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Legal requirements for PTO and Leave in Europe

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Businesses are constantly on edge for finding the best approaches for ensuring better employee engagement. However, it is quite difficult to achieve better employee engagement easily. The rapidly changing business environment and constant modifications in labor laws have different levels of influence on employees. HR managers all over the world are rethinking the traditional perspectives on the way they manage the human capital of an organization. As a result, the emphasis on legal precedents for employment conditions has started to take the front seat among priorities for HR. The following discussion helps you find out the legal requirements for PTO and leave in Europe. Let us see how PTO or paid time off and leave policies in Europe affect employees.

Why Are the Legal Requirements for Leave Important?

The first concern while planning a day off tracking solution designs is labor law. Technology lets you avoid the unnecessary complications associated with monitoring the number of leaves your employees take. In addition, you could also get a clear estimate of the balance holidays in the account of each employee effortlessly. However, mobile apps and software solutions for leave tracking must follow the legal implications associated with leave. The EU labor law holds the sole discretion over defining the rights and obligations of workers and employers in the European Union.

The Legal Authority of EU Labor Law

EU labor law focuses on two distinct areas, such as working conditions and the role of information and consultation for workers. EU labor law dictates the working conditions such as working hours for fixed-time and part-time workers, also alongside catering to the conditions of posting of workers.

The EU labor law also takes on the responsibility of providing information and consultation to workers regarding collective redundancies, transfer of companies, and other factors. When you are trying to develop a leave tracker solution for your company in any country in the European Union, you must follow the EU labor law.

When it comes to the PTO and leave in Europe, EU labor law specifies that individual EU countries have the privilege of offering higher levels of benefits and protection for workers. However, the European Working Time Directive establishes the minimum limit of annual paid leave for workers at 4 weeks. On the other hand, various countries have chosen more generous benefits for workers.

Types of Leave Permitted in the EU

With clarification on the legal authority for PTO and leave in Europe, it is reasonable to look for different types of PTO. The European Commission also outlines the specifications for leave in Europe across different categories. A clear understanding of the specifications helps in crafting the basic outline of your PTO tracker solution. Let us take a look at the conditions for various types of leave in Europe.

Annual Paid Leave

According to the specifications by the European Commission, the annual paid-leave entitlement for employees in Europe is four weeks. In addition, the national and public holidays also count for another 14 working days as leaves. It is also important to note that if public holidays or national holidays fall on a Sunday or Saturday or on a weekly rest day allotted to the employee, they should be eligible for another day of leave for the holidays. Your vacation tracker solution should also consider the fact that no additional days could be allowed as holidays for national or public holidays on a Sunday or a Saturday.

It is also important to reflect on the entitlements for part-time workers when it comes to annual paid leave. All the part-time workers are also eligible for minimum entitlement to all public holidays, birth leave, injury leave, sick leave, bereavement leave, marriage leave, and annual paid holidays. They would get the leave benefits in accordance with the conditions of employment recognized by their employer in employment contracts.

In addition, part-time workers are also entitled to other leaves established in accordance with the act. Furthermore, part-time workers could also get statutory bonuses alongside other income supplements similar to that of full-time employees on similar duties by taking their conditions of employment into account.

Maternity Leave

The design of PTO tracking software should also include the implications for maternity leave. Employees could apply for maternity leave right after the birth of their child or if they adopt a child with their partner. Employees could apply for maternity leave for a continuous duration of 14 weeks. However, as of 2013, the duration allowed for maternity leave has changed to 18 weeks. On the other hand, employees must provide a notification to their employer at least four weeks prior to the beginning of their maternity leave.

There are different ways in which HR management could allow you to take maternity leave according to law in EU.

  1. Six weeks of maternity leave entitlement is mandatory, and employees must take it immediately following the date of birth of their child.
  2. Four weeks of maternity leave is allowed before the expected due date. Other agreements between employee and the employer could help in negotiating the duration of maternity leave allowed before due date.
  3. Employees can choose to take the remaining maternity leave entitlement, either completely or in parts, either immediately before or immediately after the due date.
  4. If an employee is unable to take their maternity leave before the due date, they will use the remaining leaves entitled to them after the due date.
  5. Over the period of maternity leave, employees are eligible to receive full wages as payable by their employer.

Parental Leave

Parental leave is also another important aspect which you should add to an employee leave tracker app. Male and female employees have individual rights for receiving around 4 months of unpaid parental leave. Unpaid parental leave is applicable in scenarios where employees want to take care of children after birth by their partner.

It is also applicable in cases of fostering, adoption, or obtaining legal custody of a child. Parental leave is a wholesome approach for employees to take care of children. Interestingly, laws in EU allow for such type of leave until the child reaches the age of 8 years.

If the employee does not take parental leave or have remaining balance of parental leave, they are still entitled to the leave even after changing employment or employer. The design of an employee time off tracker should focus on the fact that employees in private sector could take almost 4 months of unpaid parental leave.

On the other hand, public servants could take up to almost 1 year of unpaid parental leave for each child. Employers should note that parental leave can be taken with a one-time period of 5 years. Furthermore, both parents could share the parental leave.        

Sick Leave

The laws for sick leave in Europe are also important for defining the HR policies of organizations operating there. Sick leave is a mandatory and unavoidable circumstance that must be in any solution for tracking leaves. Employees must provide notifications to employers as quickly as they can when they face any illness. A day off app must feature the ability to verify a doctor’s certificate for the employee’s illness.

Maltese law implies that employees are eligible to receive wages during illness. In addition, some other relevant collective agreement also determines statutory sick leave pay in Europe. Employees are eligible to receive a given number of days as sick leave entitlement. However, exhausting the sick leave allotted to an employee implies that employers don’t have any obligations for paying wages. On the contrary, employees on extended sick leave might receive sickness benefits offered by the Social Security Department.

The rules for sick leave in Europe indicate that employees are rightfully entitled to take sick leaves up to four times annually. In addition, the employees have the right to claim the number of hours as sick leave in a calendar year. Employers are required to submit the information to the employees within 5 working days of receiving the request in writing.

Other Types of Leave

The design of a time off app can be quite complicated when you have to focus on the other types of leaves. Apart from the common types of leaves, employers are also required to award other leaves to their employees according to EU law. Employers must allow a minimum of 12 hours with pay annually as time off from work. Such type of leave is applicable in the cases of urgent family matters. Most importantly, the total number of hours that employees take for urgent family reasons are accounted for in the annual leave entitlement.

Employers reserve the right for setting the maximum possible duration employees could take time off from work in different cases. At the same time, employers must ensure that the minimum time allowed in such cases must not be less than one hour for each case. Employers also have the right to demand evidence that could be necessary for verifying and confirming the request of an employee for urgent leave. It is also important to note that part-time employees are eligible for urgent leave entitlement on a pro-rata basis.

How Do Legal Requirements for PTO and Leave in Europe Help Companies and Employees?

When companies look up to new tech solutions like leave tracking applications, they have to understand the importance of legal compliance. The new system for managing leaves of employees in an organization should follow all the legal precedents. Well, is there any specific reason to focus on defining a clear-cut legal policy when designing a PTO or leave tracking app? The answer might draw you towards the potential benefits of a free vacation tracker solution. Here are some of the notable benefits of legally sound leave and PTO policies.

Health Benefits for Employees

The excessive working hours could result in growth of mortality of employees by 20%. The mental, physical, and emotional stress of work can result in profoundly worse health outcomes alongside affecting wellbeing at work. In the condition that employees receive paid time off or leave, they are likely to invest the time in exploring their creative side. Most important of all, employees can use their day off to rest and recharge for resuming their work completely refreshed.

Improvements in Performance and Productivity

Studies have revealed how leaves are responsible for changing the perspective of employees on their job, company, and leadership team. Only one week of vacation annually could have a prolific impact on the productivity and performance of employees. A survey by OC Tanner reveals that around 70% of employees taking one week or more of vacation regularly have better motivation for contributing to the success of the company.     

Employers Retain Talent

One of the foremost reasons to try out a free time off tracker solution is the benefit of recognition for employees. PTO serves as a really helpful means for showing recognition for the efforts and dedication of an employee. Therefore, it is important to note how leaves could also lead to long-term benefits in employee retention and engagement.

More Benefits for Employees

The development of a proper PTO policy is important for developing new tech solutions for leave tracking. The advantages of a good PTO policy include profound references to the Global Talent Trends Report 2020 by LinkedIn. According to the report, companies with higher benefits and compensations experienced a 56% reduction in attrition rates. On the other hand, flexible work arrangements helped companies in achieving growth in headcount by almost 137%. The facility of a PTO policy comes in both categories of improvement with the assurance of long-term employee benefits.

Developing the Ideal Solution

As you can notice clearly, the legal requirements for PTO and leave in Europe are considerably simple. Most important of all, the clear outline of leave duration and the conditions for eligibility make them easier to follow. HR managers could utilize their knowledge of legal precedents for PTO and leave to define credible solutions for leave management.

The growing prevalence of remote work has slowly reduced the physical interaction between employers and employees. In such cases, a leave management system or app configured according to legal precedents in Europe could help in freeing HR from the burden of managing leaves. Learn more about leave and PTO in Europe right now!