What is an Employee Leave Schedule?

Employees are entitled to a specific number of leaves per year that they can use any time within the year. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, employees the most common types of leaves that employees avails are vacation leaves and medical care reasons. Some employees also file a request for leave from work for personal reasons, family emergencies, or to simply take a day off. To help managers and human resources decide if they should grant the request or not, they can refer to the employee leave schedule.

An employee leave schedule is an important document that monitors and tracks filed leaves of employees. This ensures that operations and productivity are not affected when an employee files for leave from their work schedule. It helps human resources and managers prevent putting the business operations to a halt due to overlaps and simultaneous leaves of employees. Aside from vacation days, an employee leave schedule also tracks sick days filed, personal leaves, and both paid and unpaid leaves.

It can also be used to record if the leave request was for a full day leave, half-day leave, or multiple day leaves. Results can also be summarized on a monthly or yearly basis. This will allow HR and the employee to chart and track all leave balances and annotate work schedules. It provides data that can be helpful in project planning and leave management.

Types of Employee Leaves

There is no getting around it when personal issues and problems bleed into your work. Filing for a leave of absence at work is sometimes the only solution so you can face it head-on. Here are the different types of employee leaves that you may request from your employer.

Personal Leave or Paid Time Off. The federal law does not require employers to offer this type of leave however, not offering it can curb recruiting efforts as most organizations offer it. Employees use a personal leave when they need to take a breather or attend to their personal matters.Parental Leave. A maternity or paternity leave can be used when you need to take time off from work for when you just had a child or adopted one.Family Care Duty. Employees have the right to take time off when they need to take care of someone close to them especially when their loved one’s health is failing or needs assistance. Under the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA), employees are allowed to take up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year without losing their job.Medical Leave. Medical complications, serious accidents, and illnesses entitle workers to take an extended leave of absence from work until they are physically fit to return to work. Also mandated under FMLA, employers are mandated to provide eligible employees 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year.Bereavement. This type of leave is used when someone close to the employee, often an immediate family member, passes away. There is no law requiring employers to offer bereavement leave, but most of them choose to offer it.Sick Leave. Not to be confused with medical leave, a paid sick leave is an employer-provided benefit for their employees. This type of leave is used when employees are not able to go to work during a specified time period and still receive their regular paycheck.

How to Create Employee Leave Schedule Template?

With all these different types of leaves, it is important that employers use an employee leave schedule tracker. This tracker should be loaded with functionalities that are not just easy to understand and use, but also one that doesn’t buffer or lags. Here’s how you can create a tracker and have an effective tool for plotting your employee leave schedule in a single document.

Step 1: Use Office Software Program to House All Necessary Data

If you’re comfortable using MS Word, Excel, Google Sheets, Pages, or Numbers, then do so. Rename it to match your organization’s standard naming protocol. Once you’ve done this, prepare for data entry. Make sure that you place proper headings and titles such as days, weeks, and months.

Step 2: Enter Different Types of Leaves that You Have in Your Company

As you are creating a template, you may enter all types of leaves and absences to suit your company. Customize the names of these types of leaves with your own preferred labels. You should enter all types of leaves that are valid and credited within your organization.

Step 3: Select Company Weekends and Holidays

Though Saturday and Sunday are the most common weekends, they can vary depending on the operating hours of the company. It is also possible that employees prefer to take weekday offs and work during weekends. It is important to include this in your template to make it easier for you to compute for working days. Also, include a list of holiday planners that your company observes and set in different colors so you can view them distinctly from each other.

Step 4: Enter Employee Data

Any number of employees can be specified in the employee leave schedule template. Employee names are pulled through from their start date (date when they began employment) and the termination date (if applicable). As it is possible to manage an unlimited number of employees for an indefinite period, new employees may join the company and the current ones leave. Your template should be able to work smoothly even with all the changes in the data.

Step 5: Employee Leave Data

This section is often left blank. Once an employee requests time off, regardless of paid or unpaid, it should be entered into the database. It should reflect employee names, the start and end dates of their leave, and the type of leave that they requested.

Step 6: View Dashboard and Generate Attendance Report

Your employee leave schedule is designed in a way that allows tracking the leaves and absences of your employee. A dashboard gives you’re a glimpse of how employee attendance looks like and generating a report per month can track absenteeism as well as productivity of employees when you need it during strategic planning.

Effects of Paid Leaves on Employees

In the US, the employer is not obligated to provide mandatory paid holiday time off to their employees. However, employers choose to add these perks and benefits, and a general rule of thumb, employees are given a minimum of 10 days of paid vacation time. It may seem like a costly option, but its benefits to the company have been proven to outweigh the expense.

Research studies have shown that paid vacation leaves are good benefits for both workers and the business. It improves talent acquisition, increases their productivity and employee morale, as well as encourages engagement and retention.

Improved Morale

Work-life balance is important for employees. By giving them personal and paid time off, employers show that they value their workers and help them unwind and relax to reduce stress. This is especially helpful to those working in high-stress jobs who cannot afford to take an unpaid break.  Employees feel more in control of their time and their lives if they are able to choose to take time off to do other things that matter to them such as going on a field trip with their children, visiting a loved one living away from them, or to simply rest and recharge. As a result, these employees develop positive feelings towards their work and improve their morale.

Higher Productivity

Employees with high morale tend to be happier and happy employees are more productive at work. Giving them the paid time off that they deserve gives employees the opportunities to settle personal issues at home and away from their workplace. It prevents their personal lives to bleed into their work when they need to take important personal calls and make appointments during their work hours. Consequently, the person paid vacation, as a result, reduces distractions while at work and improves their productivity.

Increased Retention Rates

One of the cost-saving benefits of employee leave benefits is increased retention rates. Retaining an employee is more cost-effective while replacing an employee is a more costly option. The recruitment process is long and takes time to hire someone from advertising to interviewing to training the new hire. Studies have also shown that turnover costs are 20% more expensive than employee retention. Giving workers this benefit of paid vacation leave also increases job satisfaction, thus making them stay and less likely to quit.

Managing Leave of Absence

Scheduling leaves and managing leave of absences of the employees are among the responsibilities of HR. It is largely a game of coordination and there are five steps that they must do in order to handle it:


How can employees request a leave of absence?

Leave of absence is often requested through the human resources and immediate manager. At some companies, the employee simply asks for time off, while others require that you go through a formal process of filing for leave requests. It should be noted that outside the conditions of FMLA, employers have the right to approve or decline a leave request.

How long should employees take a leave?

It depends. Under the FMLA, eligible employees are allowed up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave but their jobs are protected and remain intact for when they go back. Local regulations also play a part in terms of paid time offs as well as company policies.

Yes. Employers may require their employees to take a family and medical leave of absence to submit proof or verification of the existence of serious health conditions of the employee or their loved one. However, they should also be given enough time, at least 15 calendar days, to get medical certification and comply with other medical requirements.

Can employers approve a vacation leave but not give paid time off?

Yes. Under the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA), employers are not obliged to provide paid sick or vacation time to their employees. But many organizations provide this benefit to attract a better quality pool of candidates.

If there is one takeaway from this article, it is that: rested employees are happy and productive employees. Now that you are equipped with the knowledge about employee leave schedules and how to create one, you may start your own template from scratch or download any of the ready-made employees leave schedules from our selection.