Sick leave policy

Sick Leave Policy in Indian Private Companies

Crafting thoughtful sick leave policies for employee well-being requires compliance with legal requirements and company values.

What is sick leave?

Often at times, employees call in sick. It becomes crucial for employers to provide them with the necessary time to recover. Designing effective sick-leave policies requires a thoughtful approach that aligns with legal requirements and company values.

Nowadays, various organizations are actively adopting progressive solutions such as work-from-home and extended paid timeoff (PTO) to foster employee well-being and address misuse of sick leave.

While drafting a sick leave policy, organizations can take a flexible and employee-centric approach to cultivate a healthier and more productive work environment.

Sick leave policy rules in India

As per the Indian Shops and Establishment Act, sick leave policies must adhere to the following:

  • Employees are entitled to paid sick leave, ranging from 0.5 to a maximum of seven days.
  • For sick leave exceeding three days, a medical certificate may be required.
  • Sick leave can be combined with earned leaves.
  • Sick days are not carried forward or encashed; they automatically expire at the end of the calendar year.

Medical leave rules in India

  • Apprentices Act, 1961: Interns or apprentices can take medical leave for up to 15 days per year, and up to 40 days per year with accumulated leave.
  • Plantation Labour Act, 1951: Sick leave entitlement for plantation industry workers is governed by company policies.
  • Working Journalist and Other News Paper Employee's (Conditions of Service) and Miscellaneous Provisions Act, 1955: Employees are eligible for one month of medical leave for every 18 months of service, with half wages paid.
  • Sales Promotion Employees (Conditions of Service) Act, 1976: Employees under this act can take sick leave of at least one-eighteenth of the service period at half wages.

Medical leave rules in India

Sick leave policy - Overview and purpose

The Sick Leave Policy is designed to provide guidelines for employees who experience illness and require time off from work to recuperate. 

When employees fall sick, they are encouraged to take the necessary time off to focus on their recovery. During their absence, they will receive paid sick leave as per the company's standard policies and local regulations.

This policy aims to ensure the well-being of our employees while maintaining productivity and a healthy work environment.

Scope & eligibility of the policy

The sick leave policy applies to all full-time employees and part-time employees who have completed a minimum of 6 months of service or their probation period with the company.

Sick leave rules for private sector employees

To support the workforce during illness times, legal guidelines regarding sick pay are adhered to. They are -

In addition, [25 days] of [paid/ partially paid] sick leave is provided, which is separate from other types of leave, such as maternity leave and Paid Time Off (PTO).

Starting from 1st January each year, (number of days) days of Sick Leave are entitled to eligible employees.

Sick leave can be availed under the following circumstances:

1. Recovery from an existing illness.

2. Resumption from an accident.

3. Health check-ups in case of sickness.

4. Care of an ill family member.

For leaves related to menstruation, Paid Time Off or PTO Leave can be utilized by female employees.

It is believed that this comprehensive leave policy ensures the well-being of our employees and promotes a healthy work-life balance.

Download the Sick Leave Policy Template

How to apply for sick leave?

To request sick leave, employees should promptly notify their Supervisor and HR, giving at least half an hour's notice before their scheduled starting time. 

Sometimes, a physician's certificate may be required as proof of illness. These situations may arise when:

  • Being absent for more than [3 days] on sick leave.
  • A pattern of repeated sick leave at specific times each week.

While the company values sick leave, the final decision lies with the Supervisor and HR, who may need to deny requests in certain situations to maintain smooth operations.

By following these steps, employees can apply for sick leave smoothly and ensure a fair leave management process in the organization.

Accumulation of sick leave - Sick leave carry forward

Sick leave that remains unused can be carried forward for up to (number of years) years.

In any given year, employees can utilize a maximum of (number of days) accumulated sick leave.

Regardless of the reason for termination, any unused sick leave accumulated during an employee's service cannot be converted into cash.


This is a general guide, not a legal document, and may not cover all laws under the Indian Labour law. Neither the writer nor Pazcare will be liable for any legal consequences arising from its use. Consult with a legal professional to ensure compliance and adapt this guide to your business needs.

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FAQs on Sick leave policy

How many days for sick leave?

According to the Indian Shops and Establishment Act, employees can take up to 0.5 days to 7 days of paid sick leave. However, as per the company policy, the number of sick leave days can be flexible.

What is the rule for sick leave?

In India, as per the Indian Shops and Establishment Act, employees can take 0.5 days to 7 days of paid sick leave. If the employee’s sick leave extends to more than 3 days, then as per the company policy, a medical certificate may be required. Sick leaves are not carried forward or encashed, rather any sick leave balances expire at the end of a calendar year.

Can I take sick leave as casual leave?

Casual leaves are not combined with sick leaves. Usually, casual leaves can be taken from 0.5 days to a maximum of 3 days. However, if an employee wishes to take more casual leaves, then he/she can make use of the other leaves say paid time off, or earned leave as per their company policy.

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