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Working Hours, PTO and Vacation

Working hours and leave policies are vital parts of an informative Employee Handbook. Outline your working time policies by modifying our template.

Download this template in a .doc format by clicking on the link at the bottom of this page.

Keep in mind that this template is not a legal document and may not take into account all relevant local or national laws. Please ask your attorney to review your finalized policy documents or Handbook.


  • Working hours
  • Paid time off (PTO)
  • Holidays
  • Sick leave
    • Long-term illness
  • Bereavement leave
  • Jury duty and voting
  • Parental leave
    • Paternity and maternity leave

Working hours, time off and leave template

In this section, we explain our provisions for your working hours and time off. We include [five] types of leave and holidays.

Working hours

Our company operates between [9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays.] You may come to work at any time between [9 a.m. and 11 a.m.], depending on your team’s needs.

Some departments may work after hours, too [(e.g. customer support, shipping.)] If you work in these departments, you will follow a shift schedule as needed.

Paid time off (PTO)

Employees receive [20 days] of Paid Time Off (PTO) per year. You PTO accrual begins the day you join our company and you receive [1.7 days per month.] You can take your PTO at any time after your first [week] with us and you [can] use time off you haven’t accrued yet. You will earn one additional day per year after your [first year] with our company, with a cap at [25 days overall.]

If you want to use PTO, send a request [through our HRIS.] If your manager or HR approves, you are permitted to take your leave. You do not have to specify a reason for requesting PTO.

You [can/cannot] transfer any remaining PTO to the next year. We encourage you to use your time off throughout the year.

If you leave our company, we may compensate accrued PTO with your final paycheck according to local law. When the law doesn’t have provisions, we will compensate accrued leave to employees who were not terminated for cause.


Our company observes the following holidays:

  • [New Year’s Day]
  • [Martin Luther King Day]
  • [President’s Day]
  • [Good Friday/Easter Monday]
  • [Memorial Day]
  • [Independence Day]
  • [Labor Day]
  • [Columbus Day]
  • [Veterans Day]
  • [Thanksgiving Day]
  • [Christmas Day]

If a holiday falls on a day when our company doesn’t operate (e.g. Sunday), we will observe that holiday on the closest business day.

Our company offers a floating day, which you can take as a holiday any day you choose. If you want to observe a religious holiday that isn’t included in our list, we may allow you to take unpaid time off for that day. Or, you may use your PTO.

Holiday pay

Exempt employees are entitled to their normal compensation without any deductions.

Permanent non-exempt employees receive holiday pay as a benefit after they have worked with us for more than [three months.]

Working on a holiday

These holidays are considered “off-days” for most employees. If you need a team member to work on a holiday, inform them at least [three days] in advance.

If you are a non-exempt employee, you will receive your regular hourly rate with a premium for working on a holiday. If you are an exempt employee, we will grant you an additional day of PTO that you must take within [12 months] after that holiday.

We [will/ won’t] count hours you worked on a holiday to decide whether you are entitled to overtime pay.

Sick leave

We offer [one week] of [paid] sick leave. In states or countries where employees are entitled to a greater number of sick leave days by law, we will follow that law. You can take sick leave to recover from short-term illness, injuries, mental issues and other indisposition. If you have the flu or other contagious disease, please use your sick days.

If you become sick, inform your manager and send a sick leave request [through our HRIS.] You may take a partial day off or work from home, but we advise you to rest and recuperate for a day before returning to work.

Use your PTO or arrange for a flexible work schedule if you want to attend routine health care (e.g. doctor’s/dentist’s appointments.)

Occasionally, we may ask you to submit a physician’s note or other medical certification and/or complete a sick leave form. We will do this for insurance purposes if you are absent for more than [three days] of sick leave.

Long-term illness

[Insert this section in your handbook if you employ 50 or more employees in the U.S.: The U.S. Family and Medical Leave Act provides employees 12 weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave in a 12-month period with the same group health benefits for medical and family reasons. One of those reasons is to recover from a serious health condition or to care for an immediate family member with a serious health condition.

You are eligible for this type of leave if you have worked for us for more than 12 months and you have worked at least 1,250 hours within 12 months before your leave begins. Contact HR for more information when needed.]

Bereavement leave

Losing a loved one is traumatizing. If this happens to you while you work with us, we want to support you and give you time to cope and mourn.

For this reason, we offer [three days] of paid bereavement leave. You may take your bereavement leave on [consecutive/non-consecutive] days to:

  • Arrange a funeral or memorial service.
  • Attend a funeral or memorial service.
  • Resolve matters of inheritance.
  • Fulfill other family obligations.
  • Mourn.

If you have to travel long-distance for a funeral or service, you can take [two] additional unpaid days off. If you require more time, please use your PTO.

Jury duty and voting

If you are called for jury duty and you are an exempt employee, you can take [one day] off without deduction from your salary. If local or national law stipulates more days of paid jury duty leave, we will follow the law. On election day, you can take [two hours] off to vote. You can take [a paid half-day off] if you need to travel a short distance to vote. If your trip lasts more days, please use your PTO.

Hourly employees may take [one unpaid day] off for jury duty and voting. If local or national law obliges us to provide hourly employees with paid jury duty leave, we will follow the law.

To keep good records, we ask you to bring us [a copy of your summons for jury duty and a document that proves you served.]

Parental leave

Caring for a newborn is an exciting time for parents. We want to support new mothers and fathers in their first months of parenthood with paternity and maternity leave. Afterwards, we will continue to support parents with [flexible work options and child care.]

Paternity and maternity leave

[Insert this if you’re covered by the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA): The FMLA provides eligible employees with 12-weeks of unpaid, job-protected leave for the birth or adoption of a child.You are eligible for this type of leave if you have worked for us for more than 12 months and you have worked at least 1,250 hours within 12 months before your leave begins. Contact HR for more information when needed.]

Our company offers [three months] of paid maternity and paternity leave. If local or national law stipulates longer leave, we will follow the law.

If you are about to be a new mother or father (either through childbirth or adoption), talk to HR to arrange your leave. Please give us at least [three months] notice before your leave begins.

Depending on local or national law, pregnant women can take part of their leave before labor. If you suffer complications during childbirth or have other issues, you can ask for an unpaid leave extension of up to [two months.] Contact HR as soon as possible to arrange this.

Returning to work after parental leave

We are committed to helping new parents transition back to work after their leave ends. We offer:

  • [Remote working/ Flexible hours.]
  • [Onsite/ External paid day care.]
  • [Lactation rooms.]
Further reading

Explore the rest of our employee handbook template:

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