Bulk import your employees’ time off requests using our pre-formatted spreadsheet. This will help ensure a seamless transition to Bob’s time off module. 

When the requests have been imported they will be added to the employee’s profiles as if the employees made the requests within Bob themselves.

Note: All time off imports are carried out in the Settings > Import section.

FYI: This is one of three Time off import options available. To learn more, see Import time off cycle starting balances and  Update historical time off balances.

Get the most out of Bob

Importing time off requests:

  • Ensures your employees’ time off history will be accurate when they open Bob.
  • Saves you significant time and effort because you do not need to manually enter the data into each employee’s Bob profile.
  • Is typically implemented when a company moves employee time off data to Bob for the first time. Other examples when you may use this import are when you  want to "move" all requests from Policy A to a new Policy B because of company operational needs.

Before you begin

  • Be aware that only approved requests will be imported (not pending 1st or 2nd approval), i.e. canceled or deleted requests will not be imported.
  • Check the date format of the site where the admin who will be importing the time off requests is based. This is because the date format for start and end dates entered should use the format in the admin’s site settings, irrespective of which site the request was made.

    To check the date format open the site settings - from the left menu, select Settings > Sites, and click on the site tile.

    Example of date format

    If the admin is working in the London site they should use that site’s date format when entering dates for all of the requests in the spreadsheet. So in this case, all dates should be entered in YYYY/MM/DD format. mceclip0.png

  • If you import historical time off requests that were made during previous/locked cycles it will not impact the employee’s current time off balance for that policy. This is because the balances from locked cycles will not be recalculated.

    Example of historical requests

    A Vacation time off policy uses an annual cycle which ends on December 31 each year and the time off requests are being imported on February 1, 2022. If one of the requests is for 10 days taken in November 2021, the request will be added to the time off record but the employee will not have an additional 10 days deducted from their balance.

How to prepare the spreadsheet for import

To bulk import employee time off requests you’ll first need to prepare a spreadsheet, using our pre-formatted template.

  1. From the left menu, select Settings > Import.
  2. In the Import time requests row, click Get template.
    This downloads the pre-formatted spreadsheet.
  3. Open the spreadsheet in your Downloads folder.
    In each row enter the details of an individual time off request.

    Note: If a request is for a single day only the first three columns need to be filled.

  4. Column A - Employee identifier.
    Enter one of the following:
    • Email address.
    • Employee ID.
    • Full name.
  5. Column B - Policy type.
    Enter the name of the Time off policy type the request was made for - e.g. Holiday or Sick.
  6. Column C - Start date.
    Enter the start date of the time off requested.
  7. Column D - Start date portion.
    If the start date is a portion of a day, enter Morning or Afternoon.

    Note: Morning should only be entered if the time off covers only half a day in the morning.


    - If the request is for one and a half days of vacation, starting at lunchtime on Monday, then enter Afternoon in this column.
    - If an employee requested only half a day of vacation on Monday morning, then enter Morning in this column.

  8. Column E - End date.
    Enter the end date of the time off requested.If the request is for a single day there is no need to enter the same date in the End date field.

  9. Column F - End date portion.
    If the time off ends halfway through the day, enter Morning or Afternoon


    If the request is for one and a half days of vacation, ending at lunchtime on Tuesday, then enter Morning in this column.

  10. Column G - Hours
    Enter the total number of full hours requested. This is relevant only for requests of less than a full day, made using a time off policy type measured in hours
  11. Column H - Minutes
    Enter the number of minutes requested. This is relevant only for policies that allow employees to request time off in fractions of an hour. This can be 15, 30 or 45.


    If the employee requested two and a half hours sick time off, you would enter 2 in the Hours column and 30 in the Minutes column.

    Note: Time off requests in hours and/or minutes can be imported only if the employee took off a single day or less. Therefore time off requests in hours/minutes should have only a Start date (and no End date). It is not possible to import time off requests in hours that cover a date range.

  12. Column I - Description
    Enter any text the employee entered in the description of the time off request (up to 4,000 characters).

  13. Column J - Reason code
    Enter the reason code the employee selected when requesting time off.This is relevant only for policies that use Reason codes.

  14. Column K - Approver
    Enter the employee identifier of the final approver for this time off.


    In the below example, the first row shows data for a time off request submitted by John Smith who requested to take time off from lunchtime on September 19, 2022, till lunchtime on September 22, 2022. mceclip1.png

How to bulk import time off requests 

  1. From the left menu, select Settings > Import.
  2. In the Import time requests row, click Import.
  3. Choose your upload method - one of:
    • Click Upload data file to select your file, then click Done.
    • Drag and drop your file to upload your completed spreadsheet, then click Done.
    • Select from your uploaded files to upload an existing file from the Import drive, then click Continue.
  4. If your file has multiple sheets, select the sheet you'd like to upload data from in the dropdown menu.
  5. Click Next.
  6. Your data will be validated.
    If there were errors in your spreadsheet, click Download and fix to correct the errors detailed in the spreadsheet, then reupload your data.

    Note: Make sure that you've included a valid employee identifier in Column A.

  7. When the Your file's ready for import message appears, click Next.
  8. When the import is complete, you'll see the Your data imported and is now live in Bob message.

    Note: Your imported file will be saved in the Import Drive for future reference.