Compensatory off: Rules and everything else you need to know!

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Compensatory off or Comp off leaves are provided in order to reward the employee for the extra effort that he/she puts in, for the development of the organization. This is a means of taking care of the employee on behalf of the organization so that the employees, in-turn take equal care of the organization by maximizing their efforts.

Today I will be covering the following:

What is Compensatory off?

Compensatory off or Comp off is a type of leave granted to employees as a compensation for the extra worked hours or something similar. It is an entitled leave that an employee can take on a working day as a compensation for working at employers request on a holiday or weekend. In simple terms, when an employee works overtime at the request of his employer, then later he/she can take time off or compensatory off from their work.

There are basically 8 types of leaves for employees at an organization. They include:

You can create a leave policy for your small business too! Check out our leave policy article to know how to create the perfect leave policy for your small business!

Compensatory off is primarily introduced to make leave tracking and attendance management easier for HR manager. It also provides flexibility at working for employees based on their convenience.

How can one avail Comp off?

After an employee’s request gets approved by their manager, he/ she can take the day off and work on any other compensatory day like Sunday or overtime other working days. The policies and rules generally depend upon organization. There are no set rules from government.

What Is The Rule For Compensatory Off Against Working On Public Holiday And On Weekly Off Day?

Comp off may vary from company to company. Rule For Compensatory Off Against Working On Public Holiday And On Weekly Off Day is:

  •  If an employee works on 26th Jan he can get a comp off on the very next day also, but you just have to fix a time limit that you can utilize this comp off within a stipulated time period. If not, then it is exhausted.
  • When an employee works on Sundays where the company has got an off, it depends on the employer or his/her boss to find out as to whether the person has genuinely come to office for a work that he is called for, and if yes then here also the same rule applies, but again depending upon the work load he can be given comp off.
  • According to the rules set by the government, comp offs can even be adjusted along with the employees leave, i.e., he/she can take leave along with a comp off also. 

Compensatory off for tour on public holiday or weekly off

  • If any weekly off or public holiday is falling during traveling/tour, he/she will be given 1/2 day’s compensatory off for each weekly off or public holiday. Working in this context would mean meeting clients, spending time at the site.
  • Time spent on travel will not be considered to be part of working on a holiday.

Why was Comp off created?

It is a common fact that employees refuse to put their 100% effort into anything; unless and until there is equal involvement of appreciation and rewards in the same. Compensatory offs can be considered a method to lure the employees into giving their best; in return for appreciation as well as compensation.

Before the establishment of compensation in the form of offs or payments; there were a variety of grievances that plagued the employees in general. They were:


Employees were overexploited by forcing them to work for long and untimely working hours that stretched long into the nights.

Meager Salary

While an employee was forced to do overtime; he/she was only paid with the amount that others in their league were being paid. No specific distinction was given in order to appreciate the extra effort on behalf of the employee

Health issues

Long working hours that stretched into the nights took a toll on the health’s of the employees and the meager salaries provided to them were not sufficient to take care of their health-related monetary needs

All the aforementioned grievances also started leading to impacts like loss of interest, anger issues, and general disagreement among employees at their workplace. Insufficient interest also led to situations where employees out rightly refused to put any extra effort; and this led to the degradation of the organization. It also led to mass protests and strikes by the employees of different organizations in order to avail of their hard-earned rights.

Finally, after much negotiation and discussion; it was agreed to provide the employees with extra cash or extra leaves to compensate for their extra effort for the development of the organization.

What are the terms of granting Comp Off?

To avoid the misuse of compensatory offs, every organization has a customized set of rules and regulations; for the same depending on the needs and requirements of the organization as well as the employees. Here are a general set of rules and policies for granting compensatory offs:

  • Compensatory offs are accrued to all employees in the company.
  • Some organizations also offer payment in case of unused compensatory offs
  • Generally, every hour of overtime grants an hour of compensatory leave respectively.

Compensatory Offs – The Roles and their Responsibilities

Employee or applicant

The employee is entitled to the compensatory-off,  corresponding attendance or extra working day allowance based on days the employee works per week. Certain companies have the policy of working 6 days a week. In such cases; the employee is not granted with the provision of an off on account of compensation for working hours.

In some companies, the 6-days working pattern is kept on rotation for their employees. Under this arrangement, the employee must work into extra hours or 6-days per week, for a fixed span of time, say a couple of months or so. This scenario bestows the employee with the entailment of compensatory-off in return for the extra hours of work put in. Based on the policies followed by their respective companies, the employees ‘responsibility lies in applying for the aforesaid off or pay judiciously and in accordance with personal convenience.

Supervisor or sanctioner

The supervisor is usually the person-in-charge for a group or team of employees.  As the point-of-contact for this pre-decided group of the supervisor has the fundamental responsibility to overlook each and every activity of his team members. This includes the working hours and hence the subsequent leave or salary arrangements.

Another significant point to be considered by a supervisor or team leader is the project progress and work-load for the entire team.  In times of exceeding pressure of work-load or a strict time deadline; the supervisor cannot afford the loss of a single team member even for a few hours. Therefore, the responsibility of proper delegation of work and compensatory methods; that can be possibly availed by the employees falls on the supervisor. In terms of granting the compensatory-off or even the extra working-hours payment, the supervisor of the team leader here can be referred to as the sanctioner.

How can you avail compensatory offs?

Following are the general steps followed by any organization in order to avail compensatory offs:

Compensatory off request

Upon working overtime, and when in the need of leave, an employee needs to apply for a compensatory off specifying the time period for which he/she will stay unavailable to the organization.

Reviewing the request

The organization reviews the compensatory-off request by matching it with the overtime information available in the database.

Matching the overtimes and offs

If the overtime period matches the requested time period of the off then the compensatory off is granted to the employee.

Granting the compensatory off

If the leave request exceeds the time sanctioned for overtime, then leave is granted only in compensation for the overtime work. For the rest of the requested leave time period, the employee is directed to search for other alternatives.

All the above policies and procedures may vary depending on the type of organization and the type of designation of the employee.

How to request comp off in Asanify?

Step 1:

The Employee has to select the holidays/weekends he has worked on, clock in and clock out times and an optional note. Once done click the Submit button to put a request for increase in comp off balance.

step 1 for comp off

Step 2:

The Admin/Manager can Approve or Reject the request. If Approved the balance will be increased by the number of days the employee worked extra (filled in the first step, difference between from and to dates).

comp off step 2

Step 3:

The Employee can now apply for a comp off leave just like any other leave.

You can easily create and request Comp offs in Asanify. Get started for free!

What is the impact of Compensatory off on employees?

The concept of compensatory-off, at its core, is a trade-off with the overtime pay for the eligible employees.

The standard rules dictate that the employee must be paid according to the time-and-half basis; meaning the compensatory salary is paid at the rate of 1.5 times the current payment of the employee.

In order to avoid payment of employees at higher rates, the compensatory-off acts as the perfect device. Some studies have also suggested that compensatory-off leads to a reduction in employee income or greater working hours.

These repercussions sound rather counter-productive, with respect to the original goal of the compensatory-off, in favor of the employees.

However, from a psychological and health-care standpoint, the compensatory-off arrangement works out well. The idea of compensation for over-work in the form of leave often becomes a point of affirmative motivation to the employee. It also boosts employer reputation as the employees are happy and working. This works in favor of maintaining a healthy work-life balance and thus; drives the employees into better efficiency on their workdays.

While the statistical analysis might seem contrary, compensatory-offs do have multiple benefits. The employers are saved the added payment of overtime salaries, at the incentive benefit of improved worker efficiency. The employee gains an extra day off, thus maintaining the balance between personal and professional life. In retrospect, one can conclude that compensatory-offs are a win-win situation, where both the employee and employer return satisfied from the negotiation.

Not to be considered as tax, legal, financial or HR advice. Regulations change over time so please consult a lawyer, accountant  or Labour Law  expert for specific guidance.