Leave management is an important HR process that manages employee leave applications / time-off requests. An efficient leave management system will automate the workflow of leave applications and route the requests to designated managers for approval / rejection. In the case of multi-level approval setup, when the leave applications are approved by the first reviewer, it will be automatically forwarded to the second or third managers for further review. For visibility and planning purposes, all approved leaves will be displayed on a leave planner calendar.
Why do you need a leave management system?
Automated Approval Workflow - Instead of manually passing paperworks around the office to wait for the approvals from different managers, a leave management system will take care of it automatically
Control - Leave application policies could be automatically enforced, such as number of days in advance for leave applications
Accessibility - Employees will be able to apply for leaves, check leave entitlements and review leave applications anytime, anywhere on any device
Efficiency - Instant notification of leave requests and approval status
Flexibility - Escalation and cancellation of leave requests by Administrator if necessary. Different leave approval workflow could be assigned to employees of different job natures
Transparency - Employees will be able to find out their leave balance as well as all past leave application records
Visibility - Employees will be able to find out leave status of other colleagues and plan their own leaves accordingly
Accuracy - Leave balances will be updated automatically according to leave earning policies and historical leave applications
Better Productivity - HR could focus on other tasks with the time saved from managing leave manually
Environmentally Friendly - Paper-less workflow
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Let's start with a common use case in most work places. Suppose we have the following employees with the relevant roles:
Emma (ordinary Employee)
Mary (Line Manager of Emma)
Daisy (Head of Department)
Anne (HR.my Administrator)
For this typical scenario, Anne sets up the Default Leave Approval Workflow according to the company's existing practice:
All new leave applications will require the approval of employee's Line Manager
If the leave application is rejected by the Line Manager, the leave application is concluded as rejected
Should the leave application be approved by the Line Manager, then Head of Department will review the leave application
Emma needs to apply for a day off under Medical Leave. She logs in her Employee Web Account and goes to Leave->Application to submit a new leave application for this purpose. To support her application, she attaches a snapshot of the medical certificate issued by her family doctor.
Upon submission of Emma's leave application, Mary (i.e. her Line Manager) together with Anne will get email notifications on her new leave application.
Mary logs in her Employee Web Account and goes to Leave->Planner/ Schedule to review Emma's new leave application. Mary checks the leave application details and the attached medical certificate in order to make an informed decision.
Mary decides that Emma's leave application is justified and she approves Emma's leave application.
An email notification is immediately sent to the following parties upon Mary's approval:
Daisy (Head of Department)
Anne (HR.my Administrator)
Daisy logs in her Employee Web Account and goes to Leave->Planner/ Schedule to review Emma's new leave application. Daisy checks the leave application details and the attached medical certificate in order to make an informed decision.
Finally, Daisy is satisfied with Emma's reason for this leave application, and she approves it.
An email notification is immediately sent to the following parties upon Daisy's approval:
Anne (HR.my Administrator)
Using HR.my Leave Management to manage employee leave applications
To start using the Leave Management function, you have to make sure that each employee has been set up with the relevant Leave Entitlement, for instance: 14 days entitlement for Annual Leave, 10 days entitlement for Medical Leave etc. If your company offers additional Leave Type, you could also add new Leave Types via the same module. Once Leave Entitlement has been set up properly, the employee can start applying his/ her leave against each of the entitled leaves given to him/ her.
There are 2 ways to set up Leave Entitlements for employees. If your organization has more than a handful of employees, it may be easier and faster for you to set up your employees' Leave Entitlement data via the Leave Entitlement Import feature. Even if your employee headcount is not big, the import feature still makes a great time-saver, as you may save yourself a great deal of time setting up new Leave Entitlements for upcoming years. Most importantly, you may make use of Leave Entitlement Import to quickly set up new employees' leave entitlements. Just create several Excel templates containing different leave entitlements for employees according to their Job, Department, Level etc. Whenever there is a new hire, you may instantly set up the new employee by importing the leave entitlements from the correct Excel template.
Another way is to set up Leave Entitlements manually for each employee:
Access Leave->Management, select the employee that you would like to set up his/ her Leave Entitlements and click Edit.
On the upper panel, there is a Leave Entitlement list. Click at the " + " sign to add a new leave entitlement for the employee.
You may also double click at any of the leave entitlements to update it, or by clicking at the first button in the grid.
Clicking at the red cross button will delete the leave entitlement.
If you would like to add previous years of Leave records into HR.my, you may click at the " + " sign next to Year on the toolbar to add new years.
When you are setting up new Leave Type, you will notice that there are 2 types of Leave Unit, i.e. "Day" or "Hour". A Leave Unit is the logical unit for leave application time span, for instance, a Leave Unit of "Day" means usually the specific Leave Type is applied in terms of number of days. Typically, you will specify "Day" as the Leave Unit for most of the Leave Types, but for certain use cases such as employee "Time Off", you may want to use "Hour" as the Leave Unit instead. Nevertheless, even though a Leave Type may be specified with "Day" as the Leave Unit, you may still allow employees to apply for half-day or half-hour leave in their leave applications.
For Leave Entitlement, you will also notice that there are "Carried Over", "Valid Until", "Earning Policy" and "Earning Start" fields for each of the entitled leaves.
Carried Over field allows you to enter the amount of unutilized leave from previous years. If your company policy requires that all or certain number of carry over will expire automatically in the new entitlement year, you may easily handle such use case with the help of the Valid Until field. For instance:
Say your company's Annual Leave is 20 days per year, and each employee could carry over maximum 5 days of unutilized Annual Leave each year. However, the carry over will expire at the 31st March of the year.
You will then add 2 leave entitlements for each employee with such unutilized Annual Leave carry over. The first is the regular Annual Leave entitlement of 20 days. For the second leave entitlement, you will need to add a new Leave Type of "Annual Leave - Carry Over" first, then set the Carried Over to 5 days or less (depending on employees), and set the Valid Until field to 31st March of that year.
Valid Until - You may use "Valid Until" to extend or shorten the entitlement validity period. Typical use cases include:
To achieve the effect of allowing certain leave entitlements to carry over ALL unused leave automatically to the next year. In this case, an employee will need to switch to previous entitlement year in order to apply for the unutilized leaves. Currently HR.my supports unutilized leave carry over of up to a maximum of 20 years.
To allow employees to apply their current year leave entitlement in the next calendar year. For example, if the "Valid Until" date of Annual Leave is set to 31 March 2017, that means employees would be able to apply their leave application in 2016 for any date prior to 31 March 2017, such as applying for a Block Leave around Christmas 2016 until sometime after the first week of 2017.
To support Leave Entitlements which do not start or end with calendar year, such as those of contract based employees. For example, a contract that starts from 1 June and ends at 31 May next year will usually come with Leave Entitlements that coincide with the contractual period.
Earning Policy - "Earning Policy" is used to determine how an employee earns the leave entitlement. You can always change or add new policies to suit your purpose. In each "Earning Policy", you may specify the "Method" of earning, "Accrual Period" and whether the leaves are "Earned At" the End or Start of Accrual Period. Also, note that the earned leave is denominated in the Leave Type's "Leave Unit", in either "Day" or "Hour".
Method - To specify how is the leave entitlement earned:
Earned Immediately - Entire leave entitlement will be earned immediately at the "Earning Start" date. Typical use cases include Hospitalization or Maternity Leaves.
Prorated - With this option, an employee will earn a portion of total entitlement with each month or day served, depending on the "Accrual Period" setting (Monthly or Daily). Typical use cases include Annual Leave or other paid leaves.
Custom Monthly Allocation - This is a very flexible option that allows you to specify leave earnings for each service month (or calendar month, depending on the Earning Start date). Typical use include organizations that grant leave earning in accordance to certain rules, such as yearly entitlement of 15 days with 1 day for each of the initial 11 service months, and 4 days in the last service month. The leave earned in each prior month will be accumulated in the following months, but you may use Leave Entitlement to cap the maximum accumulated earning allowed.
Accrual Period - To specify if leave is earned on a monthly or daily basis. Only applicable when "Method" is set to Prorated.
Earned At - Whether earned leave will be credited at the End or Start of the "Accrual Period" (end of the month or day).
Earning Start - "Earning Start" is used in conjunction with "Earning Policy" to determine the first date that an employee starts to earn current leave entitlement. For instance, if an employee joins at 15 June 2016 with a yearly Annual Leave entitlement of 12 days, then by 15 July 2016 he/ she would have earned 1 day of Annual Leave. The employee would have zero Annual Leave entitlement for the period before 15 July 2016. With each full month served, he/ she will continue to earn the rest of the Annual Leave entitlement until the maximum allowed.
While your employees could apply their leaves immediately without having set up Leave Approval Workflow, only your HR.my Administrator or HR.my Manager would be able to review all leave applications.
Enabling Employee Self Service Leave Application (e-Leave)
To start using the e-Leave function, each employee has to sign up their Employee Web Account first. Employees would need an invitation from their Employer in order to do so. To invite employees to sign up for their Employee Web Account, you may go to Employee->Manage Web Account, then select the employees that you would like to invite.
The invited employees will receive an invitation email with a unique Invitation Code. Follow the instructions in the invitation email to complete the sign-up process (Note: after signing up his/ her Web Account, he/ she will receive another email with instructions for account activation).
After completing the Employee Web Account sign-up process, your employees can start applying for their leaves via Leave->Application. In the Leave Application dashboard, an employee will be able to not only apply for new leaves, but also to check new Leave Application approval status, Leave Entitlement and Balances, Historical Leave Records, past leave application Statistics (such as number of leaves applied, approved or rejected) as well as viewing the Management Remark for leaves (such as why a leave application has been rejected, or why is it still pending approval).
Planning & Reviewing leave applications with Leave Planner/ Schedule
When leave applications are submitted by employees, HR.my Administrator or other Leave Approvers will get notified through email, and they could access their Leave Planner in order to approve or reject employee leave applications. Likewise, employees will also get notified about their leave application review status.
Note: If you do not receive any email notifications for employee leave applications, it is very likely that the email notifications may have been blocked by your Junk Mail filter or email server. Remember to add both firstname.lastname@example.org and email@example.com to your email whitelist if you do not wish to miss the email notifications for employee leave applications.
Leave Planner/ Schedule comes in two modes. In Leave Schedule mode, all approved leave applications for current month will be displayed in tabulated form (with options to filter by Department or by Branch). In Leave Planner mode, leave applications pending for approval will also be displayed in the same table, allowing employers to plan for workforce availability before approving a leave application.
Employer Leave Planner
Using Leave Planner in the Employer account, an HR.my Administrator may now be able to process all leave applications in a single view, plus, be able to plan human resource availability via proper examination of current and upcoming employee leave schedule and plan.
Leave Planner displays all leave applications of relevant employees, holidays and weekends in a particular month (in customizable colors), so that an HR.my Administrator could make an informed decision before approving any leave applications.
Employee Leave Planner
As an ordinary employee without leave approving duty, he/ she may use Leave Planner in his/ her Employee Web Account to check and plan his/ her own leaves. Leave Planner shows Holidays and Day Off for the selected month, which makes it easier for employees to plan for their leave applications.
If an employee happens to be holding some supervisory roles (e.g. a Line Manager to some other employees, or as a Head of Department or Head of Branch), then he/ she would be able to view the leaves planned and approved for other employees who are connected to his/ her supervisory roles. For instance, as a Head of Deprtment, an employee will be able to view the leave applications of other employees who are within the same department (even though he/ she may not be assigned with the leave approving duty).
Meanwhile, if an employee happens to be a Custom Approver (e.g. Boss, Business Owner, CEO, HR for Leave Review etc) assigned to certain Leave Approval Workflows, then he/ she would also be able to view the leaves planned and approved for other employees who are assigned to the pertinent Leave Approval Workflows.
Whereas as a leave approving officer, the employee will be able to approve/ reject the leave applications for employees according to his/ her supervisory role set up in the Leave Approval Workflow.
If there is no further leave applications pending for current employee's approval (as a leave approving officer), then the Leave Pending Approval display will be hidden.
Depending on the Employer's preference, an employee's Leave Planner may reveal leave applications of other employees within the same Department, Branch or even whole Organization, which provides better visibility of other employees' attendance and helps them plan their leave applications accordingly.
Depending on the leave application's review status, a leave application can be cancelled or deleted by an employee according to the following scenarios:
An employee can cancel and delete newly submitted leave applications.
An employee can cancel and withdraw leave applications that have already started the review process, but not yet finalized (e.g. 1st Approver has already approved the leave application, but the 2nd Approver has yet to review the leave application). In this case, a withdrawn leave application will still appear in the leave transaction records of the employee.
An employee can request to cancel leave applications that have already been approved. Such request has to be handled by HR.my Administrator, HR.my Manager or any Custom User Role assigned to handle leave applications. You may visit Leave->Planner / Schedule to review the cancellation request. Leave applications that are requested to be cancelled will be highlighted in yellow. When you open up the Leave Application window, you may either click at the yellow button to "Reject Request to Cancel", or change the status to "Cancelled".