Leave of absence
Leave of absence is a term used to describe a period of time that one is to be away from his/her primary job, while maintaining the status of employee. This term is in contrast to normal periods away from the workplace, such as vacations, holiday
A Holiday is a day designated as having special significance for which individuals, a government, or a religious group have deemed that observance is warranted. It is generally an official or unofficial observance of religious, national, or cultural significance, often accompanied by celebrations...

s, hiatuses, sabbaticals, and "working from home" programs, in that they are considered to be exceptional circumstances, rather than benefits. Generally such an arrangement has a predefined termination at a particular date or after a certain event has occurred.

Paid leave

Generally, paid leave of absences are given at the request of the employer, or per some statutory or contractual requirement. Some examples of typical paid LOA are employee injury on the job, bereavement, jury duty
Jury duty
Jury duty is service as a juror in a legal proceeding. When a person is called for jury duty in the United States, that service is usually not optional: one must attend or face strict penalties. Employers are not allowed to fire an employee simply for being called to jury duty...

, or if the employer is performing repairs or other activities in the building where the employee normally works which prevents them from performing their duties.

Unpaid leave

Unpaid LOA's are generally at the request of the employee or as a result of suspected misconduct on the part of the employee. A leave of absence may be obtained for a variety of employee-requested reasons, including Active duty
Active duty
Active duty refers to a full-time occupation as part of a military force, as opposed to reserve duty.-Pakistan:The Pakistan Armed Forces are one of the largest active service forces in the world with almost 610,000 full time personnel due to the complex and volatile nature of Pakistan's...

 call-up for reserve military
Military reserve force
A military reserve force is a military organization composed of citizens of a country who combine a military role or career with a civilian career. They are not normally kept under arms and their main role is to be available to fight when a nation mobilizes for total war or to defend against invasion...

 personnel, or to attend to the health needs of the employee or of a family member of the employee.

In many jurisdictions, it is up to the employer's discretion as to whether an employee's request for a leave of absence is granted or not. In the United States, the Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993
Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993
The Family and Medical Leave Act of 1993 is a United States federal law requiring covered employers to provide employees job-protected unpaid leave for qualified medical and family reasons. These reasons include personal or family illness, military service, family military leave, pregnancy,...

 defines certain circumstances under which approval of a leave of absence is compulsory. As well, the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act
Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act
The Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 was signed into law by U.S. President Bill Clinton on October 13, 1994 to protect the civilian employment of non-full time military service members in the United States called to active duty...

 (USERRA) dictates certain circumstances under which a LOA must be granted.

During periods of time where the employer's market is sluggish, some employers offer certain classes of employees an opportunity to take an unpaid leave of absence as extra vacation time, in an effort to temporarily reduce operating expense
Operating expense
An operating expense, operating expenditure, operational expense, operational expenditure or OPEX is an ongoing cost for running a product, business, or system . Its counterpart, a capital expenditure , is the cost of developing or providing non-consumable parts for the product or system...

s without the complications of performing a Layoff
Layoff , also called redundancy in the UK, is the temporary suspension or permanent termination of employment of an employee or a group of employees for business reasons, such as when certain positions are no longer necessary or when a business slow-down occurs...

, and potentially losing critical employees permanently. Such a period is referred to as a leave of absence in lieu of layoff.

Continuation of benefits

Generally, continuation of certain benefits, such as medical insurance
Health insurance
Health insurance is insurance against the risk of incurring medical expenses among individuals. By estimating the overall risk of health care expenses among a targeted group, an insurer can develop a routine finance structure, such as a monthly premium or payroll tax, to ensure that money is...

, is maintained. Other benefits such as Life Insurance
Life insurance
Life insurance is a contract between an insurance policy holder and an insurer, where the insurer promises to pay a designated beneficiary a sum of money upon the death of the insured person. Depending on the contract, other events such as terminal illness or critical illness may also trigger...

normally require the employee to pay the premium in order to be continued during the LOA.

For those benefits that are based on an employee's time in his/ her job, the period of the absence may be included in the tallies of consecutive service for certain benefits. If the time is not included, it is simply omitted from the tally, but not considered a break in service.

External links

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.