Good Reasons for Taking a Leave of Absence from Work

In this blog entry, we will be discussing how a Leave of Absence is defined, the good reasons for taking a leave of absence from work, and we will be answering frequently asked questions regarding leaves of absence.

What are good reasons for taking a Leave of Absence from work?

The need to Request a Leave of Absence from work can happen anytime. It can be for many reasons, such as health or other personal or family problems, the birth of a child or an adoption, the death of a loved one, a break from a very stressful job, the interest to travel, or the pursuit of a hobby.

A leave of absence is when an employee gets approval from their employer to take time off work for an extended time period as they had requested. With that said, not all employed leave of absence requests get granted. There are good reasons and bad reasons. For now, let us explore the good or appropriate reasons for taking a leave of absence

Disability Leave

Disability Leave is a leave of absence granted by an employer to their employee wh a disabled worker for a reason related to their disability, such as when they are unable to perform the essential functions of their job position because of their preexisting medical condition. This is a leave where Disabled workers are entitled to under the Disability Discrimination Act which protects people with disabilities from discrimination and promotes their civil rights.

Jury Duty Leave

Jury Duty Leave is a type of community service leave that employees can take to attend jury selection. Jury duty is when someone is being summoned to serve on a jury in a court proceeding that is to happen on a particular day and time, and this is a civic responsibility.

Family or Parental Leave

Family Leave is a leave of absence from work to deal with family matters or situations such as the birth of a child or adoption of one, the death of a loved one, or to care for an ill family member.

Maternity Leave

Maternity Leave is a time off from work granted to a mother before and after the birth of her newborn. Taking a parental leave would allow a father to take time off from work for the same reason.

Medical Leave or Sick Leave

Sick Leave or Medical Leave is a law that authorizes employees to take leave for a defined period for major health-related concerns or sickness.

Military Leave

Military Leave is a leave of absence from work granted to employees who participate in active or inactive duties in the military. It also stipulates that employees who leave their civilian job for military service, whether involuntary or voluntary, are legally guaranteed the right to be reinstated in their former position upon returning from military duty.

Sabbatical Leave

Sabbatical Leave is a leave of absence granted to take a break from work so employees can pursue their interests such as traveling and research. An employee on sabbatical leave is still officially employed, but they do not need to report to work or perform their job duties. It also means they remain bound by their organization’s policies like confidentiality and data protection. Usually, one needs to be an employee of a particular company for a minimum of five years to qualify for a sabbatical leave.

Voting Leave

Voting Leave is a request made by an employee who is a registered voter to their employer that they need time off to vote, whether at the beginning or at the end of their shift, whichever allows them more time for voting and less time off the job.

What are the steps in taking a Leave of Absence?

Check Your Eligibility

Check your company’s policies. Does your situation even allow for you to file for a leave in the first place? Review your employee handbook if you have one or contact a Human Resource representative. Once you get the information you need, research further to know the extent of your eligibility, the number of days allowed for you to take leave, and whether you will be paid or unpaid for your absence.

Speak to Your Immediate Supervisor

Schedule a meeting with your immediate supervisor to discuss your need for a leave of absence, but if your absence would have a significant effect on your company, then it is best if you can talk to your employer in person about your leave so things can be delegated properly.

Write Your Request

Put your request into writing by submitting a formal request for a leave of absence either by paper letter or email. You should include the type of leave of absence you need, how much time is needed for your circumstance, and a specific date as much as possible to let them know when they can expect your return. You should also ask if there are other things that you have to do to make your request official.

FAQs: Good Reasons for Taking a Leave of Absence from Work

Here are five Frequently Asked Questions regarding Leaves of Absence:

How long can you take a leave of absence from work?

As disclosed on Insperity, a leave governed by the FMLA (Family and Medical Leave Act) allows employees to take up to twelve weeks off in a twelve-month period. The cases of childbirth, adoption, serious health conditions, and caring for a family member are just some of the reasons an employee might take an FMLA leave.

What are the types of leaves?

As discussed on Insperity, there are two types of leaves: mandatory and voluntary. Federal laws govern mandatory leaves of absence, and these leaves include disability leaves, jury duty leaves, medical leaves, and other state-mandated leaves.

Voluntary leaves, on the other hand, are not required by law. These leaves are offered as a courtesy to employees per company policy, whether it be for medical reasons or personal reasons. Because they are non-mandatory, these leaves are granted based on the discretion of the employer and according to guidelines.

What is the difference between short-term disability insurance and long-term disability insurance?

As discussed on Insperity, both disability insurances are designed to provide income to employees in the event they are unable to work due to injury or sickness. The differences between the two are as follows:

Short-term disability insurance covers employees for a limited period and is useful for major disabilities such as those who suffered from an accident or a non-terminal sickness, though it provides only partial income protection.

Long-term disability insurance generally must satisfy a time-in-service before one is eligible and is used for long-term absences from work. The long-term disability insurance usually begins when the short-term disability insurance ends.

Can a Leave of Absence be taken for psychological reasons?

Yes, a Leave of Absence can be taken for psychological reasons. For example, anxiety and depression are considered disabilities. As disclosed by Insperity, it is highly recommended to work with an attorney or HR professional with these cases, as things could get tricky.

Do you get paid during a leave of absence?

The answer depends on your organization as it is completely up to the employer to decide whether the leave would be paid or unpaid. According to Inhersight, there is no rule that states companies must pay employees during any kind of leave of absence, even though these kinds of situations are protected by federal laws.

What exactly is the difference between a Leave of Absence and a Time Off?

The distinct difference between a Time Off and a Leave of Absence is their duration. According to Peninsula, a Leave of Absence is when an employee takes a long time off from their job but still maintains their employee status, while a time off is a short absence such as a day booked off.

Explained further, Time Off is short-term while Leave of Absence is long-term. Sick days are times-off, and parental leaves are leaves of absence.


Right now, you should know more about Leaves of Absence in general, how it is defined, good reasons for taking a Leave of Absence from work, and answers to frequently asked questions regarding leaves of absence. If you have any questions or comments, then just enter them into the comment section below and let us get back to you!


Bamboo HR 2021, Military Leave from Work, accessed 01 February 2021, <,Reserve%20of%20the%20Armed%20Forces.>

Indeed 2020, When to Ask for a Leave of Absence, accessed 01 February 2021, <>

Inhersight 2019, All You Need To Know About Taking a Leave of Absence, accessed 01 February 2021, <>

Insperity, Employee leave of absence: Everything you need to know, accessed 01 February 2021, <>

Patriot Software 2019, Don’t Create Your Maternity Leave Policy Until You Understand Employee Rights, accessed 01 February 2021, <>

Peninsula Business Services Limited, Leave of Absence Guide, accessed 01 February 2021, <>

The Balance Careers, What is Jury Duty?, accessed 01 February 2021, <>

University of Washington Human Resources, Disability Leave, accessed 01 February 2021, <>

Workable, What is sabbatical leave?, accessed 01 February 2021, <>

Leave a Comment