How do I draw up a vacation schedule?

The Human Resources department is responsible for the company’ s employees’ vacation entitlements. They must be shown on the pay slip, and are broken down into leave remaining from the previous period and leave in the process of being earned. The use of a leave and absence management software package has therefore become indispensable for better anticipation of absences and immediate updating of the counters of leave taken and leave remaining to be taken.

What’s involved in vacation planning?

Your company needs to know in real time what absences have taken place to date, and which ones are still to come. You need to keep track of vacation days already taken, so that they can be entered into the payroll software and reflected on each employee’s payslip. This is part of your obligations as an employer with regard to leave.

To avoid problems and complaints, a vacation schedule needs to be regularly updated. This can be the responsibility of department heads, using Excel spreadsheets for example, or it can be the direct responsibility of the payroll department.

Today, it’s possible tointegrate employee absences into a vacation management software application accessible on the computer, and for some time now, from a dedicated smartphone application. This simplifies planning and, above all, enables it to be shared between the people and departments concerned.

How do you create a vacation schedule in Excel?

For a long time, Excel was the most efficient way to draw up a vacation schedule. All you had to do was :

  • create an employee list ;
  • enter the number of days of vacation to be balanced over the period n-1 ;
  • specify those acquired during the current period ;
  • indicate number of days absent ;
  • specify departure and return dates.

The magic of Excel’s formulas was then at work, and the schedule was updated before transmission to the payroll department.

But Excel didn’t allow this often confidential document to be shared between the HR department and the employee. Sometimes erroneous, sometimes incomplete, Excel had certain limitations, which have now been resolved by the availability to companies of planning management software that enables all data to be updated almost automatically.

Determining the number of vacation days

Setting up an absence schedule involved determining the number of days of paid leave. This schedule could be spread over 5 or 6 days worked per week, entitling the employee to 25 or 30 days paid leave per year, depending on the case. RTT days, days for family events or overtime entitling employees to compensation in the form of authorized days of absence, could also be added.

Finalize periods n and n-1

Leave is taken in rolling periods. This means that the Excel schedule had to allow for days of leave taken in the previous year and balance them out first, before opening the current year’s entitlement counter.

Check together the number of days allocated

The employee and his manager, under the supervision of the HR department, were then invited to check their agreement on the CP balance before the days of absence were actually taken. This is where a dispute could arise.

Update CP taken in pay slips

Once the vacations had been priced, they were manually integrated into the pay slip. This entailed several operations:

  • retrieving data from the spreadsheet ;
  • entering data into the payroll software ;
  • checking.

The benefits of a vacation management planner

Today, the automation of leave management is partly to Excel’s advantage! This means that the payroll department, the department manager and the employee all benefit from simplified exchanges concerning leave and absences.

Simplifying requests

The automated vacation management planner is a real assistant. Always available and never on leave, it simplifies the process of requesting leave and having it validated by the line manager. It also provides real-time visibility of leave balances and those in progress, and enables you to check an employee’s presence or absence in record time.

Real-time information sharing

Computerized scheduling enables immediate sharing of schedules between all employees. It also avoids errors in allocating leave, and enables everyone to consult their balance and apply for leave online.

24-hour access via PC and mobile application

The project management software can be consulted from a desktop or laptop computer, as well as from a mobile planning application. Access is given to each employee, as well as to the person in charge of leave in the Human Resources department. The system is also accessible to the line manager, who can approve or reject leave requests.

Notification of every request

The manager is immediately informed as soon as an employee updates his or her vacation schedule, or requests one or more days of absence, plus a vacation request on a sheet of paper that has been sitting on the manager’s desk for days before being signed, or has even been lost.

Integration into company software

Unlike an Excel spreadsheet that has to be copied into every payslip, vacation planning software integrates the data directly into every employee account. It can also be connected to accounting software.

In conclusion, theneed for companies to keep their vacation schedules up to date has been greatly simplified by the use of a software solution used by the Human Resources department, team leaders or personnel managers. Easy to use, it facilitates the work of employees and management, and avoids the often complex period of updating holiday schedules.