Aligning Your Time Off Tracking

Marlo Hertling

Aligning Time off Tracking for HR Professionals and Managing Absenteeism in Canada

Are you managing your absences across multiple solutions? Worse yet, are you not currently tracking all of your absences? Consider this:

'Despite a direct absenteeism cost of more than $16 billion last year, less than half of Canadian organizations tracked the number of days or the reasons for absences.' - Conference Board of Canada*

The second item that HR and Payroll need to collaborate on when moving to an integrated people management solution is time off tracking. (and in case you missed it, here's the first item on position management)

Let’s start by considering what's important to all of the stakeholders for vacation, leaves of absence, sick time and other leave entitlements.

Human Resources

  • Self-Service tools to automate time off management with employee requests;
  • The ability for employees and managers to quickly check leave balances on benefit statements or through their Self-Service application;
  • An easy to read attendance calendar for planning purposes and to analyze trends; and,
  • Automate rules to accommodate entitlement rules (e.g. maximum sick days allowed).

Payroll and Finance

  • Ensure that they meet legislative requirements by province, territory and/or unions;
  • Avoid duplicate entries or complicated file imports by integrating time entry directly with Payroll;
  • One single place to review carried forward balances, taken balances, and remaining balances;
  • Have the right tools to manage year-end resets with ease; and,
  • Reporting for accrual and liability balances that automatically populate the Payroll GL.


  • The ability to quickly review and approve (or amend) time off requests;
  • Reporting tools to easily manage staffing during busy vacation periods to avoid conflicts or workforce shortages; and,
  • Provide balances at-a-glance for their employees

Take Stock of Your Absence Tracking

When bringing your people management together through an integrated solution I recommend taking time to map out who is responsible for what tasks and what outputs they require from the absence data being collected.

That way your implementation team can configure a solution that meets the needs of all of the stakeholders involved. Often during implementations we uncover that HR and Payroll are tracking absences in separate solutions or spreadsheets. Taking the time to verify and balance the absences from both systems will ensure the data going into your new solution is correct right from the start.

Front-End Planning = Long-Term Success

The front-end planning and collaboration invested by HR and Payroll to move to an integrated solution will allow your organization to:

  • Assess the impact of absences on lost productivity and costs;
  • Manage and mitigate compliance risk; and,
  • Quickly address any attendance issues.

Better absence tracking improves productivity and reduces costs. This means your people management stakeholders will be able to benefit your company by directly contributing to the bottom line.

*Absent Workers Cost the Canadian Economy Billions - Conference Board of Canada

About the Author

Marlo Hertling

Marlo Hertling has worked with leading HCM organizations and has been helping Canadian companies implement HCM solutions for more than 15 years. She is the Vice President of People & Culture at Avanti Software Inc and serves as Avanti's HCM subject matter expert.

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