All organizations have a leave policy to let employees know their leave entitlement. This is generally exclusive of the declared leaves (national holidays & festival holidays), which are also shared with the employees. Every employee, new or old, is equally interested to know their leave entitlement, which helps them plan their time with families and if sufficient days of leave are available to take care of emergencies.

There are different leave headings under which an employee is entitled to opt for leaves. When a leave policy is in place, the employee becomes assured of the organization that the said leaves will be provided. Here are different types of leaves that an employee is entitled to:

Earned Leave (EL)

The leaves earned on account of days worked is called an Earned Leave. Sometimes this type of leave is also referred to as Vacation Leave (VL), Privilege Leave (PL), Flexi Holiday, or Annual Leave (AL).

Employees usually take EL to spend time with their families on vacation, to celebrate festivals for which there is no organizational holiday, and for other personal reasons.

When an employee has availed leave for a week or more, it is treated as a ‘long leave’. These kinds of leaves are generally planned much in advance, and their colleague stands in for their place. The line manager is well-informed about it in advance so that proper handover planning is done in the absence of the employee.

An organization must provide earned leaves to employees as per labour laws. However, a year’s accumulated leaves vary from state to state. This entitlement is calculated based on the number of days the employees will work minus the declared holidays, weekends, etc. 

Earned leaves can be carried forward to the next year if not taken in the current year. This kind of leave is a unique feature and also acts as a motivation for the employees. Over here, the state laws govern the number of leaves that can be carried forward to the next year in case of balance left.

Earned leaves can be converted to cash. This process is called leave encashment. Here, the exchange unit is the basic salary usually considered to encash the leaves. Typically, in most organizations, one day of EL is equivalent to one day’s basic pay. However, certain organizations consider gross salary as the exchange unit for leave encashment.

Casual Leave (CL)

Other than EL, many organizations provide Casual Leave (CL) to accommodate any unforeseen personal circumstances. Such kinds of leaves are not planned, and employees have the discretion to take them whenever they need to attend to unexpected situations.

Casual leave comes to the rescue in many situations like doctor’s appointments, tending to a sick spouse at home, school admissions, etc.

There is a combined entitlement for Casual Leave and Sick Leave in states like Delhi. If CL is not mandatory for your business, EL can equally serve the purpose. It reduces the number of leave types and simplifies the leave policy.

Many states mandate that organizations provide this type of leave to their employees. Some states do not make it mandatory. In certain states like Delhi, there is a combined entitlement for casual and sick leave.

Sick Leave (SL)

Sick leave is also called Medical Leave, as the organization provides the same on the grounds of sickness or accidents.

The law mandates this type of leave. However, these kinds of leaves are often misused as employees tend to produce a fake medical certificate if the number of days of leave exceeds more than two or three days at a time. As said earlier, there is a combined provision for Casual leave and sick leave in states like Delhi. Some states like Tripura allow 50% payment for casual/sick leave instead of full pay.

Marriage Leave

Marriage is a special occasion in everyone’s life. Many organizations are now taking cognizance of this and providing special leave to employees entering this important phase of their lives. This is called Marriage Leave.

Marriage leave is generally granted for 1 to 15 days. But in practice, most organizations grant three days of marriage leave. However, there are a few documents that the HR Department might need for processing marriage leave. An invitation card or marriage certificate is required as document proof to approve the leave. This leave is granted only once during an employee’s entire tenure of employment. In case of remarriage or multiple marriages, the employee will need to use their leave quote from the annual leave balance. If the balance is over, the employee might also have to go without pay. 

Sometimes only the first legal marriage is accepted, and leave is granted for this. Due to work pressure, employees might not be able to take marriage leave at that time. Once the project gets completed, they might take a few days off to go on a vacation. Under such a situation, the organization can grant leave in the first eight weeks of marriage before the leave window expires.

Maternity Leave (ML)

Maternity Benefit Act of 1961 mandates that all employers have to ensure that 26 weeks of paid maternity leave has to be provided to any woman who has worked for a minimum of 80 days in 12 months before the expected delivery date.

The state laws govern the Earned Leave/Casual Leave/Sick Leave types. Maternity Benefit Act is a Central Government Act. This type of leave is applicable only for the delivery of the first two children. In case of third delivery, 12 weeks of leave can be availed by the woman employee. This act covers the mandated leaves in situations like miscarriage, adoption, surrogacy, and tubectomy.

Paternity Leave

Once a child is born, the expectant father can apply for paternity leave to take care of the mother and the newborn baby. The duration of the rest is entirely under the discretion of the organization, which varies from 2 days to about four weeks based on policy to policy. This type of leave needs to be taken within a stipulated time period of the baby’s birth. India does not have a specific labour law to look into paternity leave

Bereavement Leave

This type of leave is granted to an employee when there is a death in the family. This type of leave is provided explicitly so that the employee is able to tend to the last rites and take care of any pending personal matters, as with death, comes a lot of rituals and rites to be performed. At times, this leave is also called Compassionate leave. However, this type of leave is not only for the grief of a loved one but also for taking care of them if they are sick and hospitalized.

There are no laws in India for bereavement leave. At the sole discretion of many employee-friendly organizations, bereavement leave can be offered for 2 to 20 days.

Compensatory Off (comp-off)

If an employee is required to work during declared holidays or weekends due to pressing work or a project, they are offered a compensatory off on any other weekday.

The organization handles these kinds of leaves on a case-to-case basis, and generally, the HR Department follows a process for employees to avail compensatory off.

Only if the employee has worked on a non-working day this kind of off is considered. An employee has to generally send a request mail to their line manager with a copy to the HR team. Once the line manager approves, HR grants the employee compensatory off.

Compensatory leave generally has an expiry window of 4 to 8 weeks, depending on the organization. Within this time frame, the employee needs to take the compensatory off.

Loss Of Pay (LOP)

When an employee has finished all their leave quota against various heads but still needs some leaves to meet an unforeseen situation, an organization can grant them leave with a loss of pay. Since there is a loss of income in this type of leave, it is also called LOP leave. If an employee goes on leave without prior intimation to their line managers or HR department, the organization treats this as a violation and is considered a loss of income (LOP). Also, if an employee fails to produce medical certificates in case of sick leave, it is treated as LOP. LOP does not consider the leave balance, but while processing the payroll, salary is deducted as per the total number of days of LOP leave during the month.


It is indeed a difficult task for HR to manually keep track of attendance, maintain leave balance and entertain individual employees’ requests. These are the tasks that drain HR of their precious time to devote to other important strategic areas of HR.

Thus, a leave management system comes to the rescue, quickly taking care of the tedious HR tasks that are error-prone and sometimes inaccurate. Leave tracking is quickly done by Enspire HR. Reach out to us to know more about the leave management system at +91 99510 53333 or write to us at

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