How to Track Vacation & Sick Time
All companies offer leave benefits to their employees. However, they sometimes struggle to track that vacation and sick time properly.
As soon as you offer your employees vacation and sick leave, you should develop a written company policy to ensure the time allocated is properly used. Generally, company guidelines lay out how vacation and sick time are accrued and redeemed. The official policy document should also indicate rates of accrual and eligibility requirements for certain types of leave. There are law professionals and human resource professionals you can consult in order to make sure that you are building a correct holiday policy.
However, ensuring that all of your policies are in place and well-understood by all employees is step one. In step two, you need to ensure that your HR department has a system in place to track these benefits properly.
Indeed, time off standards can differ based on region, country, and even province. For more on that, you can check out our post about different PTO policies around the globe. Nevertheless, getting the right tool is more universal. Indeed, many companies turn time and time again to the same solutions to track vacation and sick time for their teams.
Get The Right Tool To Track Vacation & Sick Time
However, nothing is more important than properly tracking leave. You also need a tracking system that allows you or your managers to properly schedule employee time off. It alleviates a huge burden of work from the HR department. It saves and creates transparency. Furthermore, it has some more intangible benefits. It puts employees at ease and generally boosts morale.
In the next few paragraphs, let’s take a look at some low-cost options that are out there to help you track your team’s leaves. Maybe you’re already using some of these options. Some are more beneficial than others. Therefore, you may realize that it’s time to give your HR team a hand and upgrade to a more automated system for vacation tracking and leave management.
The “Classic” Method: The Spreadsheet
Using a spreadsheet to track vacation and sick time is inexpensive. It’s also easy. It’s something everyone’s familiar with. We’ve even encouraged it in the past. For those teams that absolutely want to keep their costs to a bare minimum, this solution might work. We even tried it ourselves. But as soon as our team grew a bit bigger, things quickly became unmanageable.
One problem with a spreadsheet is that it can be time-consuming because it relies on manual entry.
Or you can make your own. To make a template, create lines for the pay period start and end dates at the top of the page. Then write column headings for “Starting Balance,” “Used” and “Ending Balance.” Below that, create a column heading for “Employee Name.” In that same row, under Starting Balance, Used, and Ending Balance, write separate subheadings for “Vacation” and “Sick Day”. Type each employee’s starting balances under the respective columns. For each pay period, enter their time taken under the related “Used” column. Enter the appropriate formulas so the spreadsheet can track the changing balances.
The Better Option: Vacation Tracker
We have to face it. Keeping track of vacation requests in a spreadsheet is a thing of the past. That’s why we’ve created a Vacation Tracker. It’s everything a leave tracker should be.
It’s really easy to set up your organization, as the app takes all the information it needs directly from Slack. Whenever an administrator makes a change to your team in Slack, Vacation Tracker will be updated as well.
If you have several offices in different locations, setting up your teams in Vacation Tracker is a snap. You can even have different Administrators for each office approve time off for their teams and set up holidays globally or for each team separately. You can also filter the Calendar and Dashboard by a team, to view only the information specific to a certain team.
Track Time & Save Headaches
Improper tracking can lead to employees incurring negative balances. In some cases, employees may end up being paid for time off that they do not have. Or they may want to take time off, only to find out that they have already used it all. It can also cause managers to schedule time off improperly, which can disrupt the operational flow of their department. Depending on company policy, you might need to payout unused vacation time when an employee terminates. To ensure the correct payout, you need a reliable tracking system.
Try Other Leave Management Software
Obviously, Vacation Tracker isn’t your only option. We’re not afraid to promote our competition, because we know that the solution that we offer is simple and affordable. We’ve gotten great feedback from teams that use our product. We take pride in having many satisfied customers.
However, we do not claim to do it all. We simply specialize in offering an easy-to-use vacation request and planning solution. Other software out there may offer a more comprehensive solution. Of course, this will come at a cost.
Get A Comprehensive Payroll & HR System
You also can monitor vacation and sick time via payroll and human resources software. This method is effective if you process your payroll or administer your human resources functions in-house instead of outsourcing those duties. In this case, you need software that enables time and attendance, payroll processing, and human resources functions. After processing and closing the payroll for each pay period, the system updates employees’ vacation and sick records. You can also generate and print customized reports.
Other Options To Track Vacation & Sick Time
If you do not need to buy payroll or human resources software, you might consider purchasing a single-purpose time-off tracking program. Like Vacation Tracker, these systems are stand-alone systems that allow you to monitor vacation and sick time. Most of them also allow companies to generate and print customized reports. Some time-off systems have a customer Dashboard or a bot, that employees can interact with to submit vacation and sick leave requests. These requests are sent to managers for approval.
For example, Timetastic is a staff leave planner based in the UK and is suited for small and medium businesses. Calamari is great for small and medium businesses with offices in multiple locations and countries. Bindle is a software that generates accurate balances and reports to keep track of personnel leave.
Don’t forget, you can try a Vacation Tracker demo at any time. Try it today to see what a single-purpose time-off tracking program can do for your business!