Employers need to be aware of their responsibilities when giving employees a leave of absence.
Emergencies are unavoidable and always happen when we least expect them. If you work as an on-the-job professional, a variety of factors, including domestic problems, family matters, health emergencies, and others, may prevent you from reporting to work for a while. Many workers choose to take a leave of absence in such circumstances.
What is a Leave of Absence?
The term “leave of absence” is a protracted absence from employment, typically lasting more than a month or a few weeks. The majority of leaves of absence are tied to health and well-being, unlike vacation time or personal days. A leave of absence does not usually cover the major benefits offered in a paid time off. The most frequent justifications for taking time off are:
- Caring for a new child (such as by birth or adoption)
- Recovering from a serious illness or injury
- Caring for a family member with a serious illness or injury
- Caring for a family member who has been injured during military service
A fair, consistently applied leave of absence policy is a strategy for retaining skilled workers. Like paid time off, leaves of absence are subject to both organizational internal leave management regulations and state legislation pertaining to employee rights.
Managing Leaves of Absence
Since employees typically request leaves of absence, in urgent and unavoidable situations, they must be processed and approved quickly by the management and HR team. Here’s how to handle the circumstance when an employee requests a leave of absence effectively.
Request a Written Application
It is not advisable to handle a leave of absence verbally. Ask your employee to submit a formal application for a leave of absence from work even if they made the request in person. Encourage them to include the duration of their absence from work and a sincere justification for submitting the leave request.
Assess the Requisite Eligibility Criterion
Many companies have policies that state that an employee cannot request for a leave of absence unless they have worked there for a predetermined amount of time. Examine the employee’s employment history to see if they qualify for the unpaid time off. Additionally, determine whether the cause for the absence complies with the requirements and standards outlined in your organization’s leave policy.
Offer Situational Accommodations
Analyze the scenario and reason why the employee has resorted to asking for a leave of absence, and then suggest some ideas to see whether the reason may be met in a different way. Offering flexible shifts or remote networking frequently enables employees to continue providing services, even in the most unforeseen circumstances, without needing to request a leave of absence from work.
Make Necessary Recordings
If you have granted your employee’s request for a leave of absence, be sure to enter the appropriate information in your data systems. If you have a leave management system set up in your management systems, it will automatically log the employee’s absences and handle the necessary payroll adjustments.
You must make sure that the employee’s absence won’t have an impact on the work tasks. As a result, you will need to make arrangements for a stand-in to carry out the duties of the employee who is on a leave of absence.