11 Types of Employee Leave to Ensure Work-Life Balance

November 14, 20191:25 pm3339 views

Achieving work-life balance in today’s unpredictable, fast-paced, and “always connected” business world can be tough. 

Maintaining the harmony between professional work and personal life is crucial to ensure sanity and productivity because when an employee is unable to keep the balance, everyone in the team will suffer from the consequences. How? When employees physical and mental wellbeing deteriorates, companies will suffer from decreased productivity which could lead to profit warning issues. Financial issues could affect daily business operation such as unable to pay worker compensation. Then, a troubled business operation could make the business close or temporarily stop the operation.

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No leader would want that happens to their organisation. Therefore, offering continuous wellness programs should be included in the employee benefits package. Offering various kinds of employee leaves is also highly recommended as it could help employees disconnect from their daily work routine, helping them get back in a resilient state. If you want to provide a better work-life balance for employees, make sure the following employee leaves are available in your company.

Annual leave – The most common leave companies provide is annual leave. Annual leave is considered as a paid time off work granted by employers to employees. The range of annual leave differs from one country to another. In Singapore, annual leave is granted 7-14 days which can be used for whatever the employee wishes at their own convenient time. Meanwhile, in Denmark and Sweden, annual leave is 25-30 days per year.

Birthday leave – Birthday leave is not adopted by many industries but it can be a good option to offer work-life balance for your employees. Usually, birthday leave is paid leave which is granted on each employee’s birthday.

Parental leave – Parental leave can be paid or unpaid depends on the reason for taking the leave. Paid parental leave provides paid time off for employees to take care of or make arrangements for the welfare of a child or dependent family member. While unpaid parental leave is provided when an employer is required to hold an employee’s job when an employee is taking leave.

Personal/compassionate leave – Compassionate leave, also known as bereavement leave, is a type of leave granted by an employer for employees who have immediate family or household reasons. The reasons include the family funeral, family injury (incident), or occurrence of life-threatening illness.  

Community service leave – When employees are eligible and/or follow volunteer on behalf of company, they are eligible for paid community service leave. Community service can include service or activities dealing with an emergency or natural disaster

Long service leave – Long service leave is governed by state or territory laws.  Some countries such as Australia enable this leave if employees have served 10 years of continuous service. The Australian long service leave cannot be cashed out except on termination. This leave is usually paid at the employee’s ordinary rate of pay.

Sick leave – Sick leave is the number of days employees unable to work due to light illness such as cold or heavy headache. Employees are able to stay at home when choosing this leave without losing their pay. Organisation, however, might require a doctor’s prescription for proof. 

Medical leave – Different from sick leave, medical leave is granted for employees for much longer absence due to serious health condition of self or family such as cancer. Medical leave can be paid or unpaid depends on employers and employee contract agreements. 

Military leave – As the name suggests, military leave is time-off for staff who are or need to serve the National Guard. Military leave is considered as paid leave for some countries. In Singapore, military leave (national service leave) is calculated using conditional resolution formula. 

Holiday leave – Holiday leave is commonly used by companies under national holiday including Independence Day, Christmas Day, New Year’s Day, and more. This is paid leave under the Employment Act.

Sabbatical leave – This leave is generally employed by private sectors. Sabbatical leave is used by a company to allow employees to explore their interest, passion, education, or to do research. The length depends on the agreement between employer and stakeholders.

Court leave – This leave is available and eligible for employees who appear as a witness in court or who have court matter. The leave might include time to prepare for the judgment. Generally, court leave is charged under annual leave, sick leave, or leave without pay. It would depend on an agreement between employer and stakeholders.

Note: Each state employs different types of leave. While the above are the common examples, it will be wiser for HR leaders to check the leave variant under Employment Act / Labour Law in each state where the business is operating.

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