Policy Type Settings Parameters

  • What is a Policy Type? A Policy Type represents a leave (paid or unpaid) that an employee may request. For each Policy Type, the employee can see the balance, how many days/hours were taken, how many days are booked, how many days were accrued (when applicable) and so on. Common Policy Types for employees include Holiday (Vacation), Sick, Parental Leave, Compassionate Leave, Work from Home and Unpaid Leave. The allowance calculations and validation of a given Policy Type will be determined by the Policy itself (not Policy Type).
  • Units: This determines whether a given policy type is tracked in Days or Hours. The policies associated with this policy type will be subjected to the Units defined in the policy type. That means that for a Policy Type defined in Hours, each and every policy amount will also be handled in hours (annual allowance, carry over amount, maximum balance cap, and so on).
  • Minimum time to request (when Policy type unit is in Hours): this parameter defines whether for a policy type that is tracked in hours, the minimum time off interval that can be requested is "Half a day" or a "Full hour".
  • Activity type: define whether an employee that requests time off would have the leave defined as "Not working, paid" (typically for paid vacation, paid sick, and so on), "Not working, unpaid" (for unpaid leave) or "Working") this means that although the employee is not on-premise they are not really absent but working (for example Business Travel or Working from home).
  • Bookings: define whether an employee can book time off only on their working days or on all days (including non-working days)

Policy Settings Parameters

  • What is a Policy? For each Policy Type, there may be one or more policies which define the set of rules and values for calculating an employee's allowance. A policy defines how allowance is accrued, what the limitations of usage are, carry over, and how years of changes update. An employee is always assigned to a given policy (for a given policy type) at a time. Example, for a policy type called Holiday, a given employee may be assigned to a policy called "Holiday 12 days grant," and then few months later to a new policy called "Holiday 16 days earned allowance" due to changes in their job, contract term, promotion and so on.

    Note: when an employee requests time off, they request time off for a Policy Type, not for a policy (the policy itself is not even visible to the employee). Per the example above, an employee will request Holiday, but the amount available and the validation of the request will be conducted based on the policy (for example, based on a policy called "Holiday 12 days grant").

  • Balance Tracking: define whether the 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.

Time off cycles

  • What is a Time Off cycle? In order to manage the timeline of the events associated with Time Off (such as accrual calculation, balance change, carry over and so on), an Admin needs to define a Time Off cycle: typically a yearly interval with a start and end date where a policy is tracked, balances are calculated, and requests are deducted from the balance. Once the cycle ends (given the employee remains an active employee), a new cycle begins.

About Cycles

In Bob, a cycle can be defined per policy. This means that a given employee can be assigned to different policies (say Vacation, Sick, Work from home and Time off in Lieu), where each policy has a different cycle.

Example: An organization could have the following time off setup:

  • Annual Holiday of 25 days which is accrued on a monthly basis - Monthly cycle

  • Sick paid of 30 days that is given in the beginning of the year for the whole year- Annual cycle

  • A Work from home policy that allows the employee to report up to 4 days as work from home per month - Monthly cycle

  • A time off in Lieu which provides entitlement of In lieu on a weekly basis - weekly cycle.

The following Time Off cycles are available in Bob:

  • Annual

  • Monthly

  • Semi-monthly

  • Bi-weekly

  • Weekly

How should I determine which cycle to use? There are several factors to guide you as to the cycle that should be set (given the limitation of setting only one cycle per site):

  • Legislation: If an employee is entitled to the full amount of holiday from day one, then setting an Annual cycle is satisfactory. If the employee earns their allowance progressively along the year, where the employee accrues a portion of the annual allowance each period, then a higher frequency cycle (such as Monthly or Semi-monthly) should be used.

  • Payroll Frequency: In many cases, the Time Off accrual frequency should match the payroll frequency, as many payroll systems require that the total accrued days/hours, end-of-period balance, and total used days/hours are exported to payroll. For example, for a U.S. customer who runs payroll on a Semi-monthly basis, setting a Semi-monthly time off cycle makes sense. That means that for the 26 payroll cycles in a given year, there will be 26 Time Off cycles.

  • Time and Attendance: Another factor (that also has to do with payroll frequency) is whether time and attendance are enabled in the site (where employees report their attendance and submit their timesheets and export their records to payroll on payroll time). In this case, it makes sense to align the Time Off cycle with the defined time and attendance cycle. For more information about T&A cycles, please refer to this article.

Annual Cycle Parameters

  • Activity Period: this will define the annual cycle tracking from/to from the 1st day of a given month. Example, in Finland holiday cycle starts from April and ends on the following end of March. So in this scenario, set the Activity Period to Apr - Mar

    Another option to set the Activity Period (found at the bottom of the drop down menu) is by the employees' anniversary date. By selecting "Starts every employee anniversary", each cycle will start on the employees's anniversary and end on the following year anniversary. For example, an employee's hire date is 10/28/2016. This means that each cycle will start on 10/28 and end on the following year on 10/27.
  • Cutoff (days): This parameter defines a grace period (cutoff) after the cycle ends, where the Time Off cycle can still be updated with Time Off requests before it is locked and no changes can be made. The cutoff time will be set based on the value entered with respect to the Activity Period (except when the cycle is Monthly and the activity period is not from the beggining of the month to the end of the month.

    Example: for an annual cycle with Activity Period set to Jan - Dec, setting a cutoff value of 8 means that up to the following January 8th, the previous cycle can still be updated. So for the 01/01/2019 - 12/31/2019, changes can be made until 02/08/2020.

    Notes: Entering 0 (zero) means that there is no grace period (cutoff time) and the cycle is locked automatically on the last day of the month (defined in the activity period).

    Example: For a monthly cycle with activity period set to 25th - 24th, setting a cutoff value of 8 means that 8 days after the months closes (not on the 24th but on the end of the month) will the current cycle be locked.

    So for a monthly cycle from 25/11 - 24/12, the cycle will be closed 8 days after the end of December, that is 08/01 the following year

Monthly Cycle Parameters

  • Accrual Balance Period: This parameter states that the accrual will be added on a monthly basis, accrued at the end of each month. In Bob, the accrual always applies to the period from the 1st day of the month until the end of the month.

    Note: In the Monthly cycle, the accrual will be given at the beginning of the month.

  • Annual Carryover and Grant Date: This defines the month (first day of the month) the yearly cycle will be determined when it comes to carrying over the remaining balance from the previous year and granting employees with an annual grant (for policies whose allowance calculation is set to Annual Grant).

    Example: by setting this parameter to August 1st, then every year on August 1st, carryover of remaining balance (from previous August - July) will be conducted and if Annual Grant is given, it will be given on August 1st. This parameter essentially defines the activity period for a monthly cycle. In the example above, the monthly cycle has a tracking year from August - July.
  • Cutoff (days): This defines the grace period when previous monthly cycles can still be updated.
    For monthly cycles, the Cutoff period is always counted from the start of the following month, irrespective of the Activity period. E.g. if the Activity period is set at 23rd - 22nd of the month and the Cutoff is set at 4 days, employees will have until the end of the 4th day of the new month to make updates (the cuttoff period will not end on the 26th of the previous month).
  • Activity Period: This defines the monthly cycle start and end time, during which Time Off requests can be made, balance can be adjusted, and so on. Example: defining the Activity Period as "25th - 24th" means that the Time Off cycle will start every month on the 25th, and end the following month on the 24th (for example, 12/25 - 01/24).

    Note: This parameter should not be confused with the "Accrual Balance Period," which only defines when the accrual will be given (which is currently set to end-of-month only, and has nothing to with the Activity Period).

Semi-Monthly Cycle Parameters

  • Cycle Starts on Every: For a Semi-monthly cycle, define the two days in the month where the two Semi-monthly cycles should start.

    Example: setting "1st & 16th" means that each month will have a Semi-monthly cycle from the 1st - 15th, and another from the 16th to - the end of the month. On a typical February, for example, the cycles will be 02/01 - 02/15 and 02/16 - 02/28. On a leap year, the second cycle (in February) will be 02/16 - 02/29.
  • Annual Carryover and Grant Date: See above (similar behavior to Monthly cycle).
  • Cutoff (days): This defines the grace period when previous Semi-monthly cycles can still be updated. Example: with a value of 5, for a Semi-monthly cycle defined from 06/16 - 06/30, changes can be made up to 07/05, and then the cycle will be locked.

Bi-weekly Cycle Parameters

  • First Cycle Starts On: This serves as the anchor date from which the system will generate Bi-weekly cycles. The Admin will be directed to a date picker and prompted to define the first Bi-weekly cycle to be tracked in the system. bob allows the Admin to define any date up to an offset of 13 days as of today. Example: if today is January 6th, the earliest Bi-weekly cycle that can be defined is December 24th.
  • Annual Carryover and Grant Date: See above (similar behavior to Monthly cycle).
  • Cutoff (days): This defines the grace period when the previous Bi-weekly cycle can still be updated.

    Example: with a value of 4, for a Bi-weekly cycle defined from 12/30/2019 - 01/12/2020, changes can be made up to 01/16/2020, and then the cycle will be locked.

Weekly Cycle Parameters

  • Weekly Cycle Starts Every: This defines the day of the week every weekly cycle will start. For example, setting a Wednesday means that every weekly cycle will start on Wednesday and end on the following Tuesday.
  • Annual Carryover and Grant date: See above (similar behavior to Monthly cycle).
  • Cutoff (days): This defines the grace period when the previous Weekly cycle can still be updated.

    Example: with a value of 2, for a Weekly cycle defined to start every Wednesday (ending on the following Tuesday), changes can be made up to the following Thursday.

Allowance calculation and restrictions

  • Allowance entitlement: allowance entitlement defines in what method the employee's entitlement is calculated:
    - Option 1 - Annual allowance: set the annual entitlement for the policy. The amount can be set 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).
    - Option 2- Hours by hours worked: for policies which are tracked in hours, and T&A module is activated, the system can create a time off accrual based on the total hours the employee reported in a given timesheet that were approved by the manager. This method is typically used for part time employees, where the allowance is determined by the amount of hours they worked. You can set a ratio between the amount of hours worked that are converted to a 1 hour of time off.

    Example: if you set the ratio at 40 hours (per 1 hour of time off accrued), then if the employee worked for 120 hours on a given attendance cycle (that falls within the time off-cycle), they will earn 3 hours of time off.

    For more information about accumulating time off by hours worked, please check this article.
  • Prorate Allowance by %FTE: for allowance entitlement set as 'Annual Allowance' you can define whether the amount set in "Allowance entitlement" will be prorated (or trimmed) based on the employees' %FTE (full-time employment).

    Example: the policy allowance entitlement is set to 200 hours. With this parameter checked, a part-time employee whose %FTE is at 80% will be entitled to 160 hours.
  • Prorate the amount requested by %FTE: allows prorating the time off requested by part-timers based on their working pattern.

    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 the deduction is used, then not 1 full day but 6/8 of the day (0.75 days) will be deducted from the balance.

    For more information about prorating allowance entitlement and time off request, please check this article
  • 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 they 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 still earn the full amount, as if they worked the whole cycle (not prorated), or will the earned allowance will be further trimmed by the total amount of days they were 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 they were 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 they 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.

    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 they were assigned to the policy, even if they were 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 their hire date which is 09/12/2020. Even though they would only work for less than a month all 24 days would be at their disposal (unlike "prorate by calendar days") which would only grant him a fraction of the annual entitlement based on the number of days they are expected to work in December 2020.

  • Carryover limit: This defines what is the system supposed to do when by the end of the cycle, there are days/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.

    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 the end of the 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).
  • Carryover Expiration: there is also an option to set a carryover expiration (in Months), that is how many months 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 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.
  • Maximum balance: whenever the calculation attempts to exceed the defined value, it will be trimmed and adjusted to the max balance.

    Example: An employee's annual allowance is 24 days and the max balance is set to 30 days. Last year the employee did not use all their days and was allowed to carry over 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 they could the system will automatically trim the balance and set it back to 30 days.
  • Minimum balance: (or negative balance) will block the employee from requesting more days/hours than they have in the balance. When switched off, the employee can get into a negative balance (no limit). If set to zero, the employee will not be able to get into a negative balance. Any value below zero will limit the amount of negative balance (deficit) the employee can reach.
  • Years of service: or YOS (for short) allows you to set an increase in the annual allowance based on the employees' seniority.

    When switched on, it allows you to set the 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). YOS dates can be set to take effect via pay cycle or synced to an employee’s work anniversary under the Allowance update option.

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

Balance display parameters

The parameters below affect how the balance is displayed in the time off Audit screen.


Regardless of which cycle is set, the balance can be rounded based on the following parameters:

Round Balance: This determines how the balance will be rounded - either Up or Nearest.

  • Up rounds the balance up to the nearest value based on the precision set (see below).

  • Nearest rounds the balance to the nearest value based on the precision set (see below).

Example: the system is set to show up to two decimals when it comes to precision. If an employee's calculated holiday balance is 17.157 days: Rounding Up will round the balance to 17.16 days Rounding Nearest will round the balance decimal (one decimal place) to 17.2 days

Precision: Determines the rounding resolution.

  • 1 decimal place: a balance of 17.25 will be rounded to 17.3 (Up) or 17.3 (Nearest)

  • 2 decimal places: a balance of 17.255 will be rounded to 17.26 (Up) or 17.25 (Nearest)

  • Half: a balance of 17.25 will be rounded to 17.00

  • Whole number: a balance of 17.255 will be rounded to 18 (Up) or 17 (Nearest)

Balance Displayed As Of: For an annual cycle that is defined from a given month to month (not based on employee's anniversary), there is an option to add more "up-to-date" displays of the balance. There are two options:

  • End of cycle (selected by default): This shows the annual balance with respect to the annual cycle end date.

    Example: for an Annual cycle defined from Jan - to Dec, the balance will be shown at the end of December (and in a sense will show the expected balance as of the end of the year). For an employee who earns 25 days of the annual allowance, the whole balance will show by the end of the year (after deducting any approved time off requests).


  • Today (with monthly accrual): This shows the balance as accumulated up to the current month and not the expected balance by the end of the annual cycle.

    Example: for an Annual cycle defined from Jan - to December, for an employee who earns 24 days of the annual allowance, if today it is October 25th, then the balance will be displayed as of the end of October. This means that the 25 days will be "accrued" on a monthly display and the employee will see (as of the end of October) 18 days of holiday balance: 24 days a year divided by 12 months is 2 days per month. Therefore, as of the end of October, the employee would show that their balance is 9 complete months * 2 days a month. In the following month (November) it will show an additional 2 days which will put the employee at 20 days.

This view, therefore, provides a more accurate Year-to-date view of the balance.


Approval Settings

In Bob you can define whether a time off request that is submitted by the employee requires approval or does it only notify the employee's first level approval.

For in-depth approval settings and terminology, please refer to this article.

End User: Time Off Terminology

  • Days used: The number of days the employee has used from their allowance
  • Holiday balance: The amount of leave available. The amount of time off the employee has remaining can be affected by 2 exceptions: Time Off requests, which are deducted from the balance, and Adjustment, which is when administrators override the balance
  • Who’s out today: The number (and identity) of employees that are absent on a specified day, and the reason they are out
  • Pending requests: The Time Off requests waiting for your approval
  • Report on behalf: The ability of a manager or admin to take time off on behalf of one of the employees
  • Adjust Time-Off: The ability to add/edit (on top of existing policy allowance) specific time for a specific employee (e.g. if someone worked at the weekend, we can give them time off in lieu).
  • Holiday balance: The amount of Time Off the employee has left from the previous period
  • Holiday balance previous period: The amount of Time Off the employee has left from the previous period
  • Holiday balance effective date: The date the balance is effective, formatted in DD/MM/YYYY. If not filled, then the default effective date to be used is the import date
  • Holiday days used: The amount of Time Off already used by the employee
  • Sick balance: Number of sick days the employee has left from the previous period
  • Sick balance effective date: The date the balance is effective, formatted in DD/MM/YYYY. If not filled, then the default effective date to be used is the import date
  • Sick balance previous period: Number of sick days the employee has left from the previous period
  • Sick days used: Number of sick days already used by the employee Annual Allowance: this shows the employee their annual allowance entitlement. It does not mean that this is the employee's current allowance, but a note as to the policy the employee is assigned to (in terms of entitlement). Days/Hours Accrued: Based on the policy allowance calculations, will show the amount of days/hours the employee accrued for within the given time off cycle. It will show the date the accrual was given and the timeframe (the date range) for which this accrual is applicable.
  • Days/Hours Booked: These are requests that were submitted for the current cycle but as of today are still in the future (although they are deducted from the current balance). Example, if the current Time Off cycle is 12/25/2019 - 01/24/2020, and today it is 01/05/2020, a request for 2 days on 01/16/2020 - 01/17/2020 will show as 2 days booked and will be deducted from the current balance.
  • Admin Adjustments: Anytime Admin/Manager make a manual adjustment such as Balance Adjustment or manually add days, the value that was adjusted will show.
  • Expected Deduction: This provides the user with information that they should better book their remaining days/hours for the given policy type or they will lose them by the end of the cycle. The value will be determined by the Carryover definitions or balance cap limitations defined in the policy setting.