What is the Difference Between Casual Leave and Annual Leave

The main difference between casual leave and annual leave is their purpose. Casual leave is a leave employees take for personal reasons. Whereas, annual leaves are paid leaves offered to employees when they take time off or are on holiday.

Employees, generally, take casual leaves for emergencies and medical purposes. When taking these leaves, they have to give prior notice. However, employees can use annual leaves for almost anything, and unlike casual leaves, annual leaves are always paid leaves.

Key Areas Covered

1. What is Casual Leave  
     – Definition, Features 
2. What is Annual Leave
     – Definition, Features, Benefits
3. Difference Between Casual Leave and Annual Leave
     – Comparison of Key Differences

Key Terms

Annual Leave, Casual Leave 

Difference Between Casual Leave and Annual Leave - Comparison Summary

What is a Casual Leave

Casual leave is a type of leave an employee can take for unforeseen or occasional unauthorized absence. This is a temporary break from work for employee’s personal matters. This can be paid or unpaid, depending on the company. Generally,  employees who have completed their probation period are eligible for casual leave.  

If an institution has registration under the Shops and Establishment act, then the employees are eligible for several casual leaves per year. However, an employee cannot combine casual leaves with earned leaves or sick leaves. Moreover, he/she can take casual leaves for a minimum of half a day to a maximum of three days. After this, leaves are generally considered as earned leave, privileged leaves, or any other type. However, the rules can be flexible according to the company’s leave policies. Some companies offer a maximum of 3 days of paid casual leave, while some others offer more than that.

In some cases, granting permission for leave completely depends on the employer. The employers also have the authority to reject the leaves if it affects the work of the company; therefore, it is better if the employee can first have a discussion with the employer explaining the reasons for leave. However, before all, the employee should have a good understanding of the protections he/she has under law, policies, and workplace rights. This will help the employee to have a conversation with the employer knowledgeably.

Casual Leave and Annual Leave

Reasons for Casual Leave

  • Someone at home is sick
  • Emergencies
  • Accidents
  • Medical reasons/doctor’s appointments
  • Excessive job-related stress
  • Bereavement leave
  • Loss or theft
  • Childcare problems
  • Relatives’ wedding

What is Annual Leave

Annual leave is paid leave from work offered to employees. All employees, such as full-time, part-time, temporary, and casual workers, are qualified for annual leave.

The contract between employees and the company usually states the number of annual leaves. But, this number may differ depending on the type of employer and employee. However, there are only a few annual leaves per year. The minimum number of annual leave given should not be less than 20 days with public holidays. Furthermore, before getting an annual leave, the employees should give advance notice to the company. Before granting annual leave, the employers also think about the commencement date and the duration of the employment. Generally, it may take from 3- 6months before a worker can apply for annual leave.

Benefits of Annual Leave 

For employees:

  • Improved mood
  • Improved health
  • Relaxation
  • Stress and anxiety reduction

For employers:

  • Improved productivity
  • Improved creativity
  • Fewer absentees

Difference Between Casual Leave and Annual Leave


Casual leave is a type of leave an employee gets for unforeseen or occasional unauthorized absence. Meanwhile, annual leave is a paid leave from work and is a benefit an employee gets from the employer.


An employee can take the casual leaves in between working days, while he/she has to collect the annual leaves every month.


Employees use casual leaves for personal matters like emergencies or sicknesses whereas, they use annual leaves when they take time off from work or are on holiday.

Number of Days

While casual leaves may vary depending on the company as well as the experience and needs of the employee, annual leaves take a standard number.


Moreover, casual leaves can be either paid or unpaid while annual leaves are paid.


Casual leave is a type of leave given to an employee for unforeseen or occasional unauthorized absence. These leaves are for employees’ personal problems such as emergencies or sicknesses, and depending on the company, these may be paid or unpaid. Annual leaves, on the other hand, are leaves where employees take time off from work or are on holiday. Employees usually leave payment for these leaves, and there is a standard number of annual leaves according to their contract. Moreover, by taking annual leaves, workers can improve their mood and get relaxed by reducing work stress. This also helps in the company’s productivity. So, this is the summary of the difference between casual leave and annual leave.


1. “Casual Leave.” Keka.
2. “Annual Leave.” Wikipedia. Wikipedia Foundation.

Image Courtesy:

1. “Calendar*” By Dafne Cholet (CC BY 2.0) via Flickr

About the Author: Gerandielle

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