From XU Magazine, 
Issue 29

Managing Employee Leave the Easy Way

Streamline Your Employee Time-Off Requests to make both Employees AND Managers Happier!

Learn how to simplify your leave management processes to make things easier for both employees and managers alike.
This article originated from the Xero blog. The XU Hub is an independent news and media platform - for Xero users, by Xero users. Any content, imagery and associated links below are directly from Xero and not produced by the XU Hub.
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Like it or not, leave or holidays are an extremely important part of an employee’s perspective. The way leave is managed (or not managed) has a big impact on their satisfaction and engagement with the company. But at the same time, as companies get bigger, leave management can get complicated!

If you or your clients are finding leave management a chore, it might be time for an integrated HR system. A leave management system, which is normally included in an HR system, gives both you and your employees more visibility, less admin, and better decision making.

Empower Employees with an HR Portal

By allowing employees to submit their time-off requests via an employee portal, you give the power back to them. They can easily see their leave balances and the leave calendar to know how much leave they have and also, when colleagues are taking leave. This puts an end to the back-and-forth emails asking questions when they have all the information they need at their fingertips.

Plus, an employee portal also allows them to update their profile information, view certain files, see the company library, submit forms and more.

Setup Flexible Rules for Leave Approvals

You can decide to keep things simple by having all leave approvals go to one person, or the employee’s manager, or you can configure approvals to suit your business. For example, you might need multi-tiered approvals for requests to go to one person and then to another if approved, or you might need two out of a select three people to approve requests. You might also have different approval rules for different groups of employees. With a HR system like HR Partner, this is all easy to setup and administer.

Increase Visibility of Employee Leave

Using a calendar or gantt chart view is the best way to easily see who has requested leave, or had leave approved, and for what dates. This can help when you’re deciding whether to approve new leave requests as you can easily see if it will place too much strain on the business with that employee being away at that time. You can also see the leave calendar for individual employees to better understand their patterns of leave.

Plus, you can easily see the employee leave balances, for each leave type, to address any issues - such as employees not taking enough leave, or taking too much! You can filter leave views by department, location, position or other parameters to understand trends and identify the source of any issues.

Leave Policies that Fit Your Company

With an HR system in place, you have the flexibility to define and leave setup that works best for your company. You might have several different leave types - each with different allowances and accrual methods like upfront or incremental. You can also set waiting periods, reset rules and more. Plus you can make some type of leave hidden from the employee portal (useful for Emergency Leave that you might have as an official policy but don’t necessarily want to promote to employees). 

You can also have different leave policies applying to different employee groups. For instance, you might have different policies for employees in different locations, as well as different public / bank holidays.

Leave Management is Worth Getting Right

An HR system that makes leave management easy really is a must-have tool for any business with 20+ employees. If you use Xero for your payroll, a system like HR Partner integrates directly and sends leave to Xero and keeps leave balances insync. Or, if you use a different system for payroll or outsource your payroll, you can easily manage the leave right within HR Partner.

Although employee leave can seem like an administrative headache, it’s so important to keep on top of it, and even more important to make sure that employees are taking the time off that they are entitled to. For optimum performance, everyone needs to regularly step away from work and spend time on other things. In the long run, these breaks will not only improve performance, but also reduce absenteeism and turnover. So, whatever system you use, make sure that it’s easy for both employees and leaders to manage employee leave.

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