Adding default time off accrual policies (for new time off system)

If you use our TimeAttend or TimeOff product, see this topic instead.

An accrual policy is a set of rules that:

  • Determine the balance of time off available for a time off type, and
  • Automatically update that balance over time

Time off policies allow you to allot time off according to your organization’s internal policies, without having to regularly update balances manually. Policies can specify:

  • The balance as of an effective date you choose
  • Scheduled additions to the balance (accruals) and resets of the balance
  • The maximum balance a user can obtain

Refer to Time off policy scenarios for examples of accrual policies.

Understanding default policies and effective dates

When you create a time off type, you can define the default policy or set of policies for that type. When you assign the time off type to a user, the default policy or policies are assigned to the user, effective as of their start date.

For example, imagine each new employee starts with 10 days of vacation time that increases to 12 days after 3 years of service. You can create a set of default policies to reflect these entitlements:

  • Policy 1: 10 days vacation, effective on the user's start date
  • Policy 2: 12 days of vacation, effective on the 3rd anniversary of their start date

If the user's time off allotment is different than the default settings, you can edit, add, or delete policies at the user level. Each policy has a date associated with it to specify when that policy should take effect.

Adding default policies

To create a default policy or set of policies for a time off type:

  1. Add or edit a time off type.
  2. In the Define Default Accrual Policy section, click the + button.

A policy card displays.

  1. If the policy should come into effect on the user's start date, leave the Effective After field as is. If it takes effect later, enter the number of years, months, or days afer their start date the accrual policy should take effect. 

For example, if employees aren't entitled to time off until they've worked a 3 month probation period, you can enter 3 in the first field, and select the Months of service option from the second field.

  1. Click the rule links to select which rules should apply to the policy. For each rule you add, define the parameters that apply to the rule for the policy.
  2. Click the + button again to add additional accrual policies, if your time off allotment is based on the anniversary of each users's start date. A new tier will display on the policy card for each accrual policy. 

Refer to How anniversary-based time off policies work for more information on that topic.

  1. When you've finished setting up all default policies, click the Save button at the bottom of the page.

All default policies will be assigned when you assign the time off type to a user. You can edit, add, or delete policies at the user level.

If you need to delete a rule, hover your cursor over the rule and click the X icon that appears:

About the policy rules

Time off policy rules can be assigned to default policies, or can be added to specific policies assigned to users.

There are four types of rules:

  • Starting policy rules - determine the balance as of the policy effective date
  • Accrual rules - schedules automatic additions to the policy’s balance
  • Limitation rules - allows you to enable a reset, maximum balance, cap accruals, or expiry rule
  • Validation rules - allows you to assign booking validation rules to users that prevent submission of bookings if rule criteria isn't met

For some types, you can assign multiple rules within that category.

Refer to the sections below for details on specific rule options.

If you have purchased an Enterprise-level product, we can work with you to create fully customized accrual rules. Contact your Customer Success Manager for more information.


What happens if we don’t set up a policy for a time off type?

You have to set up a time off policy if you need to define a time off type’s balance. If a user can take unlimited time off against a type, no accrual policy is needed.

As long as a time off type is assigned to a user, they can enter time against it. If the type has no policy in effect, the initial time off balance will be zero.

How do I correct an error in a policy?

If the error is in a future policy, you can simply edit the policy and make the changes. However, if the policy has already taken effect, it cannot be edited. To correct the error, you can calculate what the user's balance should be, as of today. Then, create a new policy, effective today, with the following rules:

  • A starting policy rule set to match the balance you calculated
  • Additional rules set to the correct accrual and reset values

With this new policy in place, the user will have the correct balance and accruals going forward.

Can a reset and an accrual occur on the same day?

Yes. If an accrual and a reset are scheduled for the same day, the reset occurs first, and then the accrual.

You might need to set up a policy like this if, for example, time off accrues monthly on the first of the month, and resets annually on January 1st.

Do resets and accruals occur on a policy's effective date?

If a reset or accrual is scheduled for the same day as the policy’s effective date, the reset and accrual will both still occur. First the initial balance is set and then the reset and accrual occur.

How can we prevent users from booking off time they don’t have available?

To prevent users from overdrawing their balance, add the Validate that balance is not in overdraw booking validation to the time off type.

Can you use time off on the day it expires?

Yes, employees can use time off on the expiry date, although their balance summary for the booking may indicate that 0 days remain, even if time off is available and expiring that day.

Related links

About the time off versions
Assigning time off types and accrual policies to users
Setting up time off types
About the accrual rules in time off policies
Time off policy scenarios