee to recover from injury or illness. Policies should include both the minimum and maximum number of leave days available and the amount of compensation during those days.
In some countries, the employer pays a certain percentage of hours of paid sick leave. National health insurance typically covers the rest. Other countries have no requirements for paid sick leave, which individual contracts or collective bargaining agreements can determine.
Maternity leave is given to expectant mothers and typically covers time off before and after the birth of a child. It is a requirement in most countries, and there are usually also laws protecting an expectant mother from being dismissed during this period.
This leave usually lasts for an extended time ranging from 8 to 16 weeks. In many countries, the national social security system covers part or all of the payment required during this period.
This leave is time off given to the father of an expected child. It is usually much shorter than maternity leave, averaging from several days to one week.
While not required in all countries, most companies still incorporate a paternity leave policy for their employees. Paternity leave as a legal right is increasing globally, so it is vital to check the latest bills passed on the issue for the country your employees are based in.
Unlike maternity and paternity leave, which is centered around the child’s birth, parental leave is time off given to parents who may need to care for their child or children. It usually involves an age limit, such as only for parents of children under three or eight years old, etc.
Parental leave is typically issued as a set number of days per year, allowing the employee to request them as situations arise, such as the illness of a child, etc.
Some countries also apply parental leave for parents who are adopting or have already adopted children.
Because of the importance of a flexible work environment to working parents, this kind of leave policy can be a simple way to improve the employee experience and boost employee morale.
This leave is for employees with a family member or close relative who has died. It is usually several days of paid or unpaid leave, allowing the employee time to grieve and organize necessary arrangements.
Other Types of Leave
Bank and Public Holidays
These are usually government holidays where it is required to give employees time off. They will differ according to the public holiday schedule of each country. Some countries include religious or cultural festivals in these public holidays
This kind of leave is negotiated one-on-one with the employer. It is an extended specific leave period for the employee due to personal or professional reasons.
Employees who are pursuing education may need time off to take exams.
Time Off in Lieu (TOIL) is a period of leave per year given in place of overtime payment.
This can be paid or unpaid leave, depending on government regulations and company policy. Marriage leave is for those getting married and is usually 1-3 days.
In addition, companies may have to provide leave or make arrangements to their employees’ schedules for things like jury duty, family and medical leave, remote work requirements, and more.
Why Does Your Company Need a Leave Policy?
A secure, clear, and detailed leave policy improves your communication and relationship with your employees. It reduces any chance for misunderstandings in the work environment and shows employees that you prioritize company culture, well-being, and personal time. With a firm leave policy, you can not only attract new employees but also inspire commitment and loyalty among your current workforce.
Good leave policies should include, from the start date:
- Clear and specific definitions of what kinds of leaves are in the policy
- The requirements, rules, and possible exceptions for each kind of leave
- The company’s weekend policy (e.g., five-day work week or six-day work week)
- A calendar of public holidays, including bank holidays and religious holidays as necessary
Your leave policy must also comply with local employment protection laws of the country or countries your employees are based in. Making mistakes with employees’ leave rights can cause serious problems and may even lead to you having to pay fees or fines.
Provide Leave Services to Boost Employee Engagement with INS Global
Managing a global team takes time, patience, and the use of well-thought-out strategies. Any error can damage the company’s effectiveness and impact employee morale. When your employees feel taken care of, they can do their jobs better, and there’s simpler way to get employee recognition than a solid leave structure.
A leave policy that is legally secure and provides for employees no matter where they’re located can be your gateway to operating smoothly and successfully.
INS Global has over 15 years of experience helping companies like yours in the global market through his Global Employer of Record Services. This makes us it the perfect partner for all your overseas HR needs. We have legal experts who remain on top of new developments in local and international employment law. Our multinational staff team is always on hand to advise you on the best local business practices and cultural sensitivities.
We want to help you expand to new countries and hire easily, safely, and efficiently. Contact us now!