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Absence allowances (for employers)
Absence allowances (for employers)

How to track an employee's absence using allowances.

Amelia Andrews avatar
Written by Amelia Andrews
Updated over a week ago

An absence allowance is an annual entitlement in days or hours, which an employee can optionally spend by requesting time off. An employee can only have one active (non-finalised) allowance for each year, for each absence type.

⚠️ Your organisation's holiday year runs from a set date (such as 1st January) and is set by Rotaready on your behalf. You can override this on an individual allowance if you need to.

Rotaready tracks the amount of absence booked by an employee and updates their allowance in real-time when a request is placed, accepted, rejected, or amended. They can't request more than their entitlement unless an overspend limit has been set or accrual predictions have been enabled (and Rotaready predicts that the hours are likely to have been accrued by the date of the booking or end of holiday year, dependant on setup).

👀Find out more in our Spotlight Session 'Accomplishing absence allowances'

Schedules of accrual

Allowances come with three different behaviours. We call this the Schedule of Accrual.

Beginning of accrual year

This is where someone is given their total annual accrual amount, such as 28 days or 200 hours, in full at the start of the year. Just enter 28 into total accrued annually.

Each calendar month

This is like the 'beginning of accrual year' schedule, except the total annual amount is divided into twelve equal instalments. On the first day of each month, the allowance will accrue one of the instalments, which is one twelfth of the annual amount.

Imagine someone is entitled to 24 days each year. The allowance will accrue 2 days each month automatically. Just enter 24 into maximum to accrue.

Each hour worked

This is where someone accrues hours for every hour that they work. The amount of hours they accrue is based on the accrual rate. Rotaready will automatically use the relevant accrual rate for your jurisdiction, but you can override it if you'd like. The default in the UK is 12.07%.

Accrued holiday is credited at the moment a day or week is signed-off.

Let's take a simple example. If someone works 32 hours in their first week of employment, Rotaready will automatically credit 3.86 hours to their allowance (32 multiplied by 12.07%) at the moment the week is signed-off.

You can optionally specify a maximum to accrue, which sets a limit on the maximum number of hours the allowance can accrue.

This is the only schedule of accrual that cannot be managed in days.

Learn more about holiday accrual.

Cost of absence

For all allowance types, the cost of approved absence will be included in the wage spend when viewing a rota or using the cost control tools.

The only exception to this is when holiday smoothing is enabled.

Using allowances

Adding, amending and deleting

  1. Click Staff in the main navigation menu

  2. Search for an employee

  3. Click on the Absence tab

  4. Click on the Allowances tab

  5. Click on the New allowance or Edit button alongside an existing allowance

Once an allowance has been created, the absence type, schedule of accrual and year cannot be changed. If you need to change these, just delete the allowance and create another.

⚠️ If you add a new allowance for the current holiday year, Rotaready will automatically create next year's allowance for you too.


Each allowance has an audit history. Rotaready will automatically keep track of when an allowance changes.

This can happen when an absence request is submitted, amended, rejected, or cancelled, accrual credits/debits occur, or the allowance is manually edited.

Hours per working day

Employees can book a half day, a day or several days of absence at a time. However, if their allowance is in hours Rotaready needs to perform a conversion from the number of days chosen into an equivalent number of hours.

To do this, Rotaready automatically tracks the number of hours each employee works per day on average. When an absence request is booked, the employee's average hours per working day is attributed to the booking. This will be refreshed to reflect the updated value just before the absence is actually taken.

The average hours per working day are calculated and adjusted automatically whenever you sign-off a week. Rotaready analyses 52 weeks of data by default. An employee needs to have worked a minimum of 5 shifts, otherwise sensible default values are used. This automation can be disabled for everyone if you wish, or disabled on an employee-by-employee basis using the following steps.

  1. Click Staff

  2. Search for an employee

  3. Click on the Absence tab

  4. Click on the Settings tab

  5. Here you can allow Rotaready to automatically calculate the values (in which case they are displayed but not editable) or set them manually.

Accrual predictions

If an allowance has been set with a Schedule of accrual for Each hour worked, then you may choose for Rotaready to make an accrual prediction when a booking of the same absence type is made. Once enabled, Rotaready will predict the number of hours that the employee is likely to have accrued by the absence end date and include them in the employee's accrued figure, hence allowing the booking to be made (if sufficient hours are predicted to have been accrued). Rotaready also has the option for you to predict the number of hours that the employee is likely to have accrued by the end the current holiday year, if you like to have this setting enabled, please contact the support team.

Finalising an allowance

If an employee leaves your business, or if an employee needs to have an allowance type changed, you’ll need to finalise their absence allowance(s). Learn more about finalising an absence allowance.

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