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Global Work Glossary

Lost in a maze of global employment jargon? Find your way out with our handy collection of work and HR terminology

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# A B C D E F G H I J L M N O P R S T U V W X Y Z

Leave of Absence

What is a Leave of Absence?

A leave of absence is an officially sanctioned period away from work, granted to employees for various reasons, without termination of employment. During a leave, the employee is typically excused from regular duties but retains their status as an employee. This arrangement can be either paid or unpaid depending on the employer’s policies and the reasons for the leave.

Types of Leave

Leaves of absence can vary widely, including medical leave for personal or family health issues, maternity or paternity leave for new parents, sabbatical leave for personal development or research, and military leave for service obligations. Each type serves specific needs and comes with its own set of regulations and policies.

Policies and Legal Considerations

Employers must adhere to local and national employment laws when granting leaves of absence. In many regions, certain types of leave are legally protected, such as medical or family leave under laws like the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) in the United States. Employers should have clear, written policies that outline eligibility criteria, the application process, and any benefits or compensation during leave.

Strategic Importance for Employers and Employees

For employees, a leave of absence provides the necessary time to address personal matters without losing their job, which can significantly impact their well-being and work-life balance. For employers, accommodating leaves can improve employee satisfaction and retention, although it requires effective management strategies to handle the temporary absence of team members.

A leave of absence is a critical employment provision that supports the diverse needs of employees while maintaining their affiliation with the employer. Both parties must manage these periods carefully to balance personal needs with professional responsibilities.

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