We know creating Time Off policies can sometimes be tricky. In this article, we'll walk through the entire process step by step - ensuring you know exactly how to customize a policy to your unique company needs.
*Note: this article covers how to set up a Time Off policy post launching Sapling at your org. If you're looking for information on how to initially set up the Time Off module pre-launch, check our Recommendations for Rolling Out Time Off.
Adding a new Time Off Policy
*Note: Before setting up a policy, be sure to double check your permission levels. Each permission group a policy applies to needs to have "View and edit" access for their own Time Off information to enable this feature in their Sapling account.
To create a new Time Off policy, navigate from Home > Time Off. Click "Add New Policy" in the upper righthand corner.
The Time Off policy creator has 5 steps: 1) Basic Policy Information, 2) Approvals, 3) Accrual Rate, 4) Accrual Schedule and 5) Time Off Balances.
1) Basic Policy Information
In this section, you'll input all the basic information about your policy, who it applies for, and how it should be tracked:
New Policy Name: name of the policy you're creating (for ex: San Francisco - Full Time Employees)
Time Off Type: what type of policy this is (for ex: Vacation, Jury Duty, Sick Leave, etc.)
Icon: what icon you'd like to display with the policy to easily distinguish (for ex: a ✈️ for Vacation)
Is this an unlimited policy: If no --> move to the next section. If yes --> you can edit how it's displayed to employees in Sapling (for ex: an unlimited policy that's displayed as "Discretionary Time Off" to employees)
How should Time off be tracked: select hours or days
Length of workday: input the amount of hours in your standard work day (for ex: 8 hours)
On which days: what days are considered working days for this policy (for ex: Mon-Fri)
Minimum/Maximum increment for requests: leave on "no" if there is no min/max, or select "yes" to input
Who is this policy for: you can select if this is for "All Employees", "Some Employees" (if you select this, you can then input what Location, Department, and Employee Status it applies to), or "Manually assigned as needed" (for specialty policies like parental leave)
In this section, you'll decide two things: who needs to approve PTO requests (if anyone), and how Sapling should handle outstanding requests.
Do time off requests for this policy need approval: if no, skip to the next section. If yes (typically this is the case), you can then select who needs to approve the policy with the options of "Manager", "Specific person", or "Specific permission group." If multiple people need to approve, click the "Add" button to include additional decision makers
How should Sapling resolve outstanding requests: decide how you want the system to handle time off requests that have not been approved or denied (for ex: you can tell Sapling to Auto-Approve or Auto-deny requests after X number of days)
3) Accrual Rates
In this section, you'll decide how much and how often your team accrues Time Off.
How much time can team members accrue: first, decide the amount of total hours/days your team should accrue under this policy (for ex: 120 hours per year, or 10 hours per month)
What is the accrual frequency: this dictates how often team members receive their accrual. This typically aligns with your pay cycle (for ex: if your team gets paid every two weeks, the accrual frequency would be "bi-weekly")
4) Accrual Schedule
In this section, you'll set the accrual calendar, decide on key rulesets for how and when Sapling handles this policy, and add any special rules around tenureship.
When should this policy start accruing: choose when this policy should begin to accrue - either starting on the new hire's "Start Date", or select a "Custom Date" which is set as X days before or after their start date (for ex: if someone begins working on Jan 2nd, you can set the accrual date for -1 days from the start date to have it effective from Jan 1)
When should this policy renew: options to select either "On team member's anniversary", "1st of January", or you can choose a "Custom Date" undefined
How should Sapling handle the first accrual: select if you'd like to "Prorate the amount", or have the "Full balance" given at the start of the accrual period
When do accruals happen: select whether time off should start "At the start of the Period" or "At the end of the period"
Does this policy have a maximum accrual amount: if this policy has a maximum amount of hours, select "yes" and input the max (for ex: if you have a max of 20 days vacation, you would select "yes" and input 160 hours as the max)
Tenureship: if you have additional time off benefits related to tenureship, you can input those rules here. *Note: balances do NOT compound - all added balances are in relation to the original policy amount. For example: let's say you give your team an additional 1 day (8 hours) of vacation for every year they work. This would mean that on their 2 year anniversary, they will earn a total of 16 additional hours of time off.
5) Time Off Balances
In this section, you'll set the rules for what to do with rollover and negative balances.
Should unused time off rollover into the following period: choose "yes" or "no" depending on if you want unused time to rollover into the next accrual period
Is there a maximum amount of time off rollover: select "yes" if there are a maximum number of hours you'd like to rollover (for ex: max 20 hours)
Should unused rollover balances expire: select "yes" and set the expiry date if balances should expire
Can team members obtain a negative balance for this policy: select "yes" if team members are allowed to have negative time off balances, and choose the max amount of negative hours (for ex: max of -24 hours)
Should negative balances be rolled into the following period: if you selected "yes" for allowing negative balances, you can choose if you'd like those negative balance to be rolled into the next accrual period