This article aims to provide an overview of how leave requests are managed between HR and payroll platforms, and to provide insight into how best to manage leave requests with the integration.
The article covers:
- Creating a Request
- Using the Module as a Manager
- Audit Trails
- Two-Level Leave Approval
- Syncing Requests
- Changes to Approved Requests
- Leave Balance Adjustments
- Data Source-of-Truth
- Entering Requests into Payroll
Leave request management functions should occur in the HR platform, providing the following benefits:
- HR users can access a historical view of leave requests submitted into Employment Hero HR.
- You can also view various statuses of leave requests as they progress.
- Lastly, you can view the details of leave requests to see when they were submitted, approved/declined, and synced to payroll.
You will see some combination of the above Leave modules, depending on your level of permissions.
- Management - used by owners/admins/primary managers/secondary managers to review, approve, or decline existing leave requests.
- My Leave - used to view your personal leave request history and upcoming requests
- Request Leave - used to create requests for yourself or others
Creating a Request
Employees can submit leave requests by going to Leave > Request Leave. You can submit the details of your requests there, and the submitted request will be in "pending" status until approved by an owner/admin/primary manager/secondary manager.
Managers/owners/admins can also submit requests on the employee's behalf. These requests are automatically approved, unless your organisation has enabled Two-Level Leave Approval (see Two-Level Leave Approval section below).
- An admin/owners leave request will be automatically approved if they do not have a manager assigned.
- An admin/owners leave request will not be automatically approved if they do not have a manager assigned.
Request is submitted - email notifications are always sent to the primary manager, unless setup mode is on. Secondary managers will only receive email notifications if two-level leave approval is on.
Both primary and secondary managers will see a notification next to Leave indicating there is a request requiring attention.
Request is approved/declined - email notification sent to the employee.
Request is changed by employee - email notification sent to the primary manager only. Both primary and secondary managers will see a notification next to Leave indicating there is a request requiring attention.
Request has been deleted - email notification sent to Payroll admin (see General Settings > Company Settings)
Using the Module as a Manager
Admins, owners, primary and secondary managers are all able to approve leave requests in Leave > Management. Admins and owners will need to filter to "All Employees" to view requests for employees they do not directly manage (if they are not also assigned as a primary or secondary manager).
Requests are managed as follows:
- Any owner or admin can view/approve/decline requests for any user
- Primary and secondary managers (that are not also admins or owners) can only view/approve/decline requests for employees they manage
- Other users can also be assigned to manage leave requests using Security Groups. (See How to assign Security Groups for more)
- Personal leave requests made by owners and admins are automatically approved, unless you have enabled Two-Level Leave Approval. A second approval will be required if this is enabled. An admin/owners' permission level equates to one de facto approval.
- Only the employee can delete their own leave request
Following a leave request:
- The "Leave Request Details" tab in an employee's file will show you his or her pending, approved, or declined leave requests. It also notes the users who approved/declined them.
- Leave > Management can be used to view sync details with payroll (see Syncing Requests below).
- Deleted leave requests are only visible via the company audit trail (Reports > Audit Trail)
Two-Level Leave Approval
By default, HR organisations only require one level of approval for leave requests. You can also enable Two-Level Leave Approval in General Settings > Company Settings.
Enabling this feature means all leave requests will require two approvals. However, it is still the case that only primary managers will receive email notifications, while both managers will see notifications next to the module for their employees' pending requests.
Please note, the status will not change from "pending" to "approved" until two levels of approval have been achieved. i.e. the first user to approve the request will not see the status change, even though their approval is recorded. A "partially-pending" status is currently not possible due to limitations with our various payroll platform integrations.
Only approved leave requests are synced to your payroll system. You can view the status of a sync via the clock icon next to the request in Leave > Management. Hovering over the clock icon shows more detail.
Red = Unsuccessful sync attempt. This usually occurs when the employee file is not yet synced to payroll, or the request was approved and later changed (see Changes to Approved Leave Requests below).
You can click Actions > View Details for more information about the error. Here, you can sometimes attempt a resync after clearing the root cause of an issue.
Blue = Not yet synced. These are typically pending requests.
Green = Successfully synced.
Changes to Approved Requests
A synced leave request can only be amended, or deleted, if it has not already been included in a pay run (only the employee can delete their request). After it is included in a pay run, the request is paid and a matter of record that can't be changed.
If you amend, or delete, an approved leave request-- this change does not sync to payroll and must be manually managed in payroll. This is due to a variety of technical and practical reasons.
Payroll administrators will receive an email notification for any amended or deleted requests that were previously approved, so s/he can make any necessary adjustments in payroll. You can set your payroll admin(s) in General Settings > Company Settings.
You can elect more than one payroll admin by using a comma and a space. You can also add any email address here. The payroll admins do not necessarily have to be HR users, in the case you use a third party to manage your payroll.
Leave Balance Adjustments
Leave balances are managed in payroll as they represent financial liabilities and entitlements. Leave balances only enter HR via published payslips that have been imported into HR. Therefore, adjustments for leave balance purposes must be added/taken in subsequent pay runs in payroll. i.e. leave balances cannot be directly changed in HR.
HR should be used as the source-of-truth for data and management when handling leave requests. Once requests are approved, they are synced to payroll as entitlements scheduled to be paid to employees in future pay runs. i.e. payroll is meant to be the payment function only in this integration.
Entering Requests into Payroll
If you do enter leave requests directly into payroll, they will not be reflected in the leave history in HR as a result. This is why it's always best to manage them in HR first.
However, if it is the case that you have already entered a request directly into payroll, you can reflect that in HR by creating an identical request there manually. If you already have an approved request for the same period in payroll, the HR request will not attempt to sync to payroll.
To summarise - you can duplicate a request manually in HR for record-keeping purposes. Just know the clock will remain red as it's not synced. You can also add a note to the request in HR to mention it already exists in payroll, and that is why it won't show as synced, to avoid confusion for your team later.