Why Every SME Needs a Great Leave Management System

Absence Management

Managing leave effectively can only be done with the help of leave management system. In this article, we offer an in-depth guide to absence management solutions and why they matter.  

Additionally, how annual leave management software can help your organisation save time and money while making your workforce happy, too.

Carry over annual leave automatically with an absence management solution.

What Is a Leave Management Software?

Leave management software is a type of software used to make time-off requests for all types of leave easier for employees across your organisation. 

A great leave management system will do two things. First, it will offer employees the seamless ability to request time off – often from their phone or desktop. 

Second, it will offer HR teams the chance to approve, deny, track and report on absences. Leading to greater visibility over organisation-wide absences, on the whole.

Do You Need a Leave of Absence Software?

There’s little doubt that you need leave of absence software. What it really comes down to is which kind you really require. Leave management software is only as strong as the HRIS that enables it. But, let’s talk about why that is the case… 

The Case for Leave Management Software 

In 2021, the Office of National Statistics in the UK reported an estimated 149.3 million working days were lost because of sickness or injury. That is equivalent to 4.6 days per worker.

According to research from the CIPD, the median yearly cost of employee absences is somewhere around £522. Even in an organisation of 50 people, that can amount to £26,100!  

But, the costs ratchet even higher when you think about the pure cost of ‘managing absences.’ 

Employee absence is a fact of life. People get sick, or they may need time off for a whole host of reasons. While you can take steps to address employee absenteeism, absences remain a fact of working life. 

That said, if your team lacks proper leave management software, you may be costing yourself the time it takes to request, track and report on absences across your organisation. 

Let’s talk about how absence management solutions can make this easier…

How Does Leave Management Software Work?

The purpose of great leave management software is to make the absence requesting and tracking process as simple as possible. This is often achieved through layers of automation and the software which enables automation at work. 

In Personio, for example, all employees have to do is open their laptop (or their phone) and: 

  • Click on ‘Request absence’ 

  • Select their type of absence (let’s say ‘Sick Days’) 

  • Add the relevant dates, a potential substitute or a note

  • Click ‘Request’ – and we’re done! 

That request is then automatically routed to a pre-defined manager or HR representative, who is able to review the request and easily approve it. They should also get an automatic notification of the request, so no one is left out of the loop. 

Once approved, the requesting employee’s status (if you use something like Slack or MS Teams) would then be automatically updated to say they are sick for the day. Now, they can focus on getting better rather than writing messages to their team members! 

Sounds simple, doesn’t it? The point of any absence management solution is that it should be easy to use. Especially when an employee isn’t feeling their best, the last thing your business should be doing is frustrating them further. 

At a Glance: Easily Manage Absences Across Your Org

Absence Timeline

Make absence planning and tracking a pleasure, and not a pain, with Personio.

Five Questions: Leave Management Software 

When it comes to managing leave across your organisation, here are five of the most important questions you should answer before you consider any solutions…

1. Does It Truly Save Time? 

Most HR professionals would agree that processing leave requests is no fun at all. But, even if it’s not ideal, a great annual leave management software will at least help save time. By automating the process, Personio saves HR teams 80% of their time processing these requests. 

How? By helping do a lot of the upfront work. By defining people’s managers in the system, all messages and approvals go to the right people, at the right time. They receive emails and notifications, which only require a couple of clicks until they are approved. 

From there, they are fed into the system directly, saving everyone valuable time. 

2. Does Leave Management Software Track Vacation Entitlements? 

A good one will! For instance, Personio automatically tracks all vacation entitlements to the day. This even includes special vacation entitlements, like self-care days, volunteer days or any type of absence that your organisation might want to track. 

3. Does It ‘Play Well’ With Others? 

Before you consider any of the absence management solutions out there, you need to know whether they integrate well with the tools you are already using. In our previous example, we mentioned how, when an employee is sick, their Slack of MS Teams status is automatically updated for them. 

Without this kind of integration, you may be getting all of the functionality, but you are losing the critical visibility that makes leave of absence software great – alerting teams and saving time, for employees and HR managers, letting people know their colleagues are sick from work. 

So, before you go any further, make sure any solution you are using offers a host of integrations that match your team’s present or future needs. 

4. What Reporting Is Available With a Leave of Absence Software?

For HR to really take control, being able to generate reports with leave management software is a must. Given the fact that all of your information is packed tidily into one HRIS, you should have a wealth of data at your fingertips. 

If you’re using Personio, that means you can not only keep a calendar overview of who is in and who is out, but you can also generate reports on leave trends in various teams, departments or across your entire organisation. 

No longer needing to rely on the Bradford Factor, your HR team can actually dive deep into why people are sick, where they are sick or if absenteeism is at play. These are indicators that can lead to deeper discussions and strategies, and you can generate them in an instant.  

5. Can They Store Fit Notes? 

For any extended period of absence, a fit note is a must. We won’t get into why they are mandatory here, but not having an easy place to report them can quickly turn into a massive headache for HR managers working with sick leave and illnesses. 

To take Personio for example, employees are able to attach fit notes to their absence request at the moment, or retroactively, which the HR manager is then able to easily review and approve the absence. This is done automatically based on the length of absence.

Essentially, if your leave management software can’t account for fit notes easily and flexibly, then you are missing out on an absolutely critical component of absence management.

What Kind of Absence Management Solutions Exist?

There’s a host of absence management solutions and leave management software that exists out there in the market. When you are deciding on one, we’d recommend asking yourself the following: 

  • Is it part of a larger HRIS? 

  • Can it integrate with other tools you use? 

  • Will your employees be able to easily use it? 

  • What can you do with the data it holds? 

Ranked in order of importance, we recommend honing in on whether your leave management software is part and parcel of strong HRIS software. One that can house employee data in a compliant fashion, can track performance cycles or can onboard and offboard employees. 

Personio is an all-in-one HRIS that can meet the needs of many organisations. But, we’d much rather show than tell – so, you can book a conversation with an expert today, or even kick off your own free trial and start tracking absences right this minute

Start Tracking Absences Today

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