Defining Time Off & Leave Terms
The Time Off & Leave module is one of the more powerful areas of HR Partner and properly understanding how to use it can help you seamlessly manage your Time Off Policies and your Employee's Holiday Requests.
The first step to understanding the Time Off & Leave module is to define and understand the different terminology that you will see regularly in HR Partner.
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.
When you create a new Leave Policy, you will be given the option to start your Employees with a Default Allowance. Default Allowance is the starting number that each Employee will have as their Allowance when you create the Policy and make it active and available to your Employees.
In other words, the Allowance is the amount of time (either in days or in hours) that the Employee is allowed based on the policy, but it's not necessarily the amount of time that the Employee actually has available to take.
Many of our support questions are related to understanding the differences between Allowances versus Balances, so read on to learn about what Balance means in HR Partner.
Automatic Leave Accruals (Auto Accruals)
When setting up a new Leave Policy, you have the option to create different rules based on how your organization's current Leave Policies function. This is an optional function.
Automatic Leave Accruals walk you through a series of questions and criteria, and based on your answers, the system will automatically accrue leave for your Employees. This is a great option if you want to set criteria that is specific to one policy and then let the system calculate leave amounts behind the scenes.
If you are logged into your Admin User portal you can go to Time Off/Leave > Availability to see Available (to take) leave amounts for every Employee and for every Leave Policy.
So what is the Availability and what is the difference between Allowances and Balances? The Allowance is the amount of leave allowed based on the policy. The Balance is the actual amount that the Employee has and the Available amounts (found in this tab) are the leave amounts that the Employee has available to take or available to request. The system calculates what is Available to the Employee by subtracting any Planned leave from the Employee's current Balance.
Where the Allowance is the amount of leave that the Policy allocates to an Employee, the Balance is the actual amount of leave that an Employee has. This is especially important for new Employees that join your organization and for organizations who are newly subscribed to HR Partner. The Balance amount tells the system where to start when calculating Available amounts.
It's incredibly important to input the Balance amounts for your Employees during your Setup process, and you can read more about that here: Setting Up Time Off & Leave Policies
You can find the Carry Forward options inside the Automatic Leave Accruals section when creating and editing a Leave Policy. If you choose to reset the Employee's Balance each year, you can also choose to Carry Forward a specific amount of time. This means that when the Balance does reset, the Employee is allowed to carry over / carry forward any unused time within the Carry Forward limits.
Leave Policies are the Policies that you will use to organize leave types for your Employees.
The setup of your policies will be done in Setup -> Time Off / Leave -> 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.
Leave Requests are made by Employees in their own Employee Portal and can be seen and actioned by Admin Users in Time Off/Leave > Requests section.
Any Leave Policy that you create can also have Restriction Rules associated with the Policy. Simply open up the Policy and scroll down to the Restriction Rules section and you can limit who accesses the Policy based on your rules. You can choose to restrict the Policy by Locations, Employment Status, Positions, Genders or Tags.
Another option when creating a new Leave Policy (or editing an existing one!) is to limit the Visibility of the Policy. Each Visibility option will give you the flexibility to limit who sees the Policy and who does not see it.
This is especially helpful for Leave Policies that only apply to specific Employees, or Leave Policies that should only be accessed by Admin Users.