Tracking Time Off

Businesses seem to have no trouble tracking sales, expenses, and even headcount. Why is it so hard to track time off? The answer typically is because there is no system for having time off taken easily reported.


It is extremely important for productivity, morale, and fairness that we make a greater effort to track the time taken. Simple processes involving an email that someone is out is a start. Sending all management a weekly or monthly time off taken card to complete and submit back can also work. Lastly, make the employee partially responsible for reporting the time they take. Oh — and at the end of each month / quarter / year, send a summary of time taken to both parties and ask them to sign off. There’s no better way to find discrepancies. The next step is deciding what to do with unused accrued time off.


Time off inevitably is earned and accumulated by your employees, with some portion of your population failing to use their time by the end of each year, as well as by the time they leave your employ. What happens to all that time is something you need to decide, publish, and then stick by your guns going forward. Some states require you to make full payout for any accrued unused time off at year end and/or at time of termination. Others say that once you pay it out everyone thereafter gets it paid out as policy. Overall you need to check state law to see what you are required to do. Best lesson here – be consistent. Inconsistency = liability which then equals trouble.