What Is Administrative Leave?

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Before we discuss what is administrative leave in detail, let’s give a brief insight into its application. Usually, administrative leave is when an employee chooses to retire from work (for a while), but their salary and benefits remain intact. In most cases, administrative leave is granted in organizations such as schools, police, and hospitals.

An administrative leave may be given in the following situations:

  • When an employee is caught disobeying the code of conduct. This results in the organization putting the employee on an administrative leave.
  • Second, when the organization’s sensitive and vital information needs to be kept secret.
  • Third, when an employee is disrupting work, this results in the employee being put on an administrative leave.
  • Fourth, when a pending investigation about the employee is under its completion and the employee needs to be kept away to maintain the stability of the workplace.

However, if there is an ongoing allegation against the employee and it is under investigation or the employee is guilty of disrupting order at the workplace, then the due procedure should request the Human Resources Consultant to overlook the situation. After going through what is happening, they may or may not approve the investigation leave.

To make the chances of the leave greater, the supervisor can inform the concerned parties that when the employee is around, the investigation is affected and the harmony of the workplace is disturbed. This will help for the request to be approved.

Asking for Administrative Leave

There are several circumstances when employees such as supervisors or managers ask for administrative leaves. They then have to take this matter up with the human resource department and then their request can be accepted only if the human resource consultant deems it fit.

The human resource consultant may or may not accept this request. They may deny it because the situation is not appropriate. It might be important for the supervisor or manager to be available at that time and this results in the request being cancelled.

Sick Leaves and Administrative Leaves

Most people confuse sick leaves with administrative leaves. Sick leaves are when an employee is seeking to not work at the moment because they have a health condition that prevents them from working or, perhaps they have a due surgery/treatment/operation coming up due to which they will be unavailable for work. There are paid and unpaid sick leaves. Usually, for the first few days or weeks the employee receives the pay but after a while they don’t.

So exactly what is administrative leave? Well, it is when a worker or employee has been removed from work for a couple of reasons. In this condition, since the organization itself is asking the employee to not join work for the time being, they are liable to pay.

One similarity between sick leaves and administrative leaves is that they are both short-term. Sick leaves, arguably, can be longer but usually take a moderate amount of time. While a difference is that during sick leaves the employee is not expected to work. Of course, they may be going through a tough patch in life, therefore, asking them to work is not right. Whereas, an employee who has taken an administrative leave will be expected to be available for work at all times (like their workplace timings).

Administrative Leave and Suspension

There are several differences (minor ones) between an administrative leave and suspension. Some people also refer to an administrative leave as an investigative suspension because it mostly happens when an employee is undergoing an investigation.

But nevertheless, an administrative leave isn’t technically a suspension. A suspension is when an employee is asked to leave work because they have violated the policies of the company or the workplace they work in. Suspensions are of two types, paid and unpaid.

With that being said, administrative leaves are always paid because, as mentioned above, that is when an employee is expected to work or at least be available for work (from their own house, perhaps).

The concept of paid suspension is not popular because the employee has said or done something that goes strictly against the company’s policies. Therefore, they are not required or even expected to work. So it makes sense that they’re not paid salaries or benefits.

Administrative Leave and Employee Rights

Since administrative leave is when the organization is itself asking the employee to not work, the employee is in their full right to ask for pay and benefits along with it. This is not against their rights in any way, to add on. However, the employee cannot request or ask for premiums of any type. The employee still has rights, though.

Therefore, the employee will remain associated with the organization and the organization cannot do much about it. However, there have been cases where the organization shifted or transferred the employee to a different work site (temporarily though). When the employee is required to show up for interviews, they are called.

Duration of Administrative Leave

An administrative leave typically does not have a time. There is no time described or set by the law of a country. Therefore, the duration of the leave depends entirely on the severity and the situation itself. Of course, when the investigation is completed and a decision is reached, only then the administrative leave will be over. Plus, the employee will be asked to comply and follow through with the decision of the investigation and with the result as well.

However, if the employee is on an administrative leave, it doesn’t mean they can go on a vacation. It’s not allowed because the employee can be asked to do work at home, or perhaps they can be called to return to work promptly.

All in all, administrative leaves are not a good thing for any employee. When the employee shows up for other jobs, then this will show up in their records. Plus, if the employee has been fired for violating the code of conduct or policies, then it will definitely be in their records.

Therefore, employees should always steer clear of violating the company’s code of conduct and policies. Going against them and being caught can result in an investigation. If the matter becomes too serious, then it can be taken up with the higher ups and the employee can also be fired. Usually, most companies use an administrative leave to keep the employee away from other employees at work.


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