Compensatory Off

Compensatory off

Compensatory off meaning

A compensatory off, or "comp off" as it's commonly referred to, is a compensatory leave granted to an employee for having worked on a day or hours that are not part of his/her regular work schedule. This is often the case when an employee has worked overtime, on weekends, or on public holidays.

For example, if an employee works on a weekend which is a holiday for the company, the employer may give them a compensatory off on a weekday, ensuring that the employee still only works the same number of total days in that week.

Compensatory (comp) off rules to remember while drafting a policy

Here are the common rules followed for compensatory off in Indian companies. Since leave policies are completely drafted by the company, it can vary from one to another.

Defining eligibility

Employees working on public holidays or their weekly days off are eligible to claim compensatory time off, either the next day or within a designated valid period. The same applies when an employee works genuinely over a weekend.

During business travel, if a weekly day off or public holiday coincides, the employee is granted a half-day compensatory off. However, travel time does not count as working time. The compensatory off is only applicable to the time spent on client meetings or at work sites.

Understanding legal rules

Regarding legality, under Indian labor law, it's unlawful to require employees to work for seven consecutive days without a day off. The Factory Act mandates a 48-hour work week with at least one or two days off. If an employee works over this limit, they're entitled to receive overtime payment at double the regular rate.

Process to inform stakeholders

It is important that you and your manager along with the HR team are informed about working extra hours/days and taking compensatory off later.

As HRs, it is necessary to set a procedure for employees to apply and take compensatory leave.

Cap on usage period

Some companies also keep a cap on the period within which you have to use compensatory days off. For example, a leave policy can state that employees should use the comp off provided within one year. 

Compensatory off policy

Here is a simple compensatory leave policy that you can include in your leave policy. Edit the details as per your company needs and use it.


The purpose of this policy is to outline the rules and regulations concerning compensatory leave for employees of [Company Name], located in India. This policy aims to ensure that employees are fairly compensated for working outside of their standard working hours and during holidays.


This policy applies to all full-time and part-time employees of [Company Name] who are based in India. Contractual and freelance employees are not eligible for compensatory leave as per this policy.

Policy details


  1. Employees are eligible for compensatory leave if they have worked extra hours beyond their regular work schedule, or on a public holiday or weekly off day, with prior approval from their supervisor.
  2. Employees must complete the compensatory leave request form and obtain approval from their supervisor and the Human Resources department.

Accumulation and utilization

  1. One compensatory leave day will be credited for each day worked on a public holiday or weekly off.
  2. Half a day of compensatory leave will be credited for working extra hours equivalent to at least 4 hours on a working day.
  3. Accumulated compensatory leave can be used within 60 days from the date it was earned. Post this period, the leave will lapse.

Application procedure

  1. Employees must fill out a compensatory leave application form and submit it to their supervisor for approval.
  2. The application should be submitted at least one week before the planned leave date.
  3. The supervisor and HR department will review the application and notify the employee of their decision within 3 working days.


  1. Employees can accumulate a maximum of 5 compensatory leave days at a time.
  2. Employees cannot club compensatory leave with any other form of leave (sick leave, casual leave, etc.), unless explicitly approved by the supervisor and HR department.


  1. Employees must maintain a record of their extra working hours and submit it along with their compensatory leave application.
  2. All documentation must be verified by the supervisor and submitted to the Human Resources department for record-keeping.

Frequently asked questions

What is compensatory off?

It is a type of leave given to employees to compensate an employee for having worked on a day or hours that are not part of his/her regular work schedule.

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