Top 3 Leave Management Problems of Businesses

Enrique Estagle

17 October 2017    |   

Employees do take time off work. That is why leave management is an important part of the business. It’s a tricky process regardless if you have five people or five hundred people on your team. This is especially true if you’re still using old-school methods such as using paper forms or Excel spreadsheets for leave management. Here, we’ll take a closer look at the top three problems that occur with leave management, as well as how we can solve them with software. (Start streamlining leave management for your business by using our FREE PRO RATA HOLIDAY CALCULATOR) Problem #1: Difficulty for Employees to File Leave Requests and Finding Out Their Leave Balances You can be barraged time and time again by your employees not only to request for time off but also to ask how much leave time they have left in a year. This can take you away from your daily tasks, costing you valuable time. When employees can’t see immediately their leave balances, it’ll make it difficult for them to file requests. This can frustrate them, leading to increased job dissatisfaction. Problem #2: Employers Finding it Hard to Approve Leave Requests from Multiple People From time to time, two or more employees will request for a leave for the same day. Obviously, you cannot let all of them take time off at the same time. But who should you approve? For you to make the right decision, you’ll need a lot of information. You’ll need to know the reason why they are filing for leave, upcoming personal events (such as birthdays), and which shifts will clash with their time off. Problem #3: Payroll Errors Manually processing employee leave has a huge impact on payroll processing. Some employees are entitled to both paid and unpaid leave, which means that you have to take that into account come payroll time. And sometimes leave forms can be misplaced, making it easy to miss come payroll time. These mistakes can affect both the bottom line and your employee’s paycheck. It can make you pay someone for time off they haven’t earned. It can also lead to you deducting someone’s pay for time off they’ve earned, which can harm your relationship with that employee. The Solution: Cloud-Based Leave Management Software You can overcome the challenges that come with managing employee time off with cloud-based leave management software. Switching to it allows your business to automate the process, reducing the overall time spent for filing and approving leave requests, as well as updating leave balances. When considering getting leave management software for your business, choose those that simplify things for everyone. Look for a system that lets employees know their up-to-date leave balances before even filing their request. Finally, make sure that the software also integrates well with your payroll system to streamline pay calculation.

Employees do take time off work. That is why leave management is an important part of the business.

It’s a tricky process regardless if you have five people or five hundred people on your team. This is especially true if you’re still using old-school methods such as using paper forms or Excel spreadsheets for leave management.

Here, we’ll take a closer look at the top three problems that occur with leave management, as well as how we can solve them with software.

(Start streamlining leave management for your business by using our FREE PRO RATA HOLIDAY CALCULATOR)

Problem #1: Difficulty for Employees to File Leave Requests and Finding Out Their Leave Balances

You can be barraged time and time again by your employees not only to request for time off but also to ask how much leave time they have left in a year. This can take you away from your daily tasks, costing you valuable time.

When employees can’t see immediately their leave balances, it’ll make it difficult for them to file requests. This can frustrate them, leading to increased job dissatisfaction.

Problem #2: Employers Finding it Hard to Approve Leave Requests from Multiple People

From time to time, two or more employees will request for a leave for the same day. Obviously, you cannot let all of them take time off at the same time. But who should you approve?

For you to make the right decision, you’ll need a lot of information. You’ll need to know the reason why they are filing for leave, upcoming personal events (such as birthdays), and which shifts will clash with their time off.

Problem #3: Payroll Errors

Manually processing employee leave has a huge impact on payroll processing. Some employees are entitled to both paid and unpaid leave, which means that you have to take that into account come payroll time. And sometimes leave forms can be misplaced, making it easy to miss come payroll time.

These mistakes can affect both the bottom line and your employee’s paycheck. It can make you pay someone for time off they haven’t earned. It can also lead to you deducting someone’s pay for time off they’ve earned, which can harm your relationship with that employee.

The Solution: Cloud-Based Leave Management Software

You can overcome the challenges that come with managing employee time off with cloud-based leave management software. Switching to it allows your business to automate the process, reducing the overall time spent for filing and approving leave requests, as well as updating leave balances.

When considering getting leave management software for your business, choose those that simplify things for everyone. Look for a system that lets employees know their up-to-date leave balances before even filing their request. Finally, make sure that the software also integrates well with your payroll system to streamline pay calculation.

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Your Guide to Parental Leave Laws

Today we’re going to take a closer look at how Australia, the UK, and the US implement maternity and paternity leave. Australia Parental Leave According to the Australian Fair Work Ombudsman website, employees are entitled to 12 months of unpaid parental leave when they or their spouse or partner gives birth. Regular employees are qualified for parental leave if they have been working for an employer for at least 12 months before the date of birth. Casual employees are also qualified if they have been working for their employer on a regular basis for at least 12 months before the date of birth. Australia also has paid maternity leave. According to the Department of Human Services, qualified mothers get 18 weeks pay at minimum wage while recovering from childbirth and taking care of their newborn. This is funded by the government but paid through the employer. The business has to register in order for their staff to receive this benefit. UK Parental Leave The United Kingdom has different guidelines for maternity and paternity leave, as stated on the gov.uk website. UK Maternity Leave Qualified mothers are entitled to up to 52 weeks of maternity leave, broken down as: First 26 weeks of ordinary maternity leave, and The last 26 weeks of additional maternity leave Mothers are not compelled to take the entire 52-week entitlement, but they are required to take 2 weeks time off after the baby is born. If the mother works in a factory, they are required to take 4 weeks time off. They can start as early as 11 weeks before the expected birth week. In addition, mothers are entitled to Statutory Maternity Pay or SMP up to 39 weeks of their leave. They’ll receive: 90% of their average weekly earnings (before tax) for the first 6 weeks, and £140.98 or 90% of their average weekly earnings (whichever is lower) for the next 33 weeks To qualify, the mother has to be classified as an employee (which they can find out here.) There is no minimum time a mother has to work with her current employer the government requires in order to receive this entitlement. UK Paternity Leave Qualified husbands or partners of the newborn’s mother can get up to two weeks time off from work. They can only start after the birth of their child and must end within 56 days after the birth date. Throughout their time off, husbands or partners receive statutory paternity pay of £140.98 or 90% of their average weekly earnings, whichever is lower. To qualify, the husband or partner has to be classified as an employee and has been working for their employer continuously for at least 26 weeks by the end of the 15th week before the expected week of childbirth. US Parental Leave On the Federal level, the United States Family and Medical Leave Act or FMLA entitle 12 weeks of unpaid maternity and paternity leave for qualified mothers and their partners. For employees to be qualified, first they have to be working for a “covered employer.” They should either be: A private sector employer that has employed 50 or more employees in 20 or more workweeks in the current or preceding calendar year A local, state, or Federal government agency, regardless of the number of employees it employs A public or private elementary or secondary school, regardless of the number of employees it employs The employee also has to be working with the employer at least 12 months with at least 1250 hours of service before their leave. Finally, the employee must work at a location where the employer has 50 employees within 75 miles. Different states supplement this federal law with their own version of parental leave laws, with some offering partial pay. Stress-Free Parental Leave with Leave Management Software Tanda’s leave management feature makes it easy to file and approve maternity and paternity leave. Administrators can create a special leave type in Tanda for maternity and paternity leave that their staff can apply for via the employee portal. Once filed, managers instantly see it on the dashboard for their approval. The maternity leave request in Tanda can then be linked to your accounting system and paid out to the employee.

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All Work No Play in the UK? Taking a vacation matters for business – here’s why

A curious trend is sweeping across the country, and it’s even bigger than football. According to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), one in eight employees clock in more than 48 hours a week. Another statistic supports this growing workaholism: in the UK, the average employee takes just 62% of their annual leave entitlement. The latest Glassdoor survey shows that 40% of all employees take only half of their eligible time off, while 13% take only 20% or less. This means that less than half actually take full advantage of their legal annual leave entitlement of 5.6 weeks. Contrary to what you might think, younger workers aged 18 to 34 are the least likely to go on vacation. And even among those who used their annual leave allowance, 23% regularly checked emails, and 15% continued working anyway. So why does this happen, and what does it mean for the UK? Bad management impacts work-life balance More often than not, it’s bad management practices that lead to insufficient time off. According to a 2018 Qualtrics Employee Pulse study, 52% of workers believe their employer does not promote a healthy work-life balance. And indeed, a high number of managers felt it appropriate to communicate with their employees while they’re on annual leave. Two-thirds of workers also said that their managers don’t help them manage their workload. This is perhaps why many say they could not completely take their minds off work. Chief economist Andy Haldane of the Bank of England shares the idea that “a (lack of) management quality” is the culprit. That is, managers fail to implement basic practices that help employees do their job well. This can range from them performance feedback, to scheduling shifts and leaves, to streamlining work processes. All this results in more hours spent at the office. Results: low productivity and bad mental health You wouldn’t be remiss to think that less annual leave hours mean higher productivity, but the Financial Times reports that output per British worker lagged behind every G7 country except Japan. And in 2018, productivity fell in the first three months compared with the previous quarter. The equation isn’t difficult to grasp: exhausted employees equals weak output and a high turnover rate. And it’s not just productivity that’s suffering, mental health is too. According to the 2018 Cigna 360° Well-being survey, eight in 10 UK workers are experiencing work-related stress, with one in five describing it as ‘unmanageable’. Unfortunately, only a quarter received support from their employers. Mental Health Foundation also reports that many more women report work-related unhappiness than men, with 42% of women possibly finding it difficult to juggle their roles, compared with 29% of men. Work culture needs to change ASAP Better communication at work and removing barriers to scheduling the annual leave is the first step. “Take a day to plan out your holidays. Create a schedule which works for you and your employer, then stick to it. If you don’t do it now, it may never happen,” advises Glassdoor’s John Lamphiere. Some employers use manual leave trackers that indicate different annual leave requests of employees, so planning for a substitute can be done accordingly. These need to be accompanied by other tools such as a free annual leave calculator or timesheet calculator. But obvious implementation problems abound: employees can’t always put the details in, and managers can’t always keep an eye on it, especially when the operation involves more than ten people working various shifts. Considering how unwieldy manual tracking can be, cloud-based time and attendance software and apps are the better alternative. These services let employees file their annual leave requests from their own phones, display a constantly updated leave request calendar, and even let managers approve or decline leaves, all on one system. Payroll integration is also a strong feature that eliminates the need for entering leave calculations twice. It’s unsurprising that many companies today prefer digital workforce solutions over manual ones. Besides annual leave management, they offer staffing optimization and prevent human errors in payroll computation. So whether you’re actively looking for new ways to solve old problems, or just testing the digital workforce waters, getting a free trial is worth it in the long run. Read further “Superheroes don’t work 90-hour weeks” by Michael Cowan “Nation of Workaholics: 40 percent of UK employees take a maximum of half their holiday allowance” on Glassdoor “Employee stress is a ‘mental health timebomb’ – Cigna” by Adam Saville

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About the author

Enrique Estagle

Enrique was the former editor-in-chief of Tanda's Blog.

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A curious trend is sweeping across the country, and it’s even bigger than football. According to the Trades Union Congress (TUC), one in eight employees clock in more than 48 hours a week. Another statistic supports this growing workaholism: in the UK, the average employee takes just 62% of their annual leave entitlement. The latest […]

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