We often witness employees of a company complaining about not getting enough leave. Well this happens in 90% of companies worldwide, and it’s a prominent factor that affects the productivity of employees after a particular period. Once an employee starts attending the office against their will, the efforts and dedication that they will put into their work will also reduce. Ultimately, the company has to bear a huge loss due to productivity issues of the employee. This is where the crucial role of HR comes into play. The structuring and proper framework of leave policy for employees in India is properly framed by HR.
When a company’s HR takes up the task of designing the leave policy, they must do a lot of legal research. Various laws exist about structuring such policies, and every company (private or government) is bound to follow those laws. Finding out and understanding these laws properly is the first and most basic task of an HR. Then, according to the research and collected information, HR designs an appropriate leave policy for a company.
What is a Leave Policy?
A company’s leave policy is the number and types of leaves provided to the employees. This number and type may vary according to the company, but the basic structure remains unchanged. To ensure that at least some basic leaves are provided to the employees and that they are not exhausted with too much work, various laws and acts related to leave policies are instilled in the constitution.
A company leave policy is designed by HR having a thorough background check on all the details regarding the topic, such as constitutional laws, necessary types, work structure in the company, and so on. Designing a company’s leave policy needs a lot of factors to be considered and is not a one-day or one-time work. However, some modifications can be done later according to the employee requirements and changing laws.
Types of Leave Accessible to Employees
In private and small companies, more restrictions are present on employees with low income. They do not provide leave frequently to employees who are in their training period. After the completion of their training period and after becoming a permanent employee, they can get access to all the lawful leaves included in the company’s policies.
Following are some basic types of leaves accessible to employees of almost all companies:
Sick Leave –
According to the leave policy in India,usually 7-8 sick leaves are included in the employee contract of a company. These leaves are provided to the employees yearly and are not prone to encashment or cannot be carried forward to the next year. Also, these leaves are completed unpaid.
Casual Leave –
Apart from the sick leave type, even some casual or random leaves are provided to the employees of a company. These leaves are inconsistent in companies and depend on the plan or strategy that an HR designs for that company.
Paternal/Maternal Leave –
Employees take these leaves once a year (or sometimes only once throughout their employment period). That is why not too many restrictions are imposed on these leaves. Usually, maternal leaves may last about 6 months during pregnancy or post-delivery. On the other hand, paternal leaves are taken post-childbirth as a part of the family and newborn care.
Earned/Paid Leave –
Apart from all the other common leave types, this is a completely paid leave for the employees. According to the Indian labor law leave policy structure, this leave type offers two distinct benefits from the other types. The first benefit is that the company completely pays for these leaves. Another benefit is that they provide encashment to the employees in case they don’t use them in a year. This means that these leaves (if pending) can be carried forward to the next year, or payment for these leaves can be taken by the employee in their current payment.
Industries of various fields usually offer the above common types of leaves. However, the number of days allotted for each type varies according to the company that people work in. The HR has to design the leave structure for that particular company and make it easily accessible for every employee.
Strategies for Balancing Employee Needs and Business Objectives
HR implements various strategies to balance employee needs and business objectives perfectly. Some of the common ones among them can be listed in brief as follows:
Keeping Clear Communication and Contact –
Understanding the point of view of both the employees and the employers is very important. This can be done by keeping proper communication between the 2. An HR is the only person who can do this appropriately and satisfy both parties equally. This is a very effective strategy for making a leave policy for an organization.
Taking Reference from Leave Policies of Other Organizations –
Another helpful strategy can be taking references from the leave policies of other organizations. These policies may not completely resonate with your organizational structure, but can help you make a good policy. It can prove a helpful pathway for satisfying organizations and employees efficiently.
Involving Employees for their Opinion –
Considering employees’ opinions in the framework of HR leave policy can also prove helpful. This is because the policy applies to the employees, and if they are involved in its framework process, then effective results can be created.
Consider Feedback from the Employees and Employers –
Properly and frequently considering the feedback of both the employees and the employers can help HR modify the policy whenever necessary. This is an effective method to keep track of the policy implementation and not let anyone be disappointed by its structure. HR can also format a feedback form to rotate among the whole staff of the organization. The staff can thoughtfully fill out this form and then be checked by HR to properly know everyone’s point of view.
Keeping Scope for Flexibility within the Policy Rules –
HR should also remember that giving some flexibility within the policy rules is very important. This way, employees will not be burdened by the policy and will happily follow all the rules coming their way. Employees can be given various flexibilities within the leave policy, such as giving encashment or carrying forward options for paid leaves. Along with maternity leave for women, even paternity leave for men has been initiated. This way, both mother and father can care for the newborn baby and the mother. All these flexibilities will benefit employees and make them feel safe in the organization that they are working in.
Create a Balance Between Peak Business Days and Employees Leaves –
While strategizing leave policy, HR should consider creating a balance between all the peak business days and employee leaves. Also, not all employees should be given leave on the same day so that the production remains constant or growing (even better). If this is properly planned and a leave policy is made, the business will not suffer backlash, and even employees will get leave satisfaction. That is why HR should undoubtedly consider this strategy while planning and implementing leave policy for their organization.
HR’s Vital Role in Crafting Effective Leave Policies
HR is a very important employee of any organization because they have the whole place’s rights, powers, and responsibilities. That is why it is the main task of an HR to keep close attention to all the work that the employees perform weekly, monthly, and yearly. In other words, HR keeps track of every employee’s performance throughout their presence in the office. Another important responsibility of an HR is to make a company leave policy considering all the beneficial areas for both the employees and the organization.
Following are some important reasons why an HR is responsible for designing leave policies for employees of an organization:
Checking Complete Legal Background is the Job Profile –
The job profile of an HR includes checking all the legal background of any project before taking it ahead. That is why they are an expert in researching and keeping track of all the legal terms and policies. This will help them while making leave policies for employees of an organization. This is one reason policy-making responsibility is given to HR, not any other senior employee.
HR is a Higher Authority than the Employees –
HR is a higher and more responsible authority than any other employee of an organization. That is why, after implementing the leave policy, they can keep track and hold on to the employees and see whether all employees follow all the policy rules. This is another main reason an HR is handed over the responsibility of designing leave policy in India in any organization.
HR is responsible for handling both the productivity and employees –
Handling both the productivity and employees of an organization is one of the important tasks of HR. This is only possible when a proper balance or link is created between the 2. Creating a proper balance between employees and organizational productivity is also necessary for leave policy-making. That is why HR is responsible for making a leave policy for the organization.
HR can take close Feedback about the Policy from Employees –
HR is considered to be the link between the employees and the organization. That is why they can observe the performance and difficulties of employees closely and take their feedback more accurately. For the same reason, giving the responsibility of leaving policy-making to an HR is more profitable and provides convincing results to the organization.
Considering all the above reasons, an HR is much more responsible and eligible when making a leave policy for an organization. Undoubtedly, the HR leave policy process may go through many difficulties, cross-checking, and problem-solving sessions. But, when the final result is completely up to the mark, both employees & organization are happy and satisfied.
Navigating Legal Compliance in Leave Policy Design –
Legal research is a must while designing a leave policy for a company. There exist different laws in different countries for providing leave to employees. In India, some of the below leave laws are very prominent:
The Paternity Benefit Act, 2017 –
Under this act, even male employees can claim leaves while their wives are pregnant or have just delivered a baby. This act is a modification for those male employees who struggle equally during the pregnancy, delivery, and child-care period of their partners.
The Maternity Act, 1961 –
This act includes leaves for female employees during their pregnancies and post-delivery period. Modifications in this act also include leaves for miscarriages or medical emergencies related to pregnancy.
The Factories Act, 1948 –
All types of leaves for factory workers and employees are set in this act. These types cover sick leave, paid leave, and casual leave. Also, a particular annual leave limit is set in this act for the company’s reference.
The Employees Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952 –
This act’s basic task is dealing with subjects related to provident funds. But, it also includes some laws or regulations regarding a company’s leave policy. Structuring a leave policy for a company is also possible by referencing this law.
The Payment of Bonus Act, 1965 –
According to the allotted and considered leaves of the employees, bonuses are offered to them. This also considers the employees’ annual performance, but the base is left. HR should also design leave policies for companies considering the bonus to be given for the pending leaves of the employees.
It should be noted that the secondary leave policy for employees may vary from company to company, but the primary laws remain the same. So, an HR should conduct a thorough research of all these laws and then design the leave policy of their company accordingly. Otherwise, legal troubles regarding the policy may occur in the future.
What is the afterwork of an HR post-policy-making?
Usually the role of an HR is completed after making and implementing a leave policy. However, the actual role starts after structuring the leave policy. The steps that follow after structuring a leave policy are:
Proofreading and Cross-Examination of the Policy –
Once the complete structure of the leave policy is ready, HR needs to proofread and cross-examine it from experts before presenting it to the organization head and the employees. This ensures no flaws or avoidable drawbacks are left in the policy.
Presentation of the Policy in front of the Staff –
After the policy is thoroughly cross-checked and re-structured (if the experts find any flaws), it is presented to the organization head and employees in a meeting. Both can raise their doubts, and HR needs to resolve all of them to prove that the leave policy is flawless and ready to be implemented.
Tracking the Working of the Policy –
Even after getting approval from the head and employees & bringing the policy into practice, HR needs to check its work thoroughly to get the expected results. If something is going wrong in implementing the policy, HR must track it and resolve the problem immediately.
Getting Feedback from the Employees and Organization –
The employees and the organization must give feedback on the implemented policy. This feedback can be orally or in written form. After the feedback from the whole staff comes up, HR can evaluate all of them thoroughly.
Find Solutions for the Appearing Problems –
Among all the feedback, HR notes all the problems that either the organizational authorities or employees have faced. Once all the problems are tracked, necessary solutions can be analyzed, and conclusions can be drawn.
The above steps are all followed after the implementation of the leave policy made by HR. If all these steps are properly followed, then the success rate of the policy will be 100% confirmed.
What is the most crucial challenge that an HR faces while making and implementing the leave policy?
During the process of structuring company leave policy,an HR person may face a lot of difficulties. Some crucial ones among them are:
Giving Balance and Comfort to both Employees and the Organization –
The most crucial among them is to create a perfect balance between the comfort of employees and the organization’s profit. This is because satisfying hundreds of employees on the leave structure allotted and getting good productivity from them is not possible simultaneously. However, an efficient HR must figure out ways to balance this. Otherwise, keeping the employees unhappy will lower productivity, and just thinking about their comfort may make them lethargic. Both ways, it is a complete failure for the organization.
Preparing Well-Balanced Leave Policy Legally –
Another challenge is to make a well-balanced leave policy legally as well. No legal laws should be violated while increasing the organization’s productivity. Only keeping in mind the organization and its rules is not enough. Making sure that the leave policy that you make is legally suitable is equally important. So, this is also a problem that HR faces while making a leave policy for any organization.
Why is the evaluation of the leave policy important after implementation?
Once the organization head and the employees approve a particular leave policy, its implementation is done strategically for the new and current employees. Well, this is not the end of an HR job. They need to keep a constant check on the working of the policy.
Following are some common reasons why evaluating the implemented leave policy by HR is important:
Inconsistent Punctuality among Employees –
Not everyone will be punctual enough among hundreds of employees following the policy. Some may try to find a way out from it and escape with more leaves than allotted. So, HR’s duty for leave policy also includes keeping a constant check on the implementation and working of the policy with the help of various tools. Like the number of leaves and the whole policy structure, even the tools HR uses to track the policy vary.
Using Policy Tracking Tools will offer Perfection –
Companies should use different tools that they are comfortable with for tracking their employee leave records. This will make the follow-up easier and immediately track any difficulty that comes the way of employees
Every Person may have different Opinions and Experiences on the Policy –
Every employee or organization authority may have different opinions and experiences regarding the leave policy. They may not immediately speak up about it, but these things remain stuck in their heads for longer. If this keeps going, that may convert into an outburst, which will ultimately not be appropriate for policy implementation. So, it is important to keep track of the policy’s working so that no such disputes of thoughts or actions occur in the future.
Due to the occurrence of all the above troubles after implementing the leave policy, keeping proper track of the same is crucial and should not be neglected by HR.
Effective Communication and Implementation of Leave Policies
Imagine that an HR has properly planned the whole leave policy structure and immediately brought it into practice. Now, what will happen to this implementation? Will it go smoothly? No, making the abrupt decision to implement the policy will only cause problems and leave all the troubles unresolved. That is why it is important to properly plan even the implementation of a leave policy, just like its formation. Other benefits of planning and then implementing any leave policy are:
Transparency and Great Work-Balance is Facilitated –
By constructing an appropriate leave policy for employees for any organization, complete transparency and great work performance can be experienced. Transparency is a very important aspect that businesses can provide to their employees. Confusion and misunderstandings will constantly increase without transparency among the organization and the employees. This will cause problems in the working and productivity of the overall organization. So, it is important to have transparency between the employees and the organization. This can be facilitated perfectly with the help of a well-organized leave policy.
Rapid and Great Increase in the Overall Productivity –
Everyone should note that when employees are happy, every organization keeps growing constantly and increasing productivity. Getting a halt to the productivity of any organization will not only affect the business but also cause loss to the job safety of the employees. This way, the organization will suffer from recession, and the employees may also lose their jobs. That is why having good and consistent productivity is very important, which can efficiently come from a well-planned and organized leave policy.
Enhancement in Job Satisfaction and Reduction in Employee Complaints –
With proper communication between the organizational authorities and the employees from time to time, all temporary errors in the leave policy can be resolved. This doesn’t let these errors increase and cause any parties trouble. That is why good communication will be very helpful after designing and implementing the leave policy. Also, this will enhance job satisfaction among employees and reduce their complaints about the organization and the concerned authorities. Having good communication is very important for thorough and successful working of any leave policy.
Employees receive Advanced Job Satisfaction –
Employees who work with extra effort throughout the day will need at least some leave satisfaction. However, if even this basic need of the employees is not fulfilled, employees will ultimately get frustrated at the end of the week, which will affect their performance in the next week as well. This will not benefit either the employees or the organization. This condition will not appear if a proper leave policy is structured for the organization, which is the importance of this policy.
Congratulations… Now, almost all your doubts regarding the role of HR in crafting an effective leave policy are clear. The importance of HR is huge in the framework of a leave policy of an organization. With the help of an appropriate framework, planning, organization, and execution of a leave policy, the organization and the employees will ultimately and consistently benefit.
Frequently Asked Questions –
What are the benefits of having a well-crafted leave policy in organizations?
A well-crafted HR leave policy can bring a lot of productivity and success to an organization. This is because getting consistent leave keeps the employees happy, and they can focus more on their work. This way, new ideas and innovations come up, and it ultimately facilitates the growth & success of the organization. So, having a good leave policy is crucial to achieving consistent and long-lasting success for any organization.
Is the Role of HR very crucial in designing an organization’s leave policy?
Yes, the Role Of HR In Leave Policy is huge and irreplaceable. Researching the various laws related to providing leave to employees, thoroughly navigating the leave policy pattern of other companies in the same industry, and then drawing appropriate leave policy conclusions are the
main tasks of an HR. Also, explaining the whole leave policy they designed for seniors and other employees is another major task.
Getting the leave policy approved is not the final step of the process. Keeping regular follow-ups about the conditions of the policy and how it is helping both employees and the organization is also crucial. Overall, the whole process of leave policy-making is very tedious and takes a lot of hard work and consistency of the HR to get accomplished.
What are the laws that help in the structuring of the leave policy of an organization?
In designing a company leave policy,various constitutional laws should also be considered properly. Some laws exist for providing employees with a proper work environment, but some are very prominent. These are The Employees Provident Fund and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1952; the Paternity Benefit Act, 2017; the Maternity Act, 1961; and so on. All these laws must be thoroughly researched to determine the exact strategy for designing a leave policy for an organization. All this is usually the responsibility of the HR of that organization.
How can an organization’s HR list out some important leave policy rules?
Listing out some important leave policy rules needs some HR research. Usually, around 30-42 total leaves are provided to the employees according to the rules. However, this rule applies only to permanent employees of many companies. To become a permanent employee, you must complete your probation/training period (usually 3-6 months in almost all companies). That is why while strategizing the leave policy of an organization, uniqueness without going out of the law is the strongest and most difficult part. If HR cracks this first step, then the structuring of the leave policy becomes easier.
How do you explain the leave policy to employees without trouble?
Designing a leave policy is one thing, but its implementation is another aspect. Explaining the leave policy to the employees is quite a task that may take some hard work from HR’s side. The first thing that HR should do is arrange a meeting for both the employees and the organizational authorities. This meeting should include all the employees and important staff members. Another thing to do is to make a good presentation of the leave policy. With a good presentation, HR can rightly impress both the employees and the authorities.
Lastly, HR should have done a thorough background survey or research about the policy. Whatever doubt arises in both parties’ minds should be resolved by HR without hesitation or any false hopes or promises. If all this is kept in mind, the results will undoubtedly be successful for the leave policy.
Can any other Senior Employee or Authority handle the work of preparing the leave policy?
Apart from HR, it may be very difficult for any other senior employee or authority to prepare the leave policy. This is because the research and analysis that is included in the job profile of an HR is not included in the profile of others. HR is responsible for doing thorough research on all the provided topics in the minimum time and bringing out the best possible results. So, it will be much more effective for HR to plan the leave policy of an organization other than any other senior employee. That will be much more professional and profitable for the whole organization and, ultimately, the employees.