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 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 is set.

👀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%.

This process happens at the end of each week and runs on a one-week lag, which allows you time to check that all employee hours are correct for that week ahead of the calculation being made.

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%)k.

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, automatic accrual occurs, 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.

It's 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.

Following the steps below, you can view the values and override them if you desire.

  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.

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