Setting Up Time Off & Leave Policies

HR Partner's Time Off & Leave module is an incredibly powerful tool that provides many specific customizations for your organization.

Your organization can customize settings and create as many Leave Policies as you need to begin tracking and management Time Off as soon as possible! No need for detailed spreadsheets managed by a single person!

Your Leave Settings

The first place to start is in Time Off & Leave > Configure > Leave Settings. The Leave Settings menu is where you can customize specific settings that will apply to all of your Time Off / Leave Policies, as shown here:

Be sure to take a detailed look through this menu and hit the green Save button before creating your Leave Policies.

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Best Practice Idea: If your organization has a dedicated HR team member that needs to track and manage all Time Off, you might consider adding that person's name under "Always Send Leave Approvals To" so they are always in the loop regarding requested time off!

NOTE: If you need multi-tiered leave approvals, sophisticated approval rules, or employees to be able to approve other employees' leave requests, please read about Enhanced Leave Approvals here. You can see how to Setup Enhanced Leave Approval Rules here

Setting Up Your Leave Policies

The setup of your policies will be done in Time Off & Leave > Configure >  Leave Policies. You can create multiple policies based on your company's needs and each Policy that you create can have a number of different customizations.

Click Add New Policy to begin creating your own policy and the system will ask you a series of questions about how your policy will work. Each new policy will have the same series of questions, so you can customize each policy differently.

If you want to enter Leave Balances or set up the policy to Accrue, more questions will appear automatically. Here is an example of one Leave Policy that grants employees 20 Days per year. This policy will accrue that time Monthly and will reset every January 1st with no carryover from the previous year:

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Best Practice Idea: Does your organization have Medical-related Leave Policies? Consider "Hiding" this Leave Policy on the Employee Portal so that   Employees won't know who is on Medical Leave. Shown here:

Adjusting Balances For Your Employees

Once you have created a Leave Policy, you will then need to go into the  Time Off & Leave > Bulk Update > Balances section to add in all the appropriate balances for your employees. When you are creating a new Leave Policy, you are telling the system how much leave the employee should accrue, but you have not yet told the system what has or has not been accrued or taken so far. Because of this, you also have to add in that specific number in the Balances section, so that the system knows what the Employee has or has not already taken that year.

For example, if your organization subscribes to HR Partner on July 1st and you begin inputting your "Vacation Policy" which grants employees 15 days off per year, you also want to tell the system who has taken Vacation time off between January 1st and July 1st (depending on when your policy resets).

When you click on  Time Off & Leave > Bulk Update > Balances you will have to click the orange Allow Editing button to individually Edit each employee's balance.

Allowances vs. Balances - What is the difference?

You may have noticed that under Time Off there are sections called Allowances and Balances, and you may be wondering, "What is the difference between the two?"

Allowances are annual leave amounts that are designated to each employee based on the Policy itself and based on the rules you have created for the Policy. For example, if you have created a Time Off Policy whereby Employees are granted 20 days off per year, the Allowances section will show 20 days off by default.

Our system also allows you to have the same Editing control with your  Allowances section, so you are able to click the orange Allow Editing button towards the right and make changes based on your specific needs.

Balances are the actual leave amounts that the Employee has earned. This number may be the same as the Allowance, depending on whether or not the Employee has taken time off. This number may be less if that Employee has already taken time off.

Restricting Policies

You can customize your Leave Policies even more by restricting the Policies to be accessed only by certain groups. To edit these restrictions on a Leave Policy, go to Time Off & Leave > Configure > Leave Policies and select the edit button beside the relevant policy. Scroll down until you see the Restriction Rules section and click the aqua button to make changes.

This will open up many options on how you are able to restrict this Leave Policy. From here, you can restrict access based on your organization's needs.

Please be aware that employees who do not meet the Restriction Criteria will not be able to request leave against this policy, nor will they carry any Balances on this policy. Please proceed with caution if you are editing an existing policy for your team.

Other Key Terms To Know

Auto Accrual

Turning this feature on in the Policies section of the Time Off / Leave module will cause your Leave amounts to automatically accrue based on the rules that you have created for the policy. You can choose to automatically accrue leave Upfront, meaning that the employee will accrue leave all at once upon hire, or you can choose to automatically accrue leave Incrementally. If you select Incremental Accrual, you will need to specify how often the employee will accrue increments of leave, either Daily, Weekly, Monthly or Quarterly.

Toggling "Auto Accrual" ON means that you are letting HR Partner take care of the incrementing of the employee's leave balance according to the rules that you have set up under the Leave Policies area. If you leave this off, then the employee's leave balance will not be accrued in any way by HR Partner. Any weekly/monthly/annual accruals and reset will have to be entered manually by yourself. The system will still deduct the Balance figure when leave it taken, but it won't allocate any leave to the employee upon their anniversary, or on a monthly basis etc.

Carry Forward

You have the option to 'Carry Forward' balances that an employee may not have used entirely. The 'Carried Forward' figure that you can update against an employee is really just a record of the portion of their leave that was carried forward from the last year that the system needs to know about so that it can perform other calculations in the system. 

Here is an example of how Carry Forward can work for your team:

Let's say you have an Employee who gets 20 days of leave per year, and the Policy allows all employees to carry forward up to 5 unused days into the new year. Also, let's assume that your leave policy stipulates that those carried forward days must be used within 3 months of carrying forward, or else they will lose those days.

Now let's say that this Employee has 4 days of unused leave when the reset day comes up. In this case, they will get their 20 days per year allocation, PLUS they will get the 4 unused days carried forward as well. The way this is recorded in HR Partner, is that their Balance column will show 24 days (20 normal allocation + 4 carried forward), and their Carried Forward field will show 4 days. The Balance field is the critical one here though, because it shows the total balance that the employee has at this point in time.

The reason we keep the 4 days in the Carried Forward field is so that the system knows that come the 3 month date after the rollover, if the employee has used up 2 days of leave and has 22 days leave, then system will know that the employee has used 2 of their 4 carried forward days, and the 2 remaining carried forward days are lost as stated in the Leave Policy rules. In this case, their Balance will be reduced to 20 days and the Carried Forward field will be reset to 0.

The reason we don't show the 'Carried Forward' figure to the employee is because it is included in the Balance figure and we don't want to confuse the employee by doing so.


The Balance column shows the total amount of leave that the employee essentially has at this point in time.


The Planned column shows the total amount of approved leave that is planned for the future but has not yet occurred. (Please note that Planned leave does not include Leave that is Pending, Rejected or Revoked.)


The Available column shows the total amount of leave that the Policy allows to the employee.

The Available column takes into consideration any future leave that the employee may have booked in in the coming days/months. This is normally shows in the 'Planned' column. Any future booked and approved leave is not taken off their Balance until the first day of the leave comes due - at which point HR Partner automatically takes it off the 'Planned' column and deducts it from the 'Balance' column.