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If you offer your employees vacation and sick leave, you should develop a written company policy to ensure the time is used as intended. The guidelines should include how vacation and sick time are accrued, rates of accrual and eligibility requirements. You also need a tracking system that allows you or your managers to properly schedule employee time off.Use Your Spreadsheet
Using a spreadsheet to track vacation and sick time is inexpensive. It can be time-consuming, as it relies on manual entry, but if you do not have many employees this alternative should work fine. To make a template, create lines for the pay period start and end dates at the top of the page. Then write column headings for "Starting Balance," "Used" and "Ending Balance." Below that, create a column heading for “Employee Name.” In that same row, under Starting Balance, Used and Ending Balance, write separate subheadings for “Vacation” and “Sick.” Type each employee’s starting balances under the respective columns. Each pay period, enter their time taken under the related “Used” column. Enter the appropriate formulas so the spreadsheet can track the changing balances.Payroll and HR System
You also can monitor vacation and sick time via payroll and human resources software. This method is effective if you process your payroll or administer your human resources functions in-house instead of outsourcing those duties. In this case, you need software that enables time and attendance, payroll processing and human resources functions. After processing and closing the payroll for each pay period, the system updates employees’ vacation and sick records. You can also generate and print customized reports.Time-Off Tracking Software
If you do not need to buy payroll or human resources software, you might consider purchasing a time-off tracking program. This is a stand-alone system that allows you to monitor vacation and sick time and generate and print customized reports. Some time off systems have a self-service portal, where employees can quickly submit vacation and sick leave requests to their managers for approval. Additional features might include a company directory so employees can find each other and an application that lets managers see pending and approved leave requests.Track to Save Headaches
Improper tracking can lead to employees incurring negative balances and being paid for time off that they do not have. It can also cause managers to schedule time off improperly, which can disrupt the operational flow of their department. Depending on state law or company policy, you might need to payout unused vacation time when an employee terminates. To ensure correct payout, you need a reliable tracking system.About the Author
Grace Ferguson has been writing professionally since 2009. With 10 years of experience in employee benefits and payroll administration, Ferguson has written extensively on topics relating to employment and finance. A research writer as well, she has been published in The Sage Encyclopedia and Mission Bell Media.Photo Credits
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