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Leave Planner – Use SharePoint it’s a Great Option

February 26, 2016
leave planner

Leave Planner is one of the many benefits SharePoint 2013 brings to a business. One of these is the ability to create a company-wide Leave Planner ensuring all Staff are able to log and track leave requests.

SharePoint Foundation 2013 has built-in workflow to enable this and by creating some simple lists we can create a comprehensive Leave Planner.

As an example, a company needs to create a way to electronically track employee leave requests and have a central holiday calendar. As we are concentrating on SharePoint Foundation 2013, we will concentrate on creating list based workflows to fulfill our requirements.

In essence, the manual workflow is as follows:


Leave Planner 2


This is a simple summary of the required steps. By replicating this electronically we reduce the risk of the employee or HR department losing their form (which does happen!) and having better visibility of the whole process.

Within SharePoint we will require a list of employee leave requests and a central Holiday Calendar to show which employee is on leave. It would also be beneficial to know the number of days leave an employee is entitled to which will ensure there is less chance of accidentally taking too much leave in a year.

  1. Setup a list with Employee ID (from your payroll system or just an incrementing number), Employee Name, Holiday Entitlement and the Department the employee is based in.
  2. Setup a normal SharePoint Calendar called “Company Name Holiday Calendar” Experiment with Calendar overlays based on the employee Department.
  3. Setup another list for the employee leave requests. As we are using SharePoint Foundation 2013, we will not be able to look up Active Directory details. To circumvent this, we will need to ensure the employee manually fills in their Line Manager name. Fields should include:

a. Employee name – This is optional as we could just use the name of the employee who created the record.
b. Employee Manager
c. Start Date
d. End date
e. Number of days – This column should calculate the number of working days taken.

Once you have created these lists a workflow will need to be designed.

The workflow will need to capture if the new leave request takes the employee over their existing entitlement as well as the approval process via the Manager. Once the leave is approved, you will then want to update the central holiday calendar to ensure staff can view who is on leave and when.

When you are happy you have designed the workflow around the business process, it will then need testing with key users. During this time you will be able to enhance your workflow to ensure you have captured all scenarios which will arise such as:

  1. “How do we handle a half day request”
  2. “How do I cancel or amend my request”
  3. “How does an employee track the process”

By utilising the power of SharePoint Foundation 2013, we have replicated a manual paper based process electronically. This introduces better visibility to the process, leave requests can be approved remotely if appropriate and there is no risk of the leave request form being misplaced.

This blog just touches on how to create a Leave Planner with SharePoint Foundation 2013 in an economical manner. If you would like help with using SharePoint why not book a free discovery call with us today 

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