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Set up time off policies

How to create or amend time off policies and assign employees to them.

Oliver Cook avatar
Written by Oliver Cook
Updated over a week ago

This guide is for Sage HR users who have the Leave Management module. If you use Sage HR Essentials, as some options differ, we recommend using our HR Essentials guide to manage your time off policies.

Time off policies allow you to keep track of how much time off employees have taken, what type of leave they’ve taken, and how much leave they have left to take.

You can create an unlimited number of new policies.

📎NOTE: By default, there are already two pre-defined example policies:

  • Vacation

  • Sick day

These are examples for you to reference when you create your own holiday or sick leave policies. You can delete these examples after you create your own.

Don't assign employees to these example policies.

Create a new time off policy

Only employees with administrator access can follow these steps.

  1. Click your name on the top right, then click Settings.

  2. On the settings menu click Time off, then click Policies.

  3. Click Add new policy.

    📎NOTE: If you need to amend an already existing time off policy, click the Settings button next to it.

  4. Give the policy a name and a description.

    This description appears to employees when they are requesting time off.

  5. Allocate either a number of days or hours, which you can allocate either:

  6. If you choose once or accrue based on an event there is nothing else to enter regarding allocation and time off allowance.

    If you select per year and accrue or based on time worked and accrue there are some further fields to fill out such as reset dates or allowance.

    Reset dates determine when the accrual cycle ends. This is when accrued days expire - unless you allow carrying over days into the next cycle.

  7. Select whether you want the time off policy to determine working days and daily hours on based Calendar settings or a Working pattern. You may also have Timesheets as an option.

    ⚠️CAUTION: Once you save this, this setting can't be reversed. If you later change your mind you must create a new time off policy and select the other option.

    By default Calendar settings is selected. This considers an employee's employment status, including its FTE and days marked as 'weekend days'. When you select this you can:

    • Enter what the default working hours are

    • Select whether you want weekends to count as work days

      When enabled, all time off requests that fall on weekend days will be counted against the time off policy allowance

    • Select whether you want public holidays to count as workdays

      When enabled, all time off requests falling on public holidays will be counted against the time off policy allowance

    📌TIP: Alternatively, you can select it to be a policy based on an employee's working pattern. This considers an employee's working pattern, not the days selected in their employment status.

    If you chose the policy to accrue based on time worked, if you have the Timesheets module you can also choose Timesheets as an option.

  8. After you establish how you determine working days, select whether you want unused time off to be carried over or not into the next calendar year.

    You can configure your settings so that a maximum amount of days will be carried over.

  9. Once you complete this, scroll down, click General, then select the options in this section that you want to apply.

    📎NOTE: If you untick Show this time off policy in Calendar, time off requests from this policy don't appear in public calendars, are only accessible via reports and employee profiles.

  10. Select the relevant options you want to apply in the Conditions section.

    Notable settings in this section include:

    • Allowing employees to request time off themselves using this policy

    • Not allowing more days to be booked than remaining in the current period. For example, you can't book 3 days off if only 2 days are remaining

    • Require time off requests to be made a minimum amount of days before the requested date. For example, users can only book time off over a week in advance

  11. Select the relevant options you want to apply in the Allowance section.

    Notable settings in this section include:

    • Giving additional allowance based on how long they've worked for the company

    • Give additional allowance based on children and their age

    • Controlling how much allowance a starter gets. For example, if a starter joins in November, you may not want them to be entitled to a full year's worth of annual leave

  12. Select the relevant options you want to apply in the Workflow section.

    Notable settings in this section include:

    • Allowing time off requests to be automatically approved - no approval needed from a manager

    • Creating specific time off approvers for this policy

    • Allow to add a replacement person

  13. Select the relevant options you want to apply in the Additional fields settings.

  14. Once you finish applying your settings for this time off policy, click Create.

  15. You can assign employees now by selecting the relevant employees, then click Save.

    📌TIP: Alternatively you can click Cancel and assign employees to this policy later.

  16. Wait a few moments and then refresh your page. The policy now shows.

📎NOTE: If you need to go back to amend the settings of a policy, on the policy click on the Settings button.

Add or remove employees from a time off policy

Once you have created a time off policy, you can assign or unassign employees to that policy at any time.

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