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The Empuls Glossary

Glossary of Human Resources Management and Employee Benefit Terms

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Casual Leave

Casual leave can be your saving grace! It's a paid leave option offered by many organizations, allowing employees to address unplanned situations without dipping into their precious vacation days.

What is casual leave?

Casual leave (CL) is a paid type of leave offered by many organizations to employees for unplanned personal reasons. These reasons can be anything from a minor illness that doesn't warrant sick leave to attending to a personal matter or dealing with an unexpected situation.

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What happens if an employee exceeds their allotted casual leave days?

If you take more casual leave than your allotted quota, the consequences can vary depending on your company's policy and your manager's discretion. Here are some possibilities:

  • Unapproved leave: Your leave might be classified as unauthorized absence, potentially impacting on your pay or performance record.
  • Leave without pay: You might be allowed to take the extra days as unpaid leave, but this would depend on your manager's approval and workload demands.
  • Disciplinary action: In extreme cases, exceeding leave limits without a valid reason could lead to disciplinary action.

What are factors to consider while applying for casual leave?

Here are some key factors to consider when applying for casual leave:

  • Workload: Evaluate your current workload. Will your absence cause delays or create a burden on colleagues? Can you complete urgent tasks beforehand or delegate effectively? Minimizing disruption caused by your leave increases the chance of approval.
  • Timing: Consider the company's workload and upcoming deadlines. Avoid requesting casual leave during peak times or critical project phases. Choosing a less busy period demonstrates your consideration for overall team productivity.
  • Company policy: Familiarize yourself with your company's leave policy. This will outline the casual leave allowance, application procedures, notice period required, and any limitations on usage. Following proper procedures ensures a smooth leave request process.
  • Approval process: Understand who you need to submit your request to and any additional documentation required. This might involve informing your manager directly or submitting a formal application through designated channels.
  • Availability of alternatives: Consider if there are alternative solutions that could minimize the need for leave. Could you adjust your work schedule, work remotely if your role allows, or bank some flexitime to compensate for the missed hours? Exploring alternatives demonstrates a proactive approach.
  • Prior commitments: Check your work calendar and team schedules for any prior commitments or meetings that coincide with your leave dates. Communicate these well in advance to ensure a smooth handover and avoid disruptions.

What are the benefits of having casual leave in the workplace?

Casual leave offers advantages for both employers and employees:

1. Employee benefits

  • Improved well-being: Casual leave allows employees to address personal needs and unexpected situations, reducing stress and promoting work-life balance.
  • Increased morale: Knowing they have access to casual leave can boost employee morale and job satisfaction.
  • Improved focus: Taking short breaks can help employees return to work refreshed and refocused, potentially leading to increased productivity.

2. Employer benefits

  • Reduced absenteeism: A well-managed casual leave policy can discourage unplanned absences due to minor illnesses or personal emergencies.
  • Improved employee relations: Offering casual leave demonstrates employer trust and flexibility, fostering a positive work environment.
  • More productive workforce: Employees who can address personal needs efficiently are likely to be more focused and productive during work hours.

How should employees request casual leave?

The process for requesting casual leave can vary depending on your company's size and structure. Here's a general guideline:

  • Check the leave policy: Familiarize yourself with your company's policy on casual leave, including the required notice period and any approval procedures.
  • Inform your manager: Inform your manager about your intention to take casual leave as early as possible, especially if your absence might impact ongoing projects or deadlines.
  • Submit a formal request: Some companies might have a formal leave application process. Follow the established procedures, which might involve filling out a form or submitting a request through an online portal.
  • Ensure a smooth handover: If your absence disrupts workflow, ensure a smooth handover of your tasks to colleagues before leaving.

How does casual leave differ from other types of leave?

Here's a breakdown of how casual leave differs from commonly used leave types:

  • Earned leave (EL): Earned leave is accrued over time, typically based on days worked. It's planned in advance for vacations or extended breaks. Unlike casual leave, EL can usually be carried forward to the next year if unused.
  • Sick leave (SL): Sick leave is specifically for when an employee is unwell and unfit to work. It may require a doctor's note depending on the company policy and duration of leave.
  • Maternity/paternity leave: This leave is granted for childbirth, adoption, or childcare needs. It's a longer duration leave with specific eligibility criteria.

Employee pulse surveys:

These are short surveys that can be sent frequently to check what your employees think about an issue quickly. The survey comprises fewer questions (not more than 10) to get the information quickly. These can be administered at regular intervals (monthly/weekly/quarterly).

One-on-one meetings:

Having periodic, hour-long meetings for an informal chat with every team member is an excellent way to get a true sense of what’s happening with them. Since it is a safe and private conversation, it helps you get better details about an issue.


eNPS (employee Net Promoter score) is one of the simplest yet effective ways to assess your employee's opinion of your company. It includes one intriguing question that gauges loyalty. An example of eNPS questions include: How likely are you to recommend our company to others? Employees respond to the eNPS survey on a scale of 1-10, where 10 denotes they are ‘highly likely’ to recommend the company and 1 signifies they are ‘highly unlikely’ to recommend it.

Based on the responses, employees can be placed in three different categories:

  • Promoters
    Employees who have responded positively or agreed.
  • Detractors
    Employees who have reacted negatively or disagreed.
  • Passives
    Employees who have stayed neutral with their responses.

How many casual leaves can an employee take in a year?

The number of casual leave an employee can take in a year varies depending on the organization's leave policy. It typically ranges from 8 to 12 days annually. Some companies might have a fixed number of CLs, while others might offer a certain number per month or quarter. It's important to check your company's specific leave policy for details on the number of casual leave allotted and any other relevant guidelines.

Can casual leave be combined with other types of leave?

Yes, in some cases, casual leave can be combined with other types of leave. However, this depends on your company's specific leave policy. Here are some general scenarios:

  • Combining with earned leave (EL): This is often allowed. You can take a longer break by combining your casual leave days with some of your earned leave days.
  • Combining with sick leave (SL): This is generally not recommended. Sick leave is meant for genuine illness and using it for personal reasons might be seen as misuse of company policy.
  • Combining with maternity/paternity leave: No, casual leave wouldn't be applicable during extended leaves like maternity/paternity leave.

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