What is a Medical Leave of Absence?

In today's workplace, companies must foster a culture of support and understanding, especially when it comes to employee health.A comprehensive medical leave of absence policy goes a long way in showing employees that their well-being is a priority. Such policies are essential for providing employees the necessary time off to address medical issues, recover from illness, or care for loved ones. This demonstrates the company's commitment to employee well-being and can boost both morale and retention rates.

Read more
Tailored health plans, dedicated expertise - the perfect match for your organization's well-being
Customized plans

Affordable prices

24X7 Support

Dedicated claims manager

Total Care

All round wellness benefits

Fast-track your search with instant quotes from prominent insurers
₹1 Lakh cover starting at
No medical test required
Zero waiting period
Paperless claims
secure-icon We don't spam
Get Updates on WhatsApp

Whom do you want to insure?

  • Employee, spouse & kids

  • Employee only

Medical Leave of Absence Policy Overview

A medical leave of absence policy provides a framework for employees who need extended time off due to serious health condition or the need to care for a family member with a serious health issue.

A well-designed policy has several key purposes. Primarily, it's about supporting employees when they face medical challenges. It gives employees clarity about the procedure and their rights regarding requesting medical leave. It ensures the company operates within all applicable labour laws and regulations.

Scope & Eligibility

A well-crafted medical leave of absence policy seeks to protect as many employees as possible while balancing the company's operational needs. Here's a deeper look into establishing a comprehensive scope and clear eligibility guidelines:

  • Inclusive Approach: Ideally, a medical leave of absence policy should apply to all employees regardless of whether they are full-time, part-time, temporary, or contract workers. This demonstrates the company's belief that supporting all employees during health challenges is fundamental.
  • Potential Exceptions: In rare cases, there might be exceptions based on extremely short employment durations (e.g., less than a month). Some companies distinguish between short-term medical leave and extended leave, with slightly different eligibility for each.
  • Serious Health Conditions: Medical leave of absence is primarily intended for significant health issues that directly prevent an employee from fulfilling their core job duties. This could include the employee's own health or the need to care for a close family member facing a serious health condition. Medical leave policies often coordinate with group health insurance benefits to offer comprehensive support during such situations.

To prevent misunderstandings and ensure fairness, it's vital to set transparent eligibility criteria. Typical factors considered include:

  • Minimum Employment Duration: Companies often require an employee to have worked for a certain period (e.g., 90 days, 6 months, 1 year) before becoming eligible for extended medical leave. This helps to balance the cost to the company while still protecting established employees.
  • Medical Certification: Requiring a doctor's note verifying the health condition and the need for extended leave is standard practice. This helps to prevent abuse of the policy.
  • Alignment with Law: Companies must ensure their policies are consistent with the minimum protections mandated by laws. 

Medical Leave Rules in India

The framework for medical leave in India is shaped by several key pieces of legislation and regulations. These may differ slightly between private companies and government employment. Some of the major sources governing medical leaves include:

  • The Employees' State Insurance (ESI) Act, 1948: This act offers social security benefits to workers in certain industries.
  • Factories Act, 1948: Workers in factories are entitled to sick leave with wage rights, subject to providing medical certification.
  • Shops and Establishments Acts: These acts are state-specific and regulate working conditions in shops and commercial establishments. Provisions for medical leave with pay might be included depending on the state.
  • Maternity Benefit Act, 1961: This act provides for paid maternity leave for female employees, along with the right to additional leave for illness arising out of pregnancy or childbirth.
  • Company-Specific Policies: Many private companies in India have their own internal medical leave of absence policies. These policies must meet or exceed minimum standards set by national and state laws.

Here's a breakdown of the essential elements of these policies: 

  • Leave Entitlements: The duration of a medical leave depends on the applicable law and company policy. Typically, companies offer some paid sick leave days per year, with options for extending the leave unpaid for documented serious medical conditions.
  • Leave Procedure: Employees follow a formal procedure to request medical leave, which often involves notifying supervisors and HR, submitting a leave application, and providing medical documentation.
  • Pay During Leave: Pay during medical leave hinges on company policy and leave duration. Short-term sick leave typically offers full pay, while extended leave might involve partial pay, transitioning to unpaid leave, or utilising benefits under schemes like ESI.
  • Medical Documentation: Verifying the legitimacy of leave requests is vital. Companies usually require a doctor's certificate outlining the illness, its impact on work ability, and the recommended leave duration. For complex cases, additional medical reports or specialist assessments may be needed.

How to Apply for Medical Leave

  • Understand Policy: Read documentation of your leave policy to properly understand your rights. 
  • Timely Notification: Inform your supervisor and/or HR as soon as you become aware of the need for a medical leave. Explain the nature of the health issue and the anticipated start date of your leave.
  • Formal Application: Companies usually have a specific medical leave application form or portal. Complete the required paperwork promptly and submit it as directed.
  • Medical Documentation: Provide the necessary medical documentation, typically a doctor's note, to validate your leave request.
  • Ongoing Communication: If necessary, maintain open communication with the company during your leave. Provide updates on your condition and estimated return-to-work date, even if approximate.

Accumulation of Medical Leave - Carry Forward

Some companies offer a benefit called "carry forward" for medical leave. This means that unused days from your allotted medical leave allowance can be accumulated and used in a future period, typically the following year. This benefit provides additional flexibility and peace of mind, knowing you have a reserve of leave days if needed.

It's crucial to understand whether your company allows carry-forward of unused medical leave. If carry-forward is an option, there might be a maximum number of days you can accumulate. Refer to your company's policy to find out this specific limit.

Companies should provide clear guidelines on how to utilise your accumulated medical leave days in subsequent periods. This ensures you're aware of the process for using your accrued time. Remember, specific medical leave carry-forward policies and application procedures can differ between companies. Always consult your company's employee handbook or HR for the most up-to-date and detailed information.


A well-structured medical leave of absence policy demonstrates a company's genuine commitment to its employees' health and well-being. By providing clear guidelines, establishing eligibility criteria, and ensuring legal compliance, companies create a supportive environment where employees can prioritise their health without jeopardising their employment. This fosters trust, loyalty, and demonstrates that the organisation understands the importance of supporting employees in challenging times, ultimately contributing to a healthier and more engaged workforce.


Group Health Insurance Premium Calculator

Who do you want to insure?

  • Employees
  • Employees & their family

Minimum lives should be 7

  • 1 Lakh
  • 2 Lakh
  • 3 Lakh
  • 4 Lakh
  • 5 Lakh

Include maternity coverage

Premium starts from

(Excluding GST)

Let's find the right plan for you

Speak to our experts to get the right plan for your company's needs

icon Expert advice made easy icon
  • Date
  • Time

When do you want a call back?

  • Today
  • Tomorrow
  • 20 Jul
  • 21 Jul
  • 22 Jul
  • 23 Jul
  • 24 Jul

What will be the suitable time?

  • 11:00am - 12:00pm
  • 12:00pm - 01:00pm
  • 01:00pm - 02:00pm
  • 02:00pm - 03:00pm
  • 03:00pm - 04:00pm
  • 04:00pm - 05:00pm
  • 05:00pm - 06:00pm

Tell us the number you want us to call on

Your privacy matters. We won't spam you

Call scheduled successfully!

Our experts will reach out to you on 4th June between 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Now help your friend get Business Insurance

Your referral is greatly appreciated!

Our team will reach out to your friend soon to help with their business insurance requirements.

Wait! Didn't find what you were looking for?

Our certified business insurance experts are just a call away.

icon Expert advice made easy icon
  • Date
  • Time

When do you want a call back?

  • Today
  • Tomorrow
  • 20 Jul
  • 21 Jul
  • 22 Jul
  • 23 Jul
  • 24 Jul

What will be the suitable time?

  • 11:00am - 12:00pm
  • 12:00pm - 01:00pm
  • 01:00pm - 02:00pm
  • 02:00pm - 03:00pm
  • 03:00pm - 04:00pm
  • 04:00pm - 05:00pm
  • 05:00pm - 06:00pm

Call scheduled successfully!

Our experts will reach out to you on 4th June between 2:00 PM - 3:00 PM

Call scheduled successfully

Thank you
Our experts will provide you assistance with your
insurance coverage. Be assured, all your questions
will be answered

Customizable plans from top insurers

starting @ ₹110/employee*

View Quotes
Group Health Insurance Articles
GIPSA stands for General Insurance Public Sector Association.It is a group of four General insurance companies...Read more
28 Apr 2022 by Policybazaar 16846 Views
A group medical insurance scheme offers many benefits in addition to providing financial support during medical...Read more
08 Feb 2023 by Policybazaar 8727 Views
Companies worldwide strive to attract top talent by offering competitive salaries and outstanding corporate...Read more
15 Sep 2023 by Policybazaar 2580 Views
GPA (Group Personal Accident) and GMC (Group Medical Coverage) are two popular types of insurance policies often...Read more
01 Jun 2023 by Policybazaar 8421 Views
Extended work hours or working on holidays and weekends have become common in workplaces. Compensatory leave for...Read more
18 Apr 2024 by Policybazaar 1055 Views
Investing in Group Health Insurance (GHI) is crucial for...Read more
07 Jun 2024 by Policybazaar 206 Views
Co-pay in group health insurance was Insurers introduced the...Read more
06 Jun 2024 by Policybazaar 215 Views
Extended work hours or working on holidays and weekends have...Read more
18 Apr 2024 by Policybazaar 1048 Views
In today's competitive job market, where top talent holds the...Read more
29 Mar 2024 by Policybazaar 387 Views
Payroll management stands as a cornerstone of every business...Read more
26 Mar 2024 by Policybazaar 465 Views
Policybazaar for Business - Group Health Insurance - Customer Reviews
View all
Based on 189 reviews
out of 5
Based on 189 reviews
38 users
136 users
15 users
0 users
0 users
3.8 April 09, 2023
Excellent Support
It was easy to buy insurance from PolicyBazaar website and customer support was also amazing to clear all the doubts.Thankyou. Highly worth it.
4.3 April 01, 2023
Necessary Investment
It is a good and necessary investment. Thanks PB.
4.3 March 24, 2023
Provides Satisfactory Results
I purchased Group health insurance at policybazaar recently and i am so much satisfied with the plan. The application process was smooth and efficient, making the typically tedious task of getting insurance surprisingly hassle-free.Thanks PB.
3.8 March 16, 2023
Helpful In Making Decisions
When it came to selcting the right Group Health Insurance, Policybazaar offered an impressive range of options from reputable insurers. I appreciated the comprehensive details avalable for each policy which helped me to take the better decisions. Thankyou.
4.3 March 15, 2023
Increases Clients Expectations
I recently had the pleasure of securing a Group Health Insurance policy throug PolicyBazaar and I must say the Entire process exceeded my expectations! From start to finish, their service werw great. Thankyou.
3.8 March 02, 2023
Great Experience
I got great deals on PolicyBazaar website. Highly recommend.
4.3 February 17, 2023
Excellent Purchase
It was a excellent purchase at PolicyBazaaar. Thankyou team.
4.3 February 04, 2023
Prompt Services
Policybazaar's efficient claims process was impressive. In case of any medical emergencies, my employees were able to get their claims settled swiftly, allowing them to focus on their health and recovery without worrying about financial aspects.Thankyou
4.3 January 22, 2023
Budget Friendly Purchase
Thankyou PolicyBazaar for providing such a great plan at affordable premium rates. It was a budget-freindly purchase.
4.3 January 09, 2023
Multiple Range Of Benefits
I purchased Group health Insurance which offered me plans with affordable rates Thankyou PB.