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Leave Policies in HR

leave policies in hr

Management of employee absences can be a complex challenge, particularly when they arise unexpectedly or long term. Efficient leave management is critical to meeting staffing requirements while keeping morale high.

Establishing clear leave policies that represent and communicate your company’s expectations is essential to meeting employee demands. With Lucidchart’s cloud-based visual workspace, creating and documenting these policies becomes simple.


Managed holiday leave is a key component of an employee time off policy. This sets out how much holiday staff are entitled to take, whether or not they may take leave during specific periods, and provides managers with clear guidelines on how they should respond when asked for leave requests.

Your policy could also stipulate that employees can only request two weeks holiday at once, helping avoid staff feeling like they’re being shortchanged while also making it easier to say no if fulfilling their request would leave you understaffed during peak periods.

Your policy must also outline what will happen if staff leave mid-year. They may still use any holidays accrued, but your policy should clearly outlines how this process should occur; perhaps by carrying over their entitlement into next year or providing payment in lieu of their unused holidays.

Make it clear in your holiday policy that all leave requests must go through and be approved by an employee’s manager, to ensure compliance and avoid conflicts of interest in approvals. Utilize an employee self-service portal which enables employees to digitally acknowledge new policies so that you can track who’s aware of them and monitor compliance.

Unplanned Leave

Unplanned leave is defined as any period of time an employee takes without consulting their manager or submitting an official request, such as medical leave, sick leaves, family or personal days and even vacation time without informing their employer first. Unplanned absences can be costly and disruptive if they last over an extended period. They may affect customer service levels, sales figures, staff management strategies, workload allocation and workplace culture negatively while may force other employees to cover for them in some capacity.

Managers can reduce unplanned leave by setting clear expectations with their team members on how many working days to expect each month, in order to reduce unexpected absences and delays caused by them. Furthermore, managers should encourage flexible working arrangements whenever feasible.

Employees requiring extended unplanned leave can be at risk of burnout and low morale, making the discussion about why this person needs so much unplanned time off more critical than ever before. Listening closely to their concerns while providing assistance where needed will go a long way toward providing support and alleviating strain.

Non-exempt employees must submit a leave of absence request in Workday (please follow these detailed instructions to do so), while exempt employees should inform their HR Business Partner or HR Service Center who will then send out appropriate paperwork in support of any job-protected absences that arise.

Custom Forms

Dependent upon company policies, employees need to fill out a time off form when taking leave from work. This form should provide space for them to write down the reason and dates for their request as well as an area for checking if their supervisor approved or denied it.

Policy settings allow you to specify maximum carry forward and encashment limits for each leave type. If an employee’s untaken leaves exceed these thresholds, any excess will lapse and no longer count against their entitlements. Furthermore, you can set minimum gap between applications (the number of days between two requests).

Setting accrual rules gives you the flexibility to credit leave annually or monthly. Furthermore, you can add last month rules which specify when leave will be awarded; such as 1-5-1 credit will be added from 1-15th of a given month, 17-31/2 getting 2 days credited etc.

Enabling this option allows your employees’ leave to account for all bank holidays. Furthermore, setting a maximum leave balance after which holidays will be deducted can help establish how many leave balances have accumulated for an employee and what holidays will be deducted as leave is used up. Furthermore, using customize balance you can directly input their new leave balance directly.


Leave policies should provide employees with the flexibility and confidence to use time off as necessary, such as attending personal commitments or caring for family members. In order to ensure all employees are treated fairly, it’s vital that there are clear policies in place.

Your company’s leave policies should accommodate various forms of leaves, including vacation days, national holidays and festival leaves, sick days, sick leave for pregnant workers or patients who are on medical leave and parental leave, as well as rules to carry over from one year to the next, such as clubbing weekends and holidays to accumulate leave balances from previous years.

Make sure that your leave policy complies with federal and state labor law by subscribing to the Department of Labor’s BerniePortal blog and Society for Human Resource Management legislative updates.

Your employee handbook should contain your company’s policy on various forms of leave available, defining when an employee can carry forward an unused leave, how it will be forfeited and charged as vacation days when time off is taken due to unexpected events that require someone not being at work.

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