Once the policy types are set, the next step is setting a Policy - the set of regulations and calculations that applies to a given population of employees.

Starting point

Navigate to General settings (the bottom most menu item) and click on Time Off from the side menu.

Click the "Policies" tab.

This screen will show you the list of all policies that exist in the system in a tabular view. Each policy is linked to a Policy type (which can be easily identified by the policy type colour).

Creating a Policy

To create a new Policy, click the "Add new" button.

The policy wizard

When setting/editing a policy, the set of calculations and regulations are broken down into logical steps where there is a linear progression that is enforced as there are several dependencies between values that make up the policy.

The wizard is broken into 6 steps (where the last step provides a summary of all previous steps settings).

Please note: All steps of the wizard should be completed in order for a new policy to be created.

The information is not saved (as draft) and cannot be edited in another session.

When attempting to leave the wizard before it is complete it will prompt the user with this message.

Wizard step 1: Details

In this step define the basic information about the new policy:

  1. Policy Type: select from the drop down the policy type this new policy pertains to. For example, If the policy is called "Holiday UK - 25 days" it makes sense that the policy type selected is "Holiday". If there is no such policy type, it means that a new policy type needs to be created prior to creating the policy. When selecting a policy type, the system will show whether the policy type is tracked in days or in hours and what type of activity it is (not working paid, not working unpaid or working).
  2. Name: assign a unique name to the policy. Make sure the name is accurate to cover the population of employees who are expected to be assigned to this policy.
  3. Balance Tracking: define whether this policy has a calculated balance (that is "Balance is tracked") or whether for this policy, balance handling is irrelevant and only monitoring the time off requests matters.

Example: typically an annual holiday/vacation will be limited to a specific amount of days/hours the employee is entitled to. Sick policy, on the other hand, in some locations does has no limitations to the amount that can be requested, so in this case balance should be sent to not tracked.

Once all fields have been set, click 'Next' to proceed to step 2.

Wizard step 2: Cycles

In this step we define the cycle for the policy.

What is a cycle? a cycle is a predefined frequency in which balance calculation is conducted. In many cases the frequency of balance calculation should be in sync with the payroll frequency. For example, if payroll is conducted on Monthly basis (say in some European countries) it would make sense to create a cycle whose calculation frequency is also monthly. This is because if on every payroll run, you wish to pass information from bob to the payroll system about how many days of vacation were taken this month, how many days did the employee accrue this month and what is the updated balance as of end of the month, setting a monthly cycle makes sense. In the US, on the other hand, setting Semi-monthly or bi-weekly cycles, makes more sense as the payroll frequency is higher.

If payroll frequency is not necessarily the trigger and the yearly entitlement is simply calculated one a year, an Annual cycle can be set. This means that an Annual holiday balance would be checked only once a year (at the end of the cycle).

For more information about time off cycles and each parameter please refer to our time off glossary

There are two ways to set a cycle for the policy:

  1. Select from list: if there were cycles already set before (for other policies) you can re-use the cycle by selecting it from the list. The syntax of the cycle consist of Frequency > Activity period > Cut off days > annual grant and carry over date. Once you select a cycle, you will see the breakdown of all elements which consist of the cycle
  2. Set a new cycle: this will allow you to create a new cycle, by setting up the elements which make up the cycle: balance closing frequency, activity period, cutoff days and annual carryover and grant days.

Whether the cycle is selected from list or is created on the fly, the upcoming cycles will show based on the cycle's parameters.

Example: For the monthly cycle set up above, the following 4 cycles will show.

It will show:

  • the cycles activity period: that is the timeframe where time off request can be processed for a given month (for a monthly cycle)
  • The cycle's Cutoff period: from what point the cycle is locked and no changes with respect to the balance closing date.
  • Accrual balance period: this will show for Monthly cycles only, where the time off accrual is always given at the beginning of the month (from 1st - end of month).

The display will slightly change based on the type of cycle selected/created.

Once you setup/assigned a cycle proceed to the next step.

Important: once new policy setup is complete and employees are assigned to the policy, you will no longer be able to change the cycle settings for the policy as it will cause significant changes to the balance calculation and may disrupt the integrity of the data!

Wizard step 3: Allowance

In this step you will define everything which has to do with the amount of entitlement and accrual calculations

Please note: if in step 1, you set the balance tracking as "Balance is not tracked" this step will not be configurable (as there is no balance that needs to be managed).

  1. Allowance entitlement: Allowance entitlement can be set in two ways: 'Annual allowance' and 'Hours by hours worked' (if policy is set in Hours and the Time and attendance module is activated).

Annual allowance: set this allowance entitlement mode when the allowance is calculated and prorated based on the cycle the employee is assigned to. This is typically used for the following scenarios:

  • Full time employees where the policy is tracked in Days or in Hours.
  • When the entitlement is calculated based on predefined time off regulations, where the amount of annual allowance is given based on the employee's seniority (years of service) and a set of restrictions, such as proration limitations of the amount when the employee does not work for the whole cycle (when he is terminated or when he is assigned to the policy in the middle of the cycle).
  • The amount will be either given in advance (annual grant) or will be earned progressively based on the type of the cycle.

Accumulate hours by hours worked: this mode calculates the allowance entitlement based on the hours the employee reported in the T&A (and that were approved by the Manager). This method is typically used when:

  • The employee is a part time employee and therefore the total allowance may fluctuate based on the hours worked for a given attendance cycle.
  • When the allowance is tracked in hours
  • The allowance will be accrued based on a ration between approved hours that were reported in T&A to a 1 hour of time off accrual.

Please note: this article discuss the more common allowance entitlement - Annual allowance. For more information about the entitlement mode of accumulating hours by hours worked, please refer to this article

2. set the annual entitlement for this policy. The amount will be in days or hours based on the policy type this policy pertains to. Based on the cycle frequency that was set on the previous step, the amount will be earned. If, for example, the cycle is set a monthly and the allowance entitlement is 24 days, then each month the employee will earn 2 days (2 days * 12 months = 24 days). If, the cycle is set to Annual cycle, the whole amount of 24 days will be given as of the end of the cycle. If the cycle is set as Semi-monthly, then twice a month the employee will earn 1 day (1 day * 24 semi-monthly periods = 24 days).

2. Proration based on %FTE: this section define what is the expected behaviour when part time employees (whose %FTE is less than the expected default set by the site settings) is assigned to the policy.

This section allow the user to adjust the allowance based on the employees' %FTE as well as adjust the time off requested based on the employee's %FTE (under some circumstances).

Prorate allowance by %FTE

When checked, part time employees "Allowance entitlement" will be prorated (trimmed) based on the employee's %FTE. The system will automatically adjust the annual entitlement based on the employee's %FTE as of the employee's %FTE as per a given point in the cycle.

Example: for a given holiday policy, a full time employee is entitled to 20 days of annual allowance. This means that a part timer who works for 80% of the full time equivalent will be entitled to 20*0.8 = 16 days

Prorate the amount requested by %FTE

When checked, any requests that an employee submits will be prorated based on the employee's %FTE as per his working pattern. This applies only when the employee's working pattern is defined in Hours or that the working pattern is Flexible.

Example: a part time employee wishes to request time off for 1 day on a given Tuesday. A full day's expected attendance is 8 hours, but the employee only works for 6 hours on Tuesdays. If proration of deduction is used, then not 1 full day but 6/8 of the day (0.75 days) will be deducted from the balance.

Please note: for policies define in hours, this parameter will show as "Prorate the amount requested by %FTE for flexible working pattern employees"

It only applies to part time employees whose working pattern is set Flexible (that is the employee's %FTE is not determined by his working pattern but set man manually.

For more information about setting employee's working pattern check this article

Guidelines regarding proration of %FTE

  1. If the company does not have any part time employees, both parameters can remain unchecked.
  2. Both parameters (proration of allowance and proration of time off request) can be set independently, although typically for a given policy, it is not common for both parameters to be checked, because if the allowance entitlement is trimmed for a part timer, you would not also trim the amount deducted when a part timer submits a time off request, as it
  3. For comprehensive guidelines about proration of allowance entitlement and proration of requests, please refer to this article

3. Accrual period proration: define whether the allowance entitlement that the employee earns (which is accrued based on the cycle's frequency) is further prorated should the employee is not assigned to the policy during the whole cycle or will he get the full amount. This will determine whether an employee who was assigned to the policy in the middle of the cycle (or who was terminated during the cycle) will earn the full amount, as if he worked the whole cycle (not prorated), or will the earned allowance will be further trimmed by the total amount of days he was assigned to the policy in the cycle.

Example: An employee is entitled to 24 days, where the cycle is defined as Monthly. This means that the employee accrues 2 days per month. The employee was hired and assigned to the policy on 15/10/2020. If the proration mode is set to "Not Prorated", then the employee would get the whole 2 days (even if he was active for ±2 weeks in this cycle, that is in the month of October). If the proration mode is set to "Prorate by calendar days" the employee would earn:

2 days * (days he worked in the month) / (total days in the month). This means the employee would get 2*15/31 days which is a bit less than 1 day.

Please note: If the cycle that is set for this policy is an Annual cycle, the option of "Not prorated" will be called "Annual Grant".

An annual grant is when the employee is given the whole amount of annual entitlement from the first day he was assigned to the policy, even if the he was assigned to the policy in the middle of the year (in the middle of the annual cycle).

Example: an employee who is assigned to an annual entitlement of 24 days with an Annual cycle where the proration mode is set to "Annual grant" is assigned upon his hire date which is 09/12/2020. Even though he would only work for less than a month all 24 days would be at his disposal (unlike "prorate by calendar days") which would only grant him a fraction of the annual entitlement based on the amount of days he is expected to work in December 2020.

4. Set Carryover limit: This defines what is the system supposed to do, when by the end of the cycle, there are day/hours left in the balance that the employee did not book. Carryover means that unused days are carried over and added to the following year's new entitlement.

By default carryover limit is switched off. This means that all unbooked days will be carried over to the next year.

If you wish to limit the amount of days/hours that are carried over to next year, switch this toggle on and set the amount of days/hours that can be carried over from the remaining balance of end of cycle in the "Max days/hours" field.

Example: if the annual allowance is 24 days and the Max days that can be carried over is 5 days, if by the end of the cycle the employee has 8 days remaining, 5 of these days will be carried over and the other 3 days will be discarded (lost).

Please note: the carryover limit (when set) will occur based on the cycle "Annual carryover and grant date". If, for example, it is set on April 1st, the carryover will occur once a year on April 1st (01/04/2020, 01/04/2021 and so on).

Expiration: there is also an option to set a carryover expiration (in Months), that is how many month after the carryover occurs will the carried over days, will be available before they are lost. This functionality is only available when the cycle is defined as Annual.

Example: If the carryover happens on April 1st, the the expiration is set to 3 months, then the carried over days (from the previous tracking year which ended on 31/03) will be available up to 30/6 and then will be lost.

5. Set maximum and minimum balance: this is where you can set restrictions to the balance.

Setting a maximum balance means that whenever the calculation attempts to exceed the defined value, it will be trimmed and adjust to the max balance.

Example: employee's annual allowance is 24 days and the max balance is set to 30 days. Last year the employee did not use all his days, and was allowed to carryover some of the unused days to the current cycle. This means that on the current cycle the balance could already be higher than 24 days, and if each month the employee accrues more days he could the system will automatically trim the balance and set it back to 30 days.

Setting a minimum balance (or negative balance) will block the employee from requesting more days/hour than he has in the balance. When switched off, the employee can get into negative balance (no limit). If set to zero, the employee will not be able to get into negative balance. Any value below zero, will limit the amount of negative balance (deficit) the employee can reach.

6. Years of service: this allows you to set an increase in the annual allowance based on the employees' seniority.

When switched on, it allows you to set an addition of days/hours per amount of years of service. By clicking the "Add rule", you can define the increase in seniority (in years) and the extra days/hours that will be added to the base allowance (as defined in the Annual Allowance field).

Example: if the annual allowance is set to 24 days. If the employee gets 2 more days to his annual allowance after 2 years, set 2 under "seniority" and 2 under "extra days". If when the employee reaches 3 years, he gets an extra 1 day, set 3 under seniority and 1 under extra days.

Next to every increment you will see when and how much the allowance will increase.

Once you defined the annual allowance, proceed to the next step.

Wizard step 4: Request and Approval

In this step you define the expected behavior when requesting time off and the type of approval scheme.

Request: in this section the system will provide some insights about what kind of time off requests the employee is allow to submit and whether the request will be shown to other employees.

  1. Booking: this is a read only field that tells whether an employee can book time off for work days only or for any day. This is defined on the policy type level.
  2. Min. time to request: this is a read only field that tells what is the minimum interval of time off an employee can book. If the policy type is defined in Days, then the minimum request interval is half a day, if the policy type is defined in Hours, then the minimum interval can be either half a day or an hour. This is defined on the policy type level.

3. Set as private policy: when checked this policy will be hidden and not show in the public calendar or shown in the home page under "Peoples' status".

4. Extra Deduction: In this section the user may set an extra deduction scheme so that for every predefined amount of work days requested, extra days (typically accounting for weekend) will be deducted.

This is typically used in the Nordic market where a week long vacation actually consists of 6 days (including the non working day of Saturday). To activate the deduction:

  • Switch, the extra deduction toggle to "on"
  • Set the amount of working days which will trigger an extra deduction.
  • Set the amount of extra days deduction in "Extra deduction days".

Please note: that the amount set in "Working days" will not only count consecutive work days for the extra deduction, but a total of days requested within the cycle.

Example: if for 5 working days, 1 extra day is deducted, then:

  • Employee requests 3 working days (Wednesday - Friday)
  • Two week later the employee requests 2 more working days (Tuesday - Wednesday). Since the total amount requested reaches 5 days, an extra day will be deducted.

Please note: the extra deduction will show as an info tip in the policy metric in the employee's time off page, and as a special transaction in the time off audit as "Days Used".

Limitations:

  • The "Extra deduction" feature is only available when the policy is tracked, tracked in days and the annual cycle is Annual.

5. Attachment: when requesting time off, define whether the employee must add an attachment to the requests or whether it is only optional. When setting this parameters to "Mandatory", you can set what is the minimum request duration that requires to add an attachment.

Example: if when requesting sick leave, if the sick is longer than 2 day, a sick not is needed, set '2' in the "Min. request duration (days)". If attachment is mandatory regardless the request's duration, type '0'.

Please note: The value entered checks the total (calendar) days requested and not total work days requested.

6. Description text: when requesting time off, define whether the employee must type a description to the request or whether it is only optional.

7. Reason: when requesting time off, if the policy type the policy is linked to, has an option to select a reason code from a predefined list, you can define whether the employee must select a reason code from the Reason code list that was set to the policy type, or whether selecting a reason code is only optional.

For more information about setting reason codes, please refer to this document

Approval: In this section define what should happen when an employee submits a time off request. There are two options.

See also the article about Approval settings:

Approval not required: When the "Approval required" is switched off, this means that any employee assigned to this policy and submits a request, it will be automatically approved. You can also define whether a notification will be sent to an appointed employee or pre-defined employee role.

"None" - nobody will be notified when the employee submits a request.

"Employee's first approver" - whoever is defined as the employees first approver (whether it is defined based on the company default approval scheme or overridden at the employee level) will be notified of the request.

"Custom" - set a specific approver for any request submitted for this policy.

You can select a specific employee from list or set a specific role that will be notified.

The role can be either the direct Manager, the second level Manager (indirect Manager)or be based on a custom employee reference field for custom role types (such as HRBP, Project Manager and so on).

Approval is required: this means that any request will require an approval.

You can set up two approval options:

  1. Employee's approval: this flexible mode will require the employee's designated approver (which is either set up in the company default approval scheme or overridden specifically for this employee) to approve the request. Depending on the specific employee's approval setting this could require either one or two levels of approval

2. Custom: this strict mode means that any request submitted for an employee who is assigned to the policy, regardless what employee it is, will always require a specific approvers to approve this request. These settings cannot be overridden at the employee level.

You can define a single level or two levels of approval and define the approver as a specific role or appoint a specific employee as an approver.

Once you defined the Request and approval definitions, proceed to the next step.

Wizard step 5: Display

In this step, based on the cycle that was configured in step 2 in the wizard, the system will allow you to define how is the balance displayed to the employee in the audit.

Round balance: defines how balance is rounded.

Balance precision: what is the accuracy of the balance displayed.

Display balance as of: For an Annual cycle, define if the balance is show as of the end of the cycle or broken down visually to monthly accruals. Keep in mind that in both cases the balance is calculated as of the end of the cycle.

Wizard step 6: Summary

This step provides an overview of the whole set of definitions/parameters that were set on steps 1-5. It allows the user to double check the values, and move to previous steps in the wizard should he choose to make changes to the values. Once the "Done" button is clicked, a new policy will be created and added to the list of policies that can be managed in the grid.

Congratulations! you just set up a new policy.

You can now assign employees to the newly created policy.

Managing policies

All the policies that are created are added to the Policy grid. This view provides the user with an option to filter the policies by policy type or even look up a specific policy name using the search button.

This view shows consist of columns which provide insights on the policy:

  • Overview of the policy without the need to edit this policy.
  • Sort the list of policies clicking the column header.
  • Add/remove columns using the column picker icon which is found just below the search policy field.
  • See the list of employees assigned to each policy in a gallery view.

Edit, duplicate or delete a policy:

In order to perform an action on a policy, simply click the desired policy from the grid.

The policy summary screen will open.

From the menu on the top right corner select the action you wish to perform.

  • On the top left of the summary screen, the name of the policy will show (to make sure you perform the action on the right policy).
  • Click the action menu and select the action you wish to perform

Edit: this will open the wizard from step 1 and allow you to make changes to the policy.

Please note: once employees are assigned to the policy, you will not be able to change the cycle for this policy (in step 2 in the wizard).

Duplicate: in case you wish to create a similar policy, click "Duplicate" and the wizard will start in step 1, where the default name of the new policy will be "Policy name - (copy)".

rename the policy under "Name" and proceed with the setup.

Delete: this will delete the policy as long as no employees are assigned to the policy. when clicked it will prompt the user to confirm the deletion.

For policies that already have employees assigned to them, the user will not be able to delete the policy as long as he does not un-assign all employees and will be prompted with this message.

That's it!

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