Time off policies contain the detailed rules of the types of time off employees are able to use - e.g. 25 vacation days a year, accrued monthly.

You can set up as many time off policies as you need in Settings > Time off.

Tip: Every time off policy needs to be linked to a time off policy type. So, before setting up time off policies, you need to make sure you've set up the relevant policy types.
See Getting started with policy types and policies.

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How to create a new time off policy

  1. From the left menu, select Settings > Time Off.
  2. Select Policies.
    A list of all available policies is displayed. Each policy is linked to a Policy type (easily identified by the policy type color).
  3. Click +New policy.
    You will enter a 6-step wizard to help you through the process.
Notes:
  • All wizard steps must be completed for a new policy to be created.
  • The information is not saved as a draft and cannot be edited in another session.

Step 1: Details

  1. From the Policy type drop-down, select the policy type this policy will be associated with.
  2. Enter a name for the policy.
    This name is for internal purposes only - it will not be visible to the employee, who will see only the policy type name.
  3. Choose a balance tracking option -  this defines whether there is a limit on the number of days/hours an employee can take off using this policy.
    - Balance is tracked: a limited number of days/hours can be taken.
    E.g Typically, annual vacation is limited to a number of days. 
    - Balance is not tracked: there is no limit on the number of days/hours an employee can take (but the number taken is still saved in the system).
    E.g. In some locations, the sick policy has no limitations on the number of days that can be requested,

Tip: When naming the policy, we recommend including the name of the associated policy type - e.g. if the Type is "Holiday" a policy could be called "Holiday: UK - 25 days annually" 

Step 2: Cycle

A cycle is a predefined period, at the end of which the balance is calculated.

For example, if employees are given 25 holiday days a year but they are accrued on a monthly basis, then the cycle would be monthly.

Note: See the Time off glossary for more information about time off cycles.

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

  • Select From list: This allows you to re-use previously configured cycles by selecting one from the list. Once you choose a cycle, you will see the breakdown of all elements which are included in the cycle.

  • Select New Cycle: This allows you to create a new cycle by configuring the elements which make up the cycle, such as balance closing frequency, activity period, cutoff days, and annual carryover and grant days.

Note: Once a 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. 

Step 3: Allowance 

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

Note: This step is not available if balance is not tracked.

  1. Enter the number of total Annual allowance (in days).

    For more information about the entitlement mode of accumulating hours by hours worked, please refer to Accumulate time off based on hours worked.

  2. Activate the toggle to Prorate allowance for part-timers
  3. Select whether the proration method is By employee’s %FTE or By number of Workdays per week as set up in their Bob profile. If the company does not have any part-time employees, both parameters can remain unchecked.
    Example

    - By %FTE: For a given holiday policy, a full-time employee is entitled to 20 days of the 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.

    - By workdays: A full-time employee is entitled to 28 days of the annual allowance for a given holiday policy. For an employee who works five days per week (a full-timer), the allowance is 28 days; for a four-day-per-week employee, the allowance is 23 days; and for three-day-per-week employees, the allowance is 18 days. This means you need to create three steps, with the relevant workdays per week and the corresponding annual allowance.

    Notes:
    - For more information about setting an employee's working pattern, check Editing Employee Work Patterns.
    - For comprehensive guidelines about proration of allowance entitlement and proration of requests, please refer to Prorate allowance entitlement by %FTE.

  4. Select the proration method, either by calendar days or workdays. You can select when this is given, i.e., when the employee is hired, and you can also prorate the amount accrued on termination.
    Example

    Let's say your employee received 20 days of vacation a year and wants to take two days off in March, but they started their employment on March 12. If you select by calendar days, the allowance will be prorated based on their start date (1.29 days off), but if you choose by workdays, the allowance will be calculated based on the number of workdays (1.22 days).

  5. In Accrual Timing, select whether the accrual will be given at the beginning of the cycle or only after the cycle ends.

    Note: Accrual was previously available at the beginning of the cycle, but now you have the option to do it at the end of the cycle.

  6. In Carryover, set the number of days or hours that can be carried over to the next cycle when it ends. This is only relevant if an excess of days/hours remains in the balance.

    Note: By default, the carryover limit is switched off. All unbooked days will be carried over to the following 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 the end of a cycle in the "Max days/hours" field.

  7. Expiration: There is also an option to set a carryover expiration (in months). How many months after the carryover occurs will the carry-over days be available before they are lost. This functionality is only available when the cycle is defined as Annual.
  8. In Max. and Min. Balance set restrictions o the balance.
    - Setting a maximum balance means that whenever the calculation attempts to exceed the defined value, it will be trimmed and adjusted to the max balance.

    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 unused days to the current cycle. This means that the balance could already be higher than 24 days on the current cycle, and if each month the employee accrues more days, the system will automatically trim the balance and set it back to 30 days.

  9. In Years of service, 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 +Add rule, you can define the increase in seniority (in years) and the extra days/hours added to the base allowance (as specified in the Annual Allowance field).

    Example

    Suppose the annual allowance is set to 24 days. If the employee gets two more days to their annual allowance after two years, put two under "seniority" and two under "extra days." When the employee reaches three years, they get an extra day, but three under seniority and one under additional days.


    Notes:

    - Next to every increment, you will see when and how much the allowance will increase.
    - You can define an employee’s annual increase of Years of Service (YOS) allowance and the exact date it takes effect in the Allowance update section.
    - Learn how to quickly set up YOS dates via pay cycle or sync dates to an employee’s work anniversary by Setting up a Year of Service (YOS) in a TO policy.

  10. In Bank Overtime to Time Off, define whether users can manually bank overtime for this policy. Once toggled on, you can select no expiration date or limit the time when users can use their banked overtime.
    To learn how to bank and manage overtime hours see Bank employee overtime as time off.

    Note: Banking overtime does not rely on actual overtime hours tracked and calculated in Time and attendance.

    Example

    In London, employees don't punch in/out. The manager knows that their employee worked overtime, so it's up to the manager's discretion to allow the overtime hours to be banked/used for the employee's time off.

Step 4: Request and Approvers

In the Requests section, the system will provide insights into what kind of time off requests the employee can submit and whether the request will be shown to other employees.

  1. The Booking field is a read-only field that shows whether an employee can book time off for workdays only or any day. This is defined on the policy type level.

  2. In Minimum request duration, select either a full day, half a day, a full hour, or a portion of an hour. 
    Note: 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 gap can be either half a day, an hour, or even a fraction of an hour (in 15-minute intervals). This is defined on the policy type level.

  3. In Visibility, select whether the policy will be public or private. If private, this will not show in the public calendar or displayed on the home page under Peoples' status.
  4. Set the Probation period to prevent people from requesting time off during this time.
  5. In Extra Deduction, set an extra deduction scheme so that additional days (typically accounting for weekends) will be deducted for every predefined amount of workdays requested.
    This is typically used in the Nordic market, where a week-long vacation consists of six days (including the nonworking day of Saturday).
    To activate the deduction:
    1. Enable Set extra deduction.
    2. Set the number of working days to trigger an extra deduction.
    3. Set the amount of extra days deduction in Extra deduction days.

    Note: The amount set in Working days will not only count consecutive workdays for the extra deduction but a total of days requested within the cycle.

    Example

    - Employee requests three working days (Wednesday - Friday) - Two weeks later, the employee requests two more working days (Tuesday - Wednesday). Since the total amount requested reaches five days, an extra day will be deducted.

    Note: The extra deduction will show as an info tip in the policy metric on the employee's time off page and a particular transaction in the time off audit as Days Used. The Extra deduction feature is only available when the policy is tracked, tracked in days and the annual cycle is Annual.

  6. In Attachment, select whether the inclusion of an attachment when an employee is booking time off is optional, mandatory, or not allowed.
    If you select Mandatory, you can set what is the minimum request duration that requires to add an attachment. If you select Not allowed, the employee won't see an option to upload a document.
    Example

    When requesting sick leave, if the sick is longer than two days, a sick note is needed, set '2' in the "Min. request duration (days)". If attachment is mandatory regardless the request's duration, type '0'.

  7. In Description text, select whether the employee must type a description to the request or whether it is only optional.
  8. In Reason, 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.

    Note: For more information about setting reason codes, see Setting up and managing time off policy types.

  9.  

    The Approvers section defines what should happen when an employee submits a time off request.
    Select whether approval is required or not:
    - Approval not required: Any request made by an employee assigned to this policy 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.

    Note: 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: You can set up two approval options:
    - 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
    - Custom: This strict mode means that any request submitted for an employee who is assigned to the policy will always require a specific approver to approve the request, regardless who the employee is.
    These settings cannot be overridden at the employee level.

    Note: 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.

For more information, see Approval settings.

Step 5: Display

In this step, you define how the balance is displayed to the employee, based on the cycle that was configured in Step 2. 

If the policy enables employees to carry over a limited amount of days/hours from their balance, you may opt to display an alert in employees’ activity log.
This may be helpful to encourage employees to take advantage of their time off, e.g. take the remaining vacation days remaining by the end of the cycle before the new cycle begins.

  1. Activate the Display alert toggle under Expected deduction.

  2. Choose when the alert will be displayed:
    - On cycle start: Shows the remaining days that will be lost right from the beginning of the cycle.
    - Before the deduction event: Shows the remaining days that will be lost within a notice period before the cycle ends.
    To configure this:

  3. Input the number of days/weeks/months in the text field under Notice time to the left of the dropdown.

  4. Click the dropdown under Notice time and select between Days, Weeks, or Months.

Rounding Section

  1. In the Round balance drop-down, define how the balance is rounded.
  2. In the Balance precision drop-down, define the accuracy of the balance displayed.

Note: In 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.

Step 6: Summary

This step allows you to double check the values, and move to previous steps in the wizard should you 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.

Note: 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.

How to edit, duplicate or delete a policy:

  1. To perform an action on a policy, click the desired policy from the grid. The policy summary screen will open.
  2. 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).
  3. Click the Actions 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. 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. Note: For policies that already have employees assigned to them, the user will not be able to delete the policy as long as they do not unassign all employees and will be prompted with this message.