Enforcing Absence Leave Policies in 5 Easy Steps

Managing leave has become increasingly complex and more complexity means spending even more time manually managing employee leave. Beyond the workload of management, leave can also become a huge liability for many companies without the proper guards in place.

Leave Policy Enforcement: A How-To

In a perfect world, your employees would know and follow every rule and policy concerning leave. Imagine a world where there’s no need for disputes or confrontation. Imagine now how much happier you and your employees would be if everyone understood and followed the rules for:

  • Time off
  • Vacation leave
  • Maternity leave
  • PTO (personal time off)
  • Retirement

Now, come back to the real world, where employees without policy enforcement are four times more likely to stretch, bend, fudge, or blatantly dismiss your organization’s rules.

For the HR professional who wants to be a leave champion, not the office police, here are a few steps to save time enforcing HR policies:

1. Make sure that your policies specifically apply to situations you confront the most.

This means that you’ve established a policy ahead of the problem so that there is a process for solving the problem. This saves the time and headache of solving problems individually over and over again. Save your brainpower for other important issues and let the policy do the work.

2. Enforce established policies in the company manual.

It sounds easy, but enforcing policy fairly for all employees so that there’s no perception of favoritism can be a challenge. The key word is “perception” here. Maintaining transparency makes it clear that you’re not (accidentally or not) favoring one request over another. Any perception of favoritism will disestablish the ethos you’ve built. From the get go, you need set the tone of your expectations and also include what happens if these rules are broken. Having a clear guideline sets expectations and provides you with a process for solving problems. Just make sure to have new and current employees alike sign for documentation.

3. Set up an approval process.

With an approval structure, there’s a system for accurately capturing requests for leave. This system should gather all relevant data to include details on requests and the kind of leave request. With this information, it’s easy to ensure compliance through detailed documentation.

4. Manage exceptions/escalations.

Problems are bound to arise, even in the most ideal of working conditions. Exceptions and escalations represent a change in the usual flow of the leave management process. The important thing is to be open to communicating about the problem and work toward a solution within your range of constraints.

Related Article: HR From A-Z: 26 Sample Employee Handbook Policies for Improved Compliance

5. Ensure reliable reporting.

Everyone needs to trust the data you’re managing, whether you’re a manager or an associate. Data needs to be accurate and current, which goes back to the issue of ethos. This can be time-consuming, however, leading to the necessity for an automated system, our bonus #6 suggestion for saving time.

 "An important part of implementation is ensuring that our customer's requirements are fulfilled without jeopardizing end-user acceptance. Respecting this balance ensures a successful rollout."
Director of Business Analysis, Torbjorn Nilsen

Real-life testimonial: "Until we implemented DATABASICS our biggest challenge was reconciling actual hours taken against hours reported. Now that we have this solution, our 'double dipping' problem is being addressed at the source." --Human Resources Officer


6. Implement an automated timesheet management system with an easy transition.

When evaluating timesheet management providers, the best rule of thumb is to find one that has the experience and tools to make moving over from your current process as straightforward, fast, efficient, and accurate as possible. Having an easy and efficient transition is essential in saving time your workers should be spending on their actual job.

Tip: When deciding on a provider, find one that tailors to your needs. Don’t get swept up with all the bells and whistles; focus on what’s most important for your organization to keep its internal controls in place.

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For more information on DATABASICS Employee Leave Management, contact us or call (800) 599-0434.

DATABASICS provides cloud-based, next generation Expense Reporting,
P-Card Management, Timesheet & Leave Management Management, and Invoice Processing automation. Specializing in meeting the most rigorous requirements, DATABASICS offers the highest level of service to its customers around the world.

DATABASICS is relied upon by leading organizations representing all the major sectors of the global economy: financial services, healthcare, manufacturing, research, retail, engineering, non-profits/NGOs, technology, federal contractors, and other sectors.

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