What is unpaid leave?

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Unpaid leave is when your company permits you to take time off work for an extended amount of time without being compensated for it. If the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) deems your absence necessary, you’ll be granted unpaid leave for a set number of days with the assurance that your job will still be accessible when you return. Certain work benefits, such as health insurance, should still be available to you.

Most people may be unfamiliar with the concept of unpaid leave. Many people still believe this leave is the same as a regular leave, even though it is not. Unpaid leave is a form of leave in which the firm does not pay the employees a salary. Regulations and statutes also specify the policies about this leave. Some companies allow you to use vacation days toward your leave of absence. Once your vacation hours are used up, but you still need to be on leave, the remaining time is usually unpaid.

Employees who have worked for at least a year are not eligible to propose this type of absence. The length of time spent on this leave is usually speculative and undefined. It may be longer than yearly leave, but one thing is sure: HR & employees will negotiate it in advance to reach an agreement.

 Things to think about before taking unpaid leave:

  1. A working agreement still binds the company and its employees.
  2. Pay close attention to the terms of the contracts and the business terms.
  3. The company will not compensate you.
  4. There will be some risks.

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Pieter Borremans
By Pieter Borremans

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