Setting up time off booking validations

For each time off type, you can specify which requirements the booking must meet before it can be submitted.

For example, you can prevent a user from booking more vacation time than is available to them. If the booking doesn’t meet the requirements, when the user attempts to submit it they will see an error and the booking will remain unsubmitted.

Unlike timesheet validation rules – which can be set to either block timesheet submission, or to serve just as a warning – booking validation rules, when triggered, always prevent submission of the booking.

Booking validation rules are only available to customers using the TimeOff Plus or TimeOff Enterprise products. The TimeAttend and TimeOff products include similar validations, but many of them are automatically applied.

Assigning booking validation rules

Booking validations are assigned to time off types. Each rule applies only to the types it is added to. You can assign multiple validations to each time off type; all of the selected validations will be applied when a booking is submitted for that type.

To add a validation, edit the time off type or edit particular users' policy settings.

In time off types, there are two ways of assigning validation rules. You can assign the rule:

  • To all users using that time off type by clicking Add Request Validations and selecting the rule. Or,
  • At the policy level, so a different rule can apply to each policy you add for that type. To do this, add a default policy under the Define Default Accrual Policy section.

About the default validations

Replicon offers multiple validation options by default, as outlined below. In addition to being available for selection within a time off type, the list of validations may also be available at Adminstration > Time Off  > Time Off Booking Validation Rules.

If you are a TimeOff Enterprise customer, we can help you create custom validations to meet your business requirements. Please contact your Customer Success Manager for more information.

Rules that limit amount of time off that can be booked

Validation name

This validation…

Limit amount of time off taken

Lets you limit annual sick time to a value you specify. For example, with this rule you could specify that employees can’t take more 48 sick hours in a year.

Employees assigned this rule can still accrue more than this set amount, they just won’t be able to book additional time off. Any remaining accrued amounts can be carried over to the next year.

Note that:
  • The ‘year’ can be the calendar year, your fiscal year, or based on the employee’s anniversary – you can choose
  • This rule is most useful in states that allow employers to limit how much sick time employees can take in a year
  • It would most commonly be used when time off accruals are based on hours worked or paid (e.g. worker accrues 1 hour of sick time per 30 hours worked)

Limit time off allowed in a rolling period

Allows you to specify the maximum duration and/or number of bookings allowed during a 'rolling' period, whose duration you define.

For example, using this rule, you could allow users to book off a maximum of 10 days per quarter.

‘Rolling’ means a new period of that duration starts when the preceding one ends. The first period begins when the policy takes effect.

Time off is subject to the laws of your jurisdiction; this sort of rule is useful in places like Norway that allow for limiting bookings in this manner.

Prevent balance overdraw

Prevents the user from submitting if they try to book more time off than they have available in their time off balance. For example, if a user only has 3 days available and tries to book 5 days off, they will be prevented from submitting.

When booking time off for the future, the user's available balance is calculated as of the time off date. When adding or editing a booking for past dates, the balance is calculated as of the current day.

When calculating the balance, future bookings are taken into account; unsubmitted and rejected bookings are ignored.

Prevent overdraw at the end of year

Prevents users from overdrawing their end of year balance for a time off type. This is useful in companies that allow employees to overdraw their current time off balance, but don't allow them to overdraw their yearly entitlement.

For example, imagine that this rule is applied to a user who accrues one day of vacation time each month. In July, the user has accrued 7 days off, and they're allowed to book 12 days off for their summer vacation. But, if they tried to book off 13 days, they’d be blocked from submitting that booking, since they’d exceed their year-end balance by 1 day.

Rules that limit the duration of time off can be booked

Validation name

This validation…

Booking must be exactly 14 calendar days

Only allows submission if the booking is exactly 14 calendar days long

Error for booking more than scheduled hours

Prevents submission if the user tries to book more time off than they are scheduled to work, based on their assigned office schedule. For example, if the user is scheduled to work 7 hours and tries to book 8 hours off, they will be prevented.

If the user is not scheduled to work, either because there are no hours in his office schedule or the day is a holiday, a booking can’t be submitted for that day.

We recommend adding this validation for all time off types except the type used to create holiday bookings. If the validation is assigned to that time off type, bookings cannot be created on holidays.

This validation does not take into account shift schedules. It should not be used with shift workers as it will prevent them from submitting any time off.


Prevent 0 hour bookings

Prevents the user from being able to save a booking of 0 hours when creating a partial-day booking.

Restrict booking duration

Enforces a duration limit on bookings in hours – the booking must exactly match a duration specified, either in workdays or calendar days. Or, it may not exceed the maximum, or be lower than the minimum, that you specified.


Restrict booking duration in calendar days

Enforces a duration limit on bookings in calendar days – as with the hours-based rule above, the booking must exactly match a duration specified. Or, it may not exceed the maximum, or be lower than the minimum, that you specified.

Restrict booking duration in leave year

Enforces a duration limit on bookings in calendar days or workdays, across a year you define. There are two Validate options:

  • Every Booking - every booking the user makes must match the duration requirements. So, if you require bookings to be at least 14 days, every booking must be that long.
  • Once per Leave Year - the user can't submit a booking within the defined year until a booking that meets the requirements is submitted that year. So, if you require at least one 14 day booking, the user will need to make that booking before they can book off any additional time.

In both cases, the booking must exactly match a duration specified. Or, it may not exceed the maximum, or be lower than the minimum, that you specified.

The Leave Year Extends field allows you to extend the validation year by 5 or 10 days, to allow users more opportunity to make a valid booking, if needed.

This rule is useful in countries like Switzerland, Hungary, and Romania which enforce minimum consecutive time off (e.g. employees must take at least 2 consecutive weeks off each year)

The Period Start and Period End date parameters can be used to validate requirements like this French time off rule: At least 12 consecutive days of leave must be taken between May 1 and Oct 31.


Restrict booking by hours for the specified day

Limits the number of hours a user can book off on the specified date.

This rule is useful for time-restricted types of time off, such as voting time. For example, in New York state employers must allow employees up to 3 hours of paid time off for voting. In this case, you’d set the maximum duration to 3 hours on election day.

The Reason:Date:Hours field should take this format: Voting:YYYY/MM/DD:3


Restrict multiple booking durations in leave year

Allows you to define the minimum duration and time frame for multiple vacation bookings, for use in places like Brazil or Serbia.

For example, in Brazil, workers must spread their vacation over three bookings, and the first must be at least 14 calendar days, while the others must be for at least 5 days each. This new rule allows you to define those minimums, as well as the period over which time off must be taken.


Rules that limit when time off can be booked

Validation name

This validation…

Booking must Start on Specific Day of Week

Requires annual leave bookings to start on a specific day of the week that you choose. It's useful in countries such as Argentina, where annual leave must start on a Monday.


Error for overlapping bookings

Prevents the user from submitting a booking that overlaps with an existing booking. An error is shown:

  • If either the new booking or the existing booking includes a full day off on the overlapping day
  • If both bookings have a start time specified for the overlapping day
  • In the case of one booking ending on the same day that the other booking starts, if the end time of the first booking is later than the start time of the second booking

We recommend adding this validation for all time off types.

Prevent use during probationary period

Prevents users from taking time off for a specified probationary period, beginning from their first day of employment. Time off can still accrue during the probationary period. Employees can book future time off that falls after the probationary period.

For example, this rule would be useful in companies that allow sick time to accrue from an employee’s first day, but don’t allow employees to use sick time for the first 90 days.

Require advance notice for time off

Requires that the booking must be submitted X days, or more, from the first day of the time off it defines. Administrators define the value of X in the time off type for the booking; they can choose whether the number of days specified is work days or calendar days.

Require other time off balance to be used first

Requires the user to use all available time off for the time off type or types specified in the rule before they can book time off using the type this validation is assigned to. 

For example, if the laws of your jurisdiction allow it, this rule can be used to prevent employees from using accumulated time off in lieu (TOIL) if vacation time off is available.

You can include multiple time off types for the rule to check, separated by a comma (e.g. Vacation, Flex Time). The rule will take into account the minimum increment available, so ensure these are set appropriately.

For example, I want to book off half a day of TOIL, but Vacation time must be used first. However, the minimum increment for Vacation time is full days. In this case, the TOIL booking can still be created since the Vacation time can't be used.

Require advance notice with dynamic threshold

Requires the user to give a length of notice that corresponds to the duration of the booking. For example, if you specify an advance notice threshold of 2 for a time off type:

  • A booking of one week off would need to be submitted 2 weeks in advance of the start of time off, and
  • A booking of 3 days would need to be submitted 6 days ahead of the time off

This rule is designed to meet compliance requirements in the U.K., that specify annual leave time off should be booked with an advance notice of at least twice the duration of the booking itself.

Rules the require certain booking fields to be completed

Validation name

This validation…

Require custom fields

Requires that the user must complete any custom fields that appear on the booking. Custom fields are defined within the Additional Fields section when adding or editing a time off type

Copying a time off booking validation rule

You can make a copy of any validation rule, in case you want to base a new rule on an existing one, or retain variations of two similar rules.

To make a copy of a rule, select the rule on the Administration > Time Off > Time Off Booking Validation Rules list page, then click More > Make a Copy:

 Or, select a rule, then click the Make a Copy of this Rule link located at the bottom, right-hand corner of the rule’s page:


How does validation work when multiple bookings are made on the same day?

Any validation you assign to a time off type is only checked when you submit a booking for that type. If the validation is not assigned to other time off types, you may not see the desired results when users create multiple bookings on a single day.

Consider this example:

  1. The user has two time off types: Vacation and Flex Days.
  2. The Vacation type has a validation to prevent bookings that are more than the user’s scheduled hours, but the Flex Days type does not.
  3. The user is scheduled to work 7 hours.
  4. The user books 4 hours using the Vacation type. Because the amount of time off is less than 7 hours, the booking is successful.
  5. The user now books 4 hours using the Flex Days type. Because there is no validation assigned to the Flex Days type, the booking is successful, even though the user has booked more time off than they are scheduled to work.
  6. If the user had booked the Flex Days time off first, and then the Vacation time off, they would have been prevented from booking the Vacation time.

If you allow users to book partial days off and are using either of the following validations, we recommend adding the validation to all of the user’s assigned time off types.

  • Error for booking more than scheduled hours
  • Error for overlapping bookings

If I add a validation, are existing bookings affected?

Validations are checked when a booking is submitted. Existing bookings won’t be affected unless someone edits and resubmits them. Then the booking will need to meet the assigned validations.

What validations are available in TimeAttend and TimeOff?

Many similar validations are available in the TimeAttend and TimeOff products. If you have either of these products, time off bookings are automatically validated to:

  • Prevent users from booking more than their scheduled hours
  • Prevent overlapping bookings

You can also prevent users from overdrawing their balance using the Maximum Overdraw option in the time off policy.