What is Unplanned Leave?

The workforce is the firm’s greatest asset, and its talent and performance are essential to its success. If employers want their projects to be completed on time and within budget, they must treat their employees well. Productivity and the work ethic of your resources are like the wheels on a bus; they both help get things done. If your highly skilled employee takes leave without giving notice, it can throw your project off track and make other tasks dependent on that one impossible to complete.

What is unplanned leave?

The type of leave applied suddenly without prior notice is known as unplanned leave. There are many causes for unexpected time-off. When you receive a call from the hospital to say your loved one is in bad condition and needs your presence, obviously you must go. So, if you are on leave, you should check with your employer about what they consider unplanned leave.

Effect of unplanned leaves on the project

A project is like a symphony. Each task represents a different instrument, and the number of instruments depends on the size of the project. Now that we know how critical each step is in the development process imagine that your main programmer suddenly gets sick and must go on leave. Without any backup for the same project, it might get stuck and delayed unnecessarily.

Reasons for unplanned leave

A few common reasons for unplanned leave are:

  • Burnout might occur when you are buried under a mound of work and must meet unrealistic deadlines. In this case, the employee is forced to take unscheduled leave from the office.
  • Showing employees their work is appreciated and valued makes them more motivated to do good work. When they are not recognized for their achievements, it makes them feel undervalued and uninspired.
  • If a worker is experiencing harassment at the workplace, they may want to skip workdays because the company does not have an anti-harassment cell, employees don’t have the choice of reporting incidents.
  • Sometimes people land a job, and their skills, capabilities, and interests aren’t aligned with their job requirements. This can lead to disengagement and frustration, leading to days off not being planned.

How to minimize unplanned leave at your company?

  • Start health and wellness sessions: Employees who are fit and healthy are less likely to take unannounced sick leave. To ensure that your employees maintain their good health, offer them a wellness program made up of free gym memberships and regular health check-ups. When you make your staff feel valued by giving them the tools they need to look after their own health, they will reciprocate by being more loyal and committed to their jobs.
  • Eliminate micromanagement: Micromanagement can lead to poor morale and diminished performance. To avoid such a fate, project managers should give their employees the freedom to manage their tasks. If you give them the freedom to do their work, they will work hard to minimize errors and ensure quality. But if you keep telling them what to do all the time, they will eventually lose interest and start taking leaves.
  • Prioritize your employee’s work-life balance: Modern professionals want a good work-life balance more than ever before. Indeed, it has a direct impact on productivity and performance. When your workforce can contribute more to their company while also taking care of their personal life, you’ll see a win-win situation develop as they work from home more often. But that’s not all—managers should give employees the freedom to choose their tasks.
  • Promote a healthy work environment: Work culture impacts productivity as much as the physical work environment does, and Decision-makers are taking initiatives to improve their workspace and working conditions. So, if you want a healthy and positive work environment, it’s time to restructure your workspace.
  • Include development plans: Every employee in your firm has a specific mission, and when that mission aligns with your vision for the organization, you will inspire them to be more productive. They expect their personal development will be considered while they work for you.

How can HRMS software help with unscheduled absences?

Few ways where you can use the tool to address this issue,

  • Optimizing resource use: When an employee goes on leave other resources can cover for absent colleagues, the company suffers from a reduced capacity. To avoid overloading some employees, managers can use the HRMS software to see the big picture of resources and projects. In case you must allocate the task to another resource, enter advanced filters into the requirements field. This will give you a list of employees who are a good fit for the project and their availability. Now you can schedule these tasks for employees who have the bandwidth and won’t be overallocated.
  • Prepare for critical tasks: Unplanned leaves can be handled during the project planning stage. Critical tasks must be protected from interruption—otherwise, the project could come to a standstill. When you draw up your project plan and schedule resources for your assignments, ensure you have an effective backup plan for those tasks that cannot be stopped midway. Booking a generic resource for the coding task can be an excellent way to have a backup ready when you need one. This way, if the coder goes on leave at all, you will still be able to keep your project going without causing any delays.
  • Keep a little extra room in your schedule: One of the most common mistakes leaders make when focusing a team’s resources on one project. This isn’t very smart because even if you have the best people in your team, they will spend some time on other administrative work and business-as-usual activities. Instead, you can delegate two or more employees for a critical task and load 50-60% by checking their availability. Other than HRMS, the leave management software will help you to check whether they have applied for leave for upcoming days. So, even when a resource with a critical skill set is off on leave, you have other help with the same skill set to step in and finish the job. This means your project will stay on track, and your most valuable resources won’t be overworked.


You can have the right mix of environment and culture to empower your workforce, but you’ll have to keep them inspired and motivated along the way. These tips might be helpful if you face a lack of motivation among your employees.

Unplanned Leave – FAQs

What is an example of an unplanned leave?

Unplanned leaves are leaves employees take without giving any notice. An example of unplanned leave is – leave due to employee burnout or a health emergency.

What is planned and unplanned leave?

Planned leaves are pre-approved leaves, that are allowed by managers and HRs. Employees must apply for leave ahead of time so the team can function in their absence. Unplanned leaves are sudden leaves taken without prior notice and they can disrupt an entire team’s workflow.

How do I ask for unplanned leave?

The best way to ask for an unplanned leave is to ask your manager for permission and keep the HR in the loop. Inform them about the reason for unplanned leave and provide proof if required. Only take unplanned leave when necessary.

Is it okay to take unplanned leave?

It is not okay to take unplanned leaves often because it can hamper team productivity. However, in unavoidable cases like health issues or legal obligations, unplanned leaves can be taken with permission from the line managers.

Let’s Recruit, Reward, and Retain
Your Workforce Together!

Request a Demo
Request a demo image