Leave policies are rules and guidelines established by employers that determine the amount of time off, paid or unpaid, that employees are entitled to take for various reasons. In this highly competitive job market, companies understand the importance of attracting and retaining talented workers, and offering unique and creative leave policies is one way to do just that. Below, we’ll explore four innovative types of leave that companies around the world are implementing to keep their employees happy and engaged. Read on to find out more.

Creative leave policies – table of contents:

  1. Menstrual leave
  2. Pawternity leave
  3. Birthday leave
  4. Sabbatical leave
  5. Summary

Menstrual leave

Business leaders all over the world are well-aware that menstruation can be a difficult time for many women, leading to physical and emotional discomfort that can impact their daily productivity. For this reason, many companies decide to address the issue in their leave policies and offer one or more days off per month without requiring a doctor’s certificate. Japan was the first country to introduce menstrual leave, also known as “seirikyuuka”. In Europe, Spain is a pioneer in this area, granting women the right to take paid leave due to painful periods after presenting a doctor’s note confirming the persistent symptoms.

leave policies

Pawternity leave

Globally, there is a growing trend that young people, both single and in relationships, consciously decide to resign from having kids and adopt or buy pets, e.g., dogs, cats, parrots, or rabbits. Some companies, particularly in the United Kingdom, are recognizing this trend and offering their employees some time off to care for their furry companions. BOLT is among the pioneers in this field, as it provides its employees with a few days off when they adopt a shelter animal. What’s interesting, pawternity leave can be often used retroactively.

Birthday leave

This type of leave is only granted once a year on an employee’s birthday. When their birthday falls at the weekend or on a public holiday, they can take, for example, the next working day off (depending on internal arrangements). Adding one extra day off for an employee’s birthday is a simple and fair policy since everyone has a birthday. It won’t cause any disruptions to ongoing processes or teamwork. It also prevents the possibility of many employees being absent at the same time.

Sabbatical leave

Sabbatical leave is designed to help employees experiencing some burnout symptoms – its purpose is to help them recharge their batteries and break out of fatigue. It’s usually granted to highly qualified people who work a lot and create innovative solutions, therefore you may come across such a leave policy in large corporations in the USA, France, Germany, Italy, and Great Britain.Sabbatical leave can last from a few weeks up to several months, depending on the employee’s individual needs. Employees who decide to use a sabbatical usually spend it traveling and chasing their dreams, without worrying about losing their jobs.

Leave policies – summary

Extra days off for long-tenured employees, non-standard time off for special occasions or for exceptional reasons, travel subsidies – it can’t be denied that employers have a wide range of options to take care of their employees. Creative leave policies are just one way to show that a company values its workforce, and they are generally well-received.

While the practices mentioned are not an exhaustive list (other options include leave for charitable activities or preventive care check-ups), they can serve as a good starting point. By implementing these solutions, a company can enhance its image as an innovative employer and increase its competitiveness in the eyes of both potential and current employees.

You’ve just read about creative leave policies companies are implementing. Read also: Leveraging HR analytics. 7 essential HR metrics to improve your workforce management.

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Author: Nicole Mankin

HR manager with an excellent ability to build a positive atmosphere and create a valuable environment for employees. She loves to see the potential of talented people and mobilize them to develop.