Any worker may have an emergency during working hours such as the illness or death of a family member. Because of this, the worker may need to take an employee leave of absence from work to address this situation. Obviously, it would be very difficult for any company to obtain profitability if its employees are not working. The issue of absenteeism for companies is a very sensitive issue since it can cost them a lot of money. Now, it is important for an employer to know how to deal with an employee’s leave of absence in order to minimize the negative effects.
In this article, you will learn everything about what is a leave of absence from work. Normally, and according to the labor legislation of each country, the laws tend to favor employees widely. Therefore, the employer must be careful about possible litigation that can be a problem and a great economic cost for employee’s leave of absence. That is why it is important to design a human resources policy to handle this type of situation.
- What is a leave of absence?
- Types of employee leave of absence.
- How to design an adequate leave policy so that the employee does not exceed the use of voluntary leaves?
- Can employees a request leave of absence for psychological reasons such as stress or depression?
- How to request an employee leave of absence?
- What are the best practices for employee leave of absence?
- How can we help you design and apply an employee leave of absence policy in your company?
1. What is leave of absence?
Employee leave of absence work is when an employer allows an employee to be absent for a significant time. Likewise, this leave may or may not be paid. In turn, it can be mandatory or voluntary depending on the personal leave reasons and the circumstances of the request.
1.1 How does leave of absence work?
For its part, the employee leave of absence from work may be unpaid when the employee does not have paid leave such as vacations and breaks, among others. Likewise, on unpaid leave of absence, the permanence of the employee in his job will depend on the policy that the company has in this matter.
Therefore, we cannot confuse employee leave of absence meaning with paid time off and vacations. We say that the granting of this permission means that the employee is going through an extraordinary situation and that it will take a leave of absence to solve it. Examples of these situations would be adoption, and caring for a sick family member, among others.
Employers can apply voluntary absence policies to generate greater commitment and loyalty on the part of the employee.
2. Types of employee leave of absence
There are normally two types of employee leave of absence:
- Employee leave of absence mandatory:
There is a list of reasons for leave of absence from work. These permits normally include medical leave of absence, licenses to comply with compulsory military service, jury duty, and other types of circumstances that warrant a requirement by the State.
Likewise, labor laws usually regulate these permits depending on the number of workers that a company has and the place where the employee works. Therefore, if an employee is within these situations, by law the company must grant employee leave of absence since they are situations that the State requires.
In this sense, these are some of the situations for which a company must obligatorily grant an employee LOA:
2.1 Leave of absence reasons list
- Jury service: In some countries, people are required to serve on a jury in criminal proceedings. That is why companies granted a leave of absence so that the employee has the time to attend the courts. Depending on the legislation of each country, this license may or may not be paid. Therefore, companies must prepare in advance for this type of contingency.
- Voting Licenses: This will also depend on the legislation of each country and how its electoral process. Although normally the license, for this reason is paid. But obviously, an employee will need to have enough time to be able to exercise the right to vote.
- Military service: In some countries, there is compulsory military service. Obviously, the employee will need this leave in order to fulfill this duty. Normally, it is not usually remunerated.
2.2 Employee Leave of Absence Voluntary
These permits are not required by law. These leaves are part of a company’s policy as a benefit in accordance with the collective contract or the union.
In this sense, companies usually offer medical or personal leaves to their employees as long as they have exhausted all their mandatory employee leave of absence. This occurs when the worker is going through an exceptional situation and they issue their direct presence to resolve the situation.
These licenses depend on the will of the employer according to their policies on leave at work. Granting a voluntary employee leave of absence is optional for the employer. That is, you can decide whether to grant this permission or not.
3. How to design an adequate leave policy so that the employee does not exceed the use of voluntary leaves?
There are several types of reasons for personal leave of absence. But the employer must be careful of those employees who want to take advantage of the advantages that the company’s leave policy grants.
Likewise, we know that there are employees who are committed to their work and others who are not, and who often seek an excuse for taking a day off. Therefore, from the beginning of the employment relationship, the employer must make it clear to the employee that in order for the business to develop in a stable manner, it is necessary to have their constant presence.
On the other hand, to generate greater loyalty and commitment of the employees towards the company, it is important that the employer let them know that they can count on the support of the company for extraordinary situations that arise. In turn, it is important that employees know how far they can go with the issue of licenses so that they do not want to exceed their use by any justification.
Therefore, the HR department, with the approval of the company’s general management, must create a description manual for each job position and how the employee’s absence can be resolved. But in general, the company must be aware of the situation that one of its employees is going through and must let them know that they have the support of the company to solve their situation.
4. Can employees request leave of absence for psychological reasons such as stress or depression?
In many countries, anxiety and depression are illnesses that motivate an employee leave of absence. Given this, which is quite common, it is important for a company to design a process to help its employees deal with this type of very common situation at work.
For these cases, it is always important to have a solid human resource department that designs a program to deal with this type of situation. But in general, both anxiety and depression are sufficient causes for an employer to grant an employee leave of absence.
Likewise, it is important that companies take care of the mental health of their workers since in many countries this type of illness can be associated with work. Therefore, the employee could legally claim some type of compensation and would have many opportunities to win this litigation.
So in the face of any symptom of anxiety, stress, or depression of any employee, the employer must quickly attack this situation not only to take care of the mental health of his worker but also to avoid having to pay the employee some type of compensation for considering this an occupational disease.
5. How to request an employee leave of absence?
The first thing a company must have is an application form that must be filled out by the worker. On the internet, you can get hundreds of models but the ideal is to create a personalized form according to the needs and particularities of the company.
Of course, an important point to determine is how long a leave of absence is. Likewise, within the company’s leave policies, it is important to establish the maximum period that a worker may be absent
For his part, with the application in hand, the employee can deliver it to the person in charge of making these decisions, who could be the head of human resources, and he will decide whether to approve the application or reject it. On the other hand, it is important for either the employer or the employee to keep the case documentation in order in case of any litigation that may arise.
In this sense, as a company policy, this should leave this work in the hands of a single person so that there is a uniform application of the company’s license policy. Of course, the design and application of a company’s license policies cannot be contrary to the provisions of labor laws.
5.1 How should an employee request an employee leave of absence?
- First of all, the employee must inform the manager of the company about the extraordinary situation he is going through.
- Where possible, it is important that the worker fill out the personal leave of absence request form.
- If the request is approved, there must be constant interaction between the worker and the manager to avoid confusion in the company and provide the support that the employee may need. It is important to make clear how long do you leave.
- An important part of these employee leave of absence policies is the proper documentation of all situations that occur during the employee’s absence, so the company will be protected against any possible legal process due to some type of disagreement.
6. What are the best practices for employee leave of absence?
Employee leave of absence best practices take into account and balance labor law and employee benefits. Of course, to be successful in this matter, the company must apply the labor regulations of its jurisdiction.
This is the basis for having good practices with the employee leave of absence policy. In other words, if the licensing policy is contrary to the law, the company will face many legal problems, which affects the profitability of the company since a lot of money will go to pay compensation to workers and lawyers’ fees.
For its part, there must be a balance between the law and the actual practices of similar companies.
It is necessary to document these policies and have the employees sign to certify that they are aware of them. The directors, bosses and supervisors must have full knowledge of these leave policies in the company. Therefore, when all parties are aware of these policies, there will be no problems between employees and the company.
6.1 How long is leave of absence?
The duration of a leave of absence will depend on the licensing policy implemented by each company. Although each situation that arises from a worker is also different, so it is complex to manage a uniform criterion.
7. How can we help you design and apply an employee leave of absence policy in your company?
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