What are the Different Types of Leaves in India for Employees?


Employees, across all industries in India, are entitled to a certain number of leaves per year aside from the holidays and days off. The number and type of leave depend on the industry, employer and state you are in under the Factories Act and State’s shop and establishment act. Every state has different leave entitlement and leaves policies which are the basis for leave policy of your company. In India, three types of leaves are generally followed namely earned leave, sick leave and casual leave which an employee can avail without loss of pay. There are different types of leaves for employees:

  1. Earned Leave or Privilege Leave

Employees earn this type of leave as they work for an organization for a specified number of days. The privilege leave comes to the employees without any salary deductions. This kind of leave needs prior approval from the employer except in cases of emergency. Based on each company’s policy, employees are usually allowed to expand their privilege leaves & even encash them in case they have not used it. The number of earned leaves may vary by industry & region.

  1. Casual Leave

Casual leaves are basically for short durations & can be taken with prior information to the employer except in cases when notifying the company is not possible. There are no casual leave carry-forwards. At the closing day of the year, any unused Casual Leaves will lapse automatically. Across industries and organizations, there are various rules for the number of days that can be availed at a stretch varying between 3 to 5 to 7 days. Can not be appended with  Earned/Privileged Leave or Sick Leave. If you are unable to use all of your accrued Earned Leave during a calendar year, you may elect to carry forward any accrued but unused Earned leave into the next calendar year, subject to the maximum accrual level. As a rule, official holidays are not counted when calculating the total casual leaves taken.

  1. Sick Leave or Medical Leave

An employee can call in sick if he is not in a state to come to the office for work. Usually, an employee is entitled to sick leave only after a stipulated period of employment in an organization. Sick Leave can be taken for a minimum of 0.5 to a maximum of 7 days (paid) 

The number of infected leaves permitted might vary from company to company & as a matter of fact, no prior hint is needed for availing this type of leave. There are no sick leave carry-forwards or encashment. At the end of the calendar year, any available sick leave will lapse automatically. A medical certificate from a registered medical practitioner may be obliged to testify the sickness if the sick leave has prolonged for an extended period. For new joinee & resigned employee’s one gets pro-rated sick leave

  1. Maternity Leave

This provision is primarily accessible to those women employees who are expected to deliver a baby in the coming months. As a rule, the period of paid maternity leave is a maximum of 26 months, which can further extend to a maximum of 16 months of unpaid leave. Maternity leaves are a separate set of leaves given to a female employee and no deductions are made from any of the above leave types. In the case of miscarriage or medical termination of pregnancy, an employee is entitled to six weeks of paid maternity leave.

  1. Quarantine Leave

Quarantine Leaves are sanctioned to an employee only if there is a transmissible disease in the family or household of the employee that can be dangerous to the health of other people in the organization

  1. Study Leave

An employee can be granted sabbatical permission to allow him/her to upgrade his knowledge & experience in a means that he will be of greater use to the company after re-joining. While assigning Sabbatical Leaves it is necessary for the employer to get a contract signed from the employee that he/she will join the office (or stay for a certain period of time in the company) after the sabbatical is over.

  1. National Holidays and Festival Holidays

Republic Day (January 26), Independence Day (August 15) and Gandhi Jayanti (October 2) are the three national holidays observed in India. On these days all institutions, irrespective of under which law they are covered, or whether they are public or private organizations or MNCs should necessarily remain closed.

The festival holiday is decided based on the local festival of that locality and is granted to the employees in accordance with the company policies.

  1. Other Leave Options

Some of the types of leave we will discuss next are legally mandated at the local or state level. Others are simply leaving options that employers offer to employees as a benefit of employment. Here are some examples of more leave types:

  • Bereavement
  • Pregnancy and/or pregnancy disability*
  • Public holidays
  • Vacation days
  • Sick days or leave time for family illness (separate from FMLA)
  • Maternity/Paternity*
  • Other leave as required by a collective bargaining agreement
  • Adoption leave
  • Temporary disability leave
  • Voting*
  • Childbirth (separate from maternity leave)
  • Child care
  • Community service or volunteer work
  • Attendance at parent/teacher conferences
  • Administrative leave
  • Personal leave
  • Adverse weather
  • Comp time to compensate for extra hours worked
  • Other leave as appropriate for the industry or type of employer, which will vary. (One example would be left to attend conferences or conventions.)
  • Leave to appear as a witness in court, which also may include time to prepare for such

This list is not meant to be fully comprehensive of every conceivable type of leave, but instead, it’s meant to cover the primary leave types offered. How does the list compare to what your organization offers


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