Every employee is entitled to leave and benefits; the exact amount required by law, though, differs between countries.
As an employer, we need to meet or exceed the statutory minimum requirements for each country to ensure compliance with local laws, and more importantly, to ensure that your employees feel supported and valued. While it’s necessary to adhere to each country’s minimum standards, going above and beyond to provide enhanced benefits can help attract top talent and foster a positive work environment.
We’ll guide you through the intricacies of crafting leave policies for international employees, and deciding what benefits to offer.
ℹ️ Important Notes
The amount of leave and benefits you need to offer employees depends on the laws of the country where you’re hiring.
You can always offer more, but never less than the minimum statutory requirements per country.
Statutory annual leave
Employees are entitled to a set number of paid annual leave days; the exact amount varies by country. Part-time employees receive a prorated amount. Some companies offer unlimited or flexible paid time off (PTO) policies, which can be included in most employment contracts, but keep in mind employees are still entitled to the minimum statutory annual leave mandated by their country. Annual leave should not be replaced by a cash payment, except in cases where there is accrued but unused PTO at the end of employment—in which case the employee is entitled to be paid out.
Employees should start to accumulate annual leave from their first day of work based on the number of ordinary hours they work. If an employee leaves before they have used up all of their accrued annual leave, the employer must pay out any unused leave as part of the employee’s final pay.
A leave year is the specific period in which employees receive their paid leave quota. Each employee gets a specific number of paid leave days per leave year that can be utilized as per company policy. Some countries set their leave year from April 1 to March 31, while others establish their leave year from January 1 to December 31.
Some companies allow annual leave carryover. Usually, these companies have internal policies that state annual leave carryover should be taken within the first three months of the following leave year. If you would like to allow leave carryover, please reach out to email@example.com to verify if leave carryover is possible in a specific employee's country.
If you are not using Plane’s time off feature, we ask the employee to use your company's time-off tracking system (if applicable) and seek internal approval for compliance tracking.
Employees are encouraged to take public holidays off in their home country or region, as required by law. If an employee is required to work on a public holiday, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org; we’ll need to check if they are entitled to a different day off in lieu of the public holiday. Please note that in some countries, employees may be entitled to 1.5 or 2x pay for working on a public holiday.
Maternity leave is usually defined as the time a mother takes off work for the birth or adoption of a child. The exact number of days that an employee who is a mother is entitled to depends on the laws of their country.
Paternity leave is the time a father can take off work after the birth or adoption of a child. The exact number of days that an employee who is a father is entitled to depends on the laws of their country.
Parental leave provides employees with job-protected leave to care for a child following a birth or adoption. It is usually available to both mothers and fathers. Parental leave entitlements vary by country around the world.
Sick leave allows employees to take time off when they feel unwell or sick. Typically separate from paid vacation time, sick leave is a mandatory entitlement in most countries worldwide. It may also be referred to as “medical leave,” “sickness absences,” or “sick days.”
Many countries provide public healthcare systems for their residents, so employers do not need to contribute to premiums for their employees. However, you can decide if you would like to offer and contribute to supplemental healthcare (if available).
Please visit here to see the supplemental options available in the countries you’re hiring. We offer private health insurance plans for most countries around the world, but some limitations may exist.
Life insurance and short-term & long-term disability
Supplemental life, short-term disability, and long-term disability insurance are available in most countries. Life insurance coverage is mandatory in some countries, such as Peru, Nigeria, and the UAE.
You can check what options are available by country here.
Employer and employee taxes contribute to public pension funds.
In some countries, employers must also provide a specific type of workplace pension scheme.
Depending on the country, Plane may also be able to deduct and make employee contributions to supplemental personal pension funds.
Employee assistance program (EAP)
Our employee assistance program, available through LifeWorks, can be offered to employees in the following countries at 11 USD per person, per month:
Trinidad and Tobago
Stipends are subject to tax. Please note that if you include them in the employment contract, the employee needs to pay taxes on them. As an alternative, stipends can be handled as reimbursements. You can learn more about reimbursements and how to request them here.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I ask the employee to take US holidays off?
No. You may offer them additional leave on days that the US office is closed, but generally, employees should take the public holidays recognized in their region and use statutory leave for personal use, subject to approval by management.
How much leave do I need to offer employees?
You must offer at least the minimum amount of paid leave (including vacation, sick leave, maternity/paternity/parental leave, etc.) that is required by law in the country where the employee is located. You can certainly offer more days off if you would like, which can make your benefits package more attractive to job candidates.
Statutory leave requirements can vary based on country, employee tenure, and other factors. You can reach out to us at email@example.com to get a more specific and accurate answer for your employee’s situation.
Can I set up my own rules for carryover leave?
Some jurisdictions have rules for carryover leave. If you would like to set up a specific scheme, please state this explicitly on the onboarding tasks in Plane when setting up a new international employee. You can make a note under ‘Decide on additional incentives’.
Can we add unlimited paid time off (PTO) to the employment contract?
Yes, it is possible to add unlimited PTO to the employment contract in most countries. Please state this explicitly on the onboarding tasks in Plane when setting up a new international employee. You can make a note under ‘Decide on additional incentives.’ We recommend you add the same PTO policy to keep it consistent for current and future hires.
How does my international employee request leave, and where? How do I get notified about it?
An international employee based in a country outside Canada can request leave in BambooHR under ‘Time Off’. Leave requests for an international employee based in Canada are different, as they don’t use BambooHR. There is a feature to book time off in Plane, which can be activated upon your request. For an employee for whom time-tracking in Plane is not available, we ask the international employee to use the company's time-off tracking system (if applicable) and seek internal approval before adding the leave to BambooHR for compliance tracking. In both cases, an email notification is triggered to inform you about the request.
How does my international employee request maternity/paternity/parental leave?
If an international employee wants to request special leave (e.g., maternity, paternity, parental leave), please email firstname.lastname@example.org as soon as possible, providing detailed information about the request. Plane will review and approve the request then notify the international employee. Upon approval, the international employee will enter their leave in BambooHR or Plane.
How and when are employees eligible for maternity, paternity, medical, or sick leave?
Please reach out to us at email@example.com as soon as possible so we can guide you and the employee through the process.
Where do I find information for supplemental health care? Can I choose the cost share I want to contribute to the health plan? Can I cover international employees’ dependents?
If you would like to offer supplemental health care, please state this explicitly on the onboarding tasks in Plane when setting up a new international employee. You can review health offerings for different countries here. Under 'Review supplemental health benefits', please choose ‘yes’ and specify the health care plan, cost-share, and if the international employee's dependents should also be covered. The cost-share is the percentage of premiums that you, as the employer, will cover for your international employees. For example, you can opt for a 75% cost share, this means international employees pay 25% of the monthly premium (you pay the remaining 75%).