There is no universal way of recording time off when it comes to public holidays. In some companies, employees don't work bank holidays, in other companies they do. Some companies include bank holidays as part of annual leave allowance, others do not.

For example 25 days annual leave a year may include five bank holidays. In another company you may get 25 days annual leave a year, but you also get bank holidays off, so in reality you have 30 days off a year.

How your company does things determines how you should set up time off policies and your employees' time off allowance.


Settings to consider

Set up public holidays

Before you establish time off settings, you need to make sure you have set up public holidays to show in your employees' Sage HR calendar. You can import public holidays and put employees into public holiday groups - Read more >

Time off allowance

An employee's time off allowance is determined either by the time off policy allowance or the employee's individual allowance

Time off policy allowance can be amended in the time off policy's setting - Read more >

An individual allowance can be entered or amended in Individual allowances settings - Read more >

Count public holidays as work days

This settings determines whether time off requests on these dates come off an employee's allowance once approved:

  • If selected - All time off requests falling on public holidays will also be counted against allowance

  • If left clear - All time off requests falling on public holidays will not be counted against allowance

This setting is found in your time off policy settings under General - Read more >


Example scenarios

To help you set up how you record public holidays for your company, below are some examples of scenarios of how some companies deal with public holidays, and what they would need to do to replicate this in Sage HR.

You can use the example scenario that applies to you to apply your settings, or if you need further clarification feel free to message one of our Sage HR experts.


Scenario 1

  • Public holidays are non-working days for employees

  • Public holidays are not included as part of an employee's time off allowance

In this case we would advise there not being a need to record this time off, as you will know they will be off on these public holidays.

Don't want to track when they take them off?

There is nothing you would need to do in relation to recording employees off on public holidays, however you may still want to note when these public holidays are in your calendar.

For steps on how to import public holidays into your calendar - Read more >

Want to track when an employee takes time off on a public holiday?

This would be totally optional, but if you wanted to do so, you would need an employee or an employee's manager to book time off for that day and approve the request.

In the employee's time off policy setting, Count public holidays as workdays in the time off policy setting would need to be not selected.


Scenario 2

  • Public holidays are non-working day

  • Public holidays are included as part of an employee's time off allowance

You will need to acknowledge this is the time off policy allowance total or individual allowance total for the employee. Public holidays must be booked off by an employee or employer and have the request approved.

In the employee's time off policy setting, Count public holidays as workdays in the time off policy setting would need to be selected.


Scenario 3

  • Public holidays are working days

  • Public holidays are not included as part of an employee's time off allowance

Employees need to book a public holiday off like any other working day.

In the employee's time off policy setting, Count public holidays as workdays in the time off policy setting would need to be not selected.


Scenario 4

  • Public holidays are working days

  • Public holidays are included as part of an employee's time off allowance

  • Employees may be given a day back in lieu if they work a public holiday

In the employee's time off policy setting, Count public holidays as workdays in the time off policy setting would need to be not selected.

📎NOTE: In the employee's time off policy setting, select Show "Details" field.

If employees are able to get a day back in lieu for working on a public holiday, this makes it possible for an employee to include a note on their time off request to inform their time off approver that the time off is a day owed in lieu for working on a public holiday.

See example below:

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