Addressing Employee Leave
As life becomes more stressful and employees feel the pressures of balancing work and family concerns, time off becomes highly valuable to employees. Although conceptually, the practice of paying employees for not working is costly, time off from work is an employment benefit that far outweighs its costs. Among the many benefits for employees are rest, relaxation, a new perspective, travel, pursuit of hobbies, and release from daily employment tensions. Employers also reap the benefits when employees are rested, and relaxed employees return from a period of leave feeling refreshed — possibly with new ideas — and renewed energy for better job performance. Employers may also observe the performance of employees in new situations, as they fill in for their vacationing co-workers, potentially leading to better allocation of workforce talents.
Required Time Off
Employers are required by either federal, state, or local law to provide specific time off to employees. This includes the following:
· Time off to vote.
· Jury duty leave.
· Military leave.
· Family and medical leave.
· Other time off that may be mandated. For example, minimum sick leave hours per year.
Businesses may also offer a wide variety of paid and unpaid leave. For example:
· Sick leave.
· Personal leave.
· Funeral leave.
· Maternity/paternity leave.
All of these types of leave can be paid or unpaid, unless otherwise specified by a state or local regulation.
Eligibility for Leave
In determining employee eligibility for leave, an employer must consider many issues, including:
· Mandated leave regulations.
· The amount of paid leave time the organization can afford.
· The categories of leave.
· Determining when an employee is eligible to take leave.