Leave Management

A guide to making leave requests, approvals and rostering run seamlessly


Key takeaways

  • Empower your employees to manage leave
  • Manage blackout periods
  • Accommodate work life balance
  • Connect leave and payroll processes

4 min read


From the employees’ perspective, leave seems simple. They request time off, it’s approved by a supervisor and all is well.

For the employer, it’s a lot more complex. Managing leave means connecting the dots between different parts of the business – checking that the employee has accrued enough leave, considering the coverage needs of the department, rostering another staff member on or reassigning tasks to another person, and communicating with Payroll so the employee is paid accurately.

Without an integrated system to handle all the elements of the leave process, it can quickly go awry. Paper or email leave requests may be lost or delayed, employees may be approved for leave they don’t have available, people can be scheduled to work when they’re on holiday, and payroll may be inaccurate. It all adds up to wasted time, disrupted workflow and frustration for you and your employees.

With the right software – like MYOB’s Workforce Management capability within MYOB Advanced People and MYOB PayGlobal – you can turn managing leave into a single, streamlined process rather than a disconnected and disruptive system. If you integrate leave management with your payroll platform you get an effective end-to-end process with full visibility at every stage. It’s designed to reduce errors, save time and simplify the leave process for everyone involved. Here’s a breakdown of the features – and how they benefit your business:

Viewing and approvals: visibility for everyone

Access to leave details shouldn’t be restricted to management – if your employees can see their leave information, they can manage their leave requests more effectively. Our workforce management software gives employees and managers access to up-to-date leave balances at all times. Employees can log in to check their balances and can even see projected future balances, making it easier to plan upcoming holidays or breaks.

Managers get instant alerts when employees apply for leave and can approve, decline or edit if the situation changes. Approvals pop up immediately, so employees can get on with planning their time away. Once leave is booked, it’s visible in upcoming rosters. Managers can use that information to manage scheduling and leave requests from other staff members.

Because everyone has access to the same data in the same system, there’s far less room for error or frustration. Employees and managers can both see leave balances and other relevant details – like blackout dates and overlapping requests – so employees are less likely to apply for leave at an inconvenient time, and supervisors are less likely to decline requests.

"If your employees can see their leave information, they can manage their leave requests more effectively."

Blackout periods: making leave work for your business

Employees are entitled to leave, but that doesn’t mean every request will fit with the needs of the business. Many businesses have times during the year that require all hands on deck – like the pre-Christmas period in retail or the end of the financial year in accounting. Although many of your employees will be aware of your busy season and will avoid taking leave during that time of their own accord, blacking out those times can make things clearer.

Our workforce management platform includes a Blackout feature that lets you select certain periods where leave is discouraged. Of course, if exceptional circumstances arise, employees can approach their supervisors to request leave anyway. But having time blacked out helps set the expectation that employees will be available at that time of the year, helps them plan holidays for quieter periods and avoids disappointment when leave requests are turned down.

Unavailability: balancing work, life and rosters

When you have a large number of employees working in different shifts and different roles, it can be difficult to keep track of availability. It’s particularly tricky when you work with students or casual workers who may have other responsibilities outside work. Essentially, some of your staff may need recurring ‘leave’ – hours each week or month when they’re not available to work.

The right workforce management system can be a game-changer for rostering and managing employee time-off. MYOB’s platform includes an Unavailability tool, which lets employees block out one-off periods or recurring slots of time when they can’t work. Employees can log in on their laptops or mobiles to edit their availability as needed, and the data feeds into the rostering system so staff are only scheduled to work when they’re available.

This way, student workers can balance lectures and shifts and people with family responsibilities can manage their availability as well. The system simplifies staffing for managers and supervisors too – no more double-checking availability or contacting multiple staff members to find out who can work a specific shift – all the information is at their fingertips.

"The right workforce management system can be a game-changer for rostering and managing employee time-off."

Rostering and payroll: avoiding clashes, boosting accuracy

Ineffective leave management can have a serious impact on rostering and payroll. If upcoming leave isn’t visible to the person managing rosters, people on leave may be scheduled to work, leading to extra effort to alter rosters or shortstaffing if the error isn’t spotted in time.

Payroll is responsible for paying employees for their accrued leave and adjusting the balance when leave is taken. They need accurate information about employee leave, so nobody misses out on the time or money they’re owed.

Workforce management software brings leave requests, rostering and payroll together under one umbrella, helping eliminate scheduling errors and payroll mistakes. Once leave is approved by a supervisor, it’s automatically shared with your rostering team for upcoming schedules. Autogenerated rosters won’t include staff members who are on leave or unavailable for other reasons, and new leave requests can be declined if they clash with pre-booked leave.

Leave transactions are automatically generated by the software and sent through to Payroll, so employees are paid accurately and balances are updated to reflect leave taken.

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