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Leave of absence policy template (employee attendance policy)

1-minute read

Manager and employee discussing leave of absence policy
Conor Shilling

Conor Shilling

27 October 2023

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If you have employees, it’s important that you create a leave of absence policy. This document can provide you with a framework for how to manage your approach to employees’ time off.

Read on to find out what’s included in a leave of absence policy and how a template could help you to get started.

What is a leave of absence policy?

A leave of absence policy, sometimes referred to as an employee attendance policy, governs employees’ rights to time off in addition to their statutory or contractual holiday entitlements. It includes things like time off for medical appointments, compassionate leave, and religious holidays.

It’s important that you have a written absence policy in place in order to set out employees’ entitlements, and to explain how time off can be taken. A customisable leave of absence policy template means that you can set out those entitlements, as well as the procedures that employees need to follow in order to use them.

What does a leave of absence policy template cover?

A leave of absence policy usually sets out the rules for when such leave might be granted. These include:

  • religious holidays
  • jury service and witness attendance
  • other public duties, for example if an employee is a justice of the peace, a member of a local authority, a health body, or an education body
  • cases in which an employee is a member of the armed forces reserves
  • medical appointments
  • compassionate leave
  • elective surgery
  • fertility treatment

In most cases, the time off granted under the leave of absence policy sample will be unpaid – for example, employees are generally not contractually entitled to pay if they take time off for medical appointments. However, you may choose to compensate them anyway as part of their contract.

Some of the cases listed above may require the employee to take further time off, for example to pursue fertility treatment beyond initial medical appointments. In some policies, employees are encouraged to do so from their annual leave entitlement. However, again, you may choose to offer further time off in special circumstances. This is at your discretion.

What about statutory leave?

It’s crucial that you remember your legal obligations when it comes to statutory leave. You may also wish to use our separate employee annual leave policy template to set out how annual leave is granted.

Keep in mind that you may choose to offer employees further annual leave over and above their statutory entitlement. This can be an effective way of attracting and retaining talent.

Do you have any unanswered questions about creating a leave of absence policy for your business? Let us know in the comments below.

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Conor Shilling

Written by

Conor Shilling

Conor Shilling is a Copywriter at Simply Business with over two years’ experience in the insurance industry. A trained journalist, Conor has worked as a professional writer for 10 years. His previous experience includes writing for several leading online property trade publications. Conor specialises in the buy-to-let market, landlords, and small business finance.

We create this content for general information purposes and it should not be taken as advice. Always take professional advice. Read our full disclaimer

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