Leave policies are essentially a set of rules, regulations, and guidelines which outline everything related to company's policy regarding Leaves. It's generally a document which the employee can refer to understand about his/her eligibility and rights regarding leaves while employed with the organization. 

Ideally, every company should create and share this leave policy with employees as soon as they join, so the employee understands everything about allotment, applicability and process of entitlement of their leaves.

A leave policy contains the companies policy rules regarding several aspects associated with the employees' leave eligibility, allotment and application. These rules may cover the following aspects:

  • Name of the leave
  • Maximum annual leave credit
  • Whether the leave is gender specific
  • Is the leave specific/restricted to any particular set of employees in the organization
  • Probation period for leave eligibility
    • whether employee can earn leave during probation period
    • or whether the leave credit begins after completing the probation period
  • Maximum leaves at a time/allowed during a period (generally within a month)
  • Maximum consecutive leaves at a time/period
  • Pro-rating of leave based on joining date during the annual leave calendar
    • Will the pro-rating count the joining month, if it will then up to which date of the month
  • Accrual method, for how the eligible leaves will be credited to the employee
    • Will the accrual happen at the start of every new month; or
    • At the end of every worked/finished month
  • Whether an employee can take a 'Half day' using this leave
  • If there is an intervening holiday/weekly off coming between the leave "from-to" dates, will they be counted as leave too
  • Will the employee be allowed to apply for past-dated leaves
    • if yes, then up to how many days in the past
  • If the employee can club another type of leave(s) with this particular leave, to elongate the leave duration
  • At the end of the annual cycle, will the unused leaves be carried forward to the next year
    • if yes, how many of the unused leaves
  • If employee seeks/applies for leaves more than his/her eligibility, will the leave application be allowed
    • if yes, how will the policy treat those excess leaves

These are some of the most common rules observed in leave policies around the world. Of course, like anything else around the world, there may be even more variations or rules like these which companies follow.