End-of-year time off guidelines

With the end of the year fast approaching, it's essential to review your time off policies and avoid any unwanted complications in January. 

This is particularly important for vacation/holiday policies where employees are allowed to “carry over” some unused days/hours to the following calendar year on December 31.

Any remaining days/hours will be automatically deleted on January 1.

So, now’s the time to…

  • Make any urgent edits to policies, e.g. set a maximum number of days that can be carried over.
  • Remind your employees how their time off policy works, e.g. how many vacation days they can carry over to next year. 

Happy Holidays!!


Tip: Be sure to check all of your time off policies. If they are not configured correctly employees may end up with the wrong number of holiday days in their time off balance on January 1!

  • Most time off policy settings can be edited any time before the end of the year.
  • These edits impact every employee assigned to the policy.

To learn about editing individual employees' or groups of employee's time off policy settings or balances, see Manage people's time off.

Example of a typical annual holiday policy with a carryover limit

A typical annual holiday policy could be set up like this:

  • Policy type: Holiday.
  • Annual allowance: 25 days a year.
  • Employees receive full balance on: January 1.
  • Days can be used: Any time between January 1 and December 31.
  • Carryover limit: Up to 8 unused days can be carried over to the next year.
  • Unused days above the limit expire on: December 31.
  • Carried over days expiry on: March 31.

E.g. If on December 31 an employee has 10 days remaining in their holiday balance, on January 1 their new balance will be 33 days - i.e. the annual allowance of 25 days plus 8 days carried over. 

Therefore, they “lost” two unused days on January 1.

If by March 31 the employee has taken 5 holiday days their holiday balance will stand at 28 - 33 days minus 5 days used. But on April 1 the remaining 3 carried-over days will expire, so their holiday balance will be automatically reduced to 25. 

What should I check?

To make sure your time off settings are set up correctly, we recomend you check the following parameters:

  • Annual allowance: the total number of days/hours employees can take within a calendar year.
  • Carryover settings:
    • Carryover date: when the annual allowance period ends and any unused days/jhours above the carryover maximum are removed from employees' balances. This is typically January 1.
    • Maximum that can be carried over: the total number of unused days/hours that employees assigned to this policy can carry over to the following annual allowance period. 
    • Carryover expiration: How long these carried-over days remain in the employees' time off balances before they disappear. 
  • Unused balance and notifications: how many unused days employees have in their balance and how many will be lost on January 1 due to carryover settings.
  • Cutoff days: the amount of time after a cycle closes that time off requests can still be edited.

Note: For a complete guide to time off policy settings, see Set up and manage time off policies.

How to check and edit time off policy settings

You can see details of your time off policies in:

  • The Policies grid: from the left menu select Settings > Time off and select the Policies tab.
  • An individual policy summary, which includes the Edit action.
How to use the Policies grid

This is an editable report where you can compare all time off policies.

  1. From the left menu, select Settings > Time off.
  2. Select the Policies tab.
    • You can use the dropdowns above the grid to filter by Policy types or policies associated with specific Sites.
    • Click Advanced to access additional filters.
    • Click the Column picker to add or remove columns from the grid, such as Carryover amount.policy_grid.gif
How to use the policy summary

This lists all the settings of a specific policy.

  1. Click a row in the Policies grid to open the policy summary.
  2. Click a section name in the left menu to jump to a section.
How to edit a time off policy
  1. Open the Policy summary.
  2. In the Actions menu, select Edit. This opens the Policy settings wizard.
  3. Click on a section name in the left menu to jump to a section.

Where to check annual allowance

Note: The start date of the annual allowance period is configured in the Accrual cycle. This is typically January 1 and cannot be edited.

You can view the policy's annual allowance in:

  • In the Policies grid: in the Base annual allowance column.
  • In the policy summary: in the Allowance section, under Additional earnings.

Where to check and edit carryover settings

These settings relate to how unused days/hours are treated at the end of the annual allowance period aka the Carryover date.

How to check Carryover settings

  • In the Policies grid:
      • Maximum that can be carried over: in the Carryover amount column.
      • Carryover expiration: in the Carryover expiration column.
      • Carryover date: in the Cycle column - at the end of the row.
        E.g. in this example the Carryover date is on January 1st each year.
  • In the policy summary: 
      • Maximum that can be carried over: in the Balance limits section, under Carryover.
      • Carryover expiration: in the Balance limits section, under Carryover.
      • Carryover date: in the Allowance section, under Accrual cycle.
        • For Annual and semi-annual policies, this is the first date in the Activity period.mceclip4.png
        • For Monthly Semi-monthly, Weekly and Bi-weekly cycles policies, this is the Carryover and grant date.mceclip5.png

How to edit Carryover settings

Note: The Carryover date cannot be edited. If the policy has the wrong carryover date please contact customer support. 

  1. In the Policy summary, from the Actions menu, select Edit.
  2. From the left menu, select Balance limits.
  3. In Carryover, enable Set carryover limit if a limit has not been set.
  4. In Maximum days that can be carried over, enter the maximum number of days/hours employees can carry over to the following year.
  5. If required, enter a Carryover expiration in Months or Years.

Where to check unused balance and set notifications

We recommend that you let employees know if they have days/hours in their time off balance that will disappear on January 1 due to carryover limits.

How to check how many days/hours each employee will lose 

If you want to check how many unused days/hours employees will lose due to carryover limitations, you’ll need to run a Balance summary report.

When you create the report, make sure to include the following two columns:

  • Balance as of cycle end - shows total balance before deductions.
  • Cycle finalized balance - shows total balance after deductions.

How to set an ‘Unused balance will be lost’ notification

If you want to let employees know how many unused days/hours they will lose on January 1 you can set a notification to appear in their time off policy summary.

This notification is shown only in each employee’s time off policy balance summary in Time > My time off. mceclip9.png

  1. In the Policy summary, from the Actions menu, select Edit.
  2. In the left menu, select Balance limits.
  3. In Notifications, enable Alert employees that unused balance will be lost.mceclip11.png

How to check if an unused balance notification is set:

  • In the Policies grid: in the Notifiy before carryover event olumn.
  • In the policy summary: in the Balance limits section, under Notifications.

Where to check cutoff days

This is the number of extra days employees and managers have to make last-minute changes to time off requests from the previous cycle.

Note: The cutoff days setting can not be edited as it is part of the accrual cycle. However, it is important to make sure employees and managers are aware of this date, in case they need to update any December time off requests in January.

Example of cutoff days

If the annual accrual cycle ends on December 31 and the number of cutoff days is set at 5, employees and managers have until January 5 to update any requests for time off in December.

E.g. if an employee decided to take the last week of December off as vacation and didn't submit an official time off request, they have until January 5 to submit it and ensure it is included in their record.

Cutoff days can be viewed:

  • In the Policies grid: in the Cycle column.
  • In the policy summary: in the Allowance section, under Accrual cycle.mceclip13.png