HR Glossary for HR Professionals

Glossary of the most common HR terms and acronyms to assist professionals navigating the ever-growing and ever-changing world of HR terminology.

Employee Leave

What is Employee Leave?

Employee leave is a prolonged period of absence for a worker. Employees can take leave for a variety of reasons, including to handle family matters. Leave benefits can reimburse an employee’s full paycheck, part of their pay, or none of their wages. 

While employers sometimes offer employee leave, it can also be required by law, depending on the state in which the employee resides. According to the Department of Labor, leave benefits “are generally an agreement between the employer and employee, or employees’ representative (such as a union).”

Is Employee Leave Required by Law?

Law requires some types of leave. For example, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires that employees are granted up to 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave each year. This also includes their health benefits in place during the absence. 

However, different states have requirements in place to protect employees in the event that a leave of absence is required. For HR administrators, it’s recommended that you familiarize yourself with the laws and regulations corresponding to your employer’s state. 

Other forms of employer-provided leave are voluntary. This means that organizations are not required to offer them to their team.

What Are the Different Types of Employee Leave?

Companies can offer their employees many different types of employee leave, including both paid and unpaid leave. Additionally, employers are required by the federal government to offer certain types of leave.

The various types of leave include:

  1. Federally Required Leave
  2. Bereavement Leave
  3. Personal Leave or Vacation 
  4. Sick Leave
  5. Parental and Maternity Leave
  6. Military Leave
  7. Unpaid Leave
  8. Jury Duty
  9. Election Day
  10. Holidays
  11. Umbrella Leave Policies

Why Should Employers Offer Employee Leave?

Many organizations elect to provide leaves for personal or medical reasons as an additional benefit, like paid sick leave. Overall, leaves can be considered a quality of life improvement that can boost retention and prospect recruitment.

When combined with other benefits, a generous leave policy can serve as a strong indicator of an organization’s company culture.

Related Terms: Paid Sick Leave

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