Successful businesses always maintain a schedule for approving time off for its employees. This is an important factor in maintaining the required manpower to efficiently run the business at any given time. A modified time off request form will take care of this need.

An established policy on these kinds of forms may already be in effect but there will always be room for improvement, specifically on how to streamline the process in making these requests. Employees can readily access such forms, which are available online, to request for their planned leave of absence. The form should be straightforward, providing employer details of their request. Such would be the basis for the requests’ approval of denial. The same form will also provide details on how to manage both paid and unpaid time off requests from all employees.

Even the best and most dedicated employees will always need some time off from work. It is an inevitable part of the work cycle. A leave of absence would allow employees to tend to their personal needs, whether it is medical, social, an emergency or just spending quality time with their families.

There are online requests for time off forms, which would be very convenient tools. Employees need only fill in their names, their department, employee ID, normal work hours, and date/s of the requested time off. The request should be acted upon immediately, either it is denied or approved, adding any relevant notes to that matter.

Time Off Request Forms

Using a Time Off Request Form

The Time Off Request Form will enable the employer to keep track of his employees requested vacation leaves and sick-leaves. The information contained in these documents will provide employer’s data to be used in adjusting work hours so there won’t be a shortage of manpower. At the same time, the form makes an easy tool for employees in requesting for their appropriate leaves.

This document can be used if:

  1. The employer doesn’t have a pre-existing form
  2. Small business employers want to provide the employees all necessary forms they might need
  3. You work in Human Resources

Filling up the form is essential for it will always be at the discretion of the employer for its approval or denial. Having so many accumulated vacation time doesn’t qualify you as a priority. Not until you have filed for the request can it be subjected to a decision.

Take for an example, an office mate who filed his form earlier requesting the same time-off period. He would probably be given the nod. Just to be smart, file your request to make it official.  This goes the same for the employer. Remind your employees to give notice of their leaves. Filling out and submitting the form is the best way for employers to keep tract of employee leaves, whether it be vacation, special event or personal. This form will tremendously help to keep things organized.

 

What Should Be Included in Your Time Off Request Form Template?

Making such a document needs a lot of thought. You may download resources online and use them as a reference, or you may start from scratch and make your own form for your organization. Either way, as you are creating your form, you must include some important elements to make it effective. Here are the important things which are needed on the request for time off form:

  1. Dates and/or hours of requested leave. Make sure to fill in the requested days off (for instance: July 12, 2017 – July 21, 2017).
  2. Also write down the total number of days (for instance: 10 days).
  3. Reminder on how far in advance the request for time-off is made and the method of requesting the time-off.
  4. The request date and approval or denial date must also be included.
  5. The signatures of employee and the supervisor who approved or denied the request

Other important things to include:

  • Add in a section as a reminder to record the dates on the employee calendar and into the payroll system to distinguish paid time-off versus unpaid time-off
  • Different processes may be involved for different time offs. These include:
    • Vacation time versus sick time versus bereavement leave
    • Whether the time off is paid or unpaid
    • Whether someone calling in might need a different process than a salaried worker.

There is no standard format for this kind of form but the ones found online are similar to each other. This is because the purpose of the form is the same so the format flows similarly. But what are these forms for? Are they really important? Read onto learn about the significance of having and using such forms in the workplace.

Time Off Request Templates

The Importance of Having a Time Off Request Form Template

Is it really important to have the proper documents especially regarding your employee’s time off requests? Yes, it is. This is because it makes it easier, especially if your payroll provider concentrates computations on a regular basis, sans time-off details.

Such requests would also give the employer the ability to reschedule work hours when informed in advance of time off requests. With small businesses, vacation forms facilitate annoying problems. Here are the important reasons why these forms are essential in an organization:

  1. It keeps both employer and employee informed about their time. All employees’ record on their time off days spent and time off days remaining can easily be accessed through these documents. It is also an important tool to trace which employees are constantly requesting for time-off days and thus putting undue hardships on other team members.
  2. Employee time off request forms will also provide accurate information on how much an employer owes an employee. This is helpful in situations when an employee is to be fired. Documents will yield how much paid time off employee is entitled upon termination.
  3. With Time-Off Requests, the employer can reschedule and/or hire personnel to fill up time slots temporarily vacated by those on leave. Usually, employees are reshuffled to maintain manpower needs. Hiring temps could also be a solution. This time off requests filed in advance facilitates the process of replacement.

As you can see, time off request forms really matter. Without them, employers won’t be able to keep track of the employees who are taking time off, and that may present challenges and issues within the organization. Now let’s go to some tips to help you out in managing requests for time off.

 

Managing Time Off Requests

Most of the workforce views the perks and benefits of a prospective job as important as the salary itself. Do not make the mistake of restricting time off policies. Time off is an integral part of the common employee. When you do post too many restrictions on time off, you would either struggle to get deserving applicants or struggle to retain employees or struggle to stay fully staffed during peak vacation times.

When an employee submits a request for time off form, it means he/she will not be reporting for work, for different reasons. Time off gives employees time to have a better quality of life. It also allows him to have the freedom to have a personal life away from the work environment. To be able to manage these requests efficiently, here are some tips to guide you:

Make Sure to Communicate Your Time Off Policies From the Start

Employers need to inform employees of their time-off policies, preferably as soon as they are hired. Without knowledge of the time-off boundaries, two results will happen:

  • The new employees will constantly ask other employees about the boundaries of time-off policies and this may lead to resentment among other employees.
  • The uninformed employees will be hesitant to ask out of fear that their request for time-off will be denied because they do not know the boundaries. This will eventually lead to frustration.

Some businesses time off policies may be part of a union contract. In such case, the employer is bound by those policies. Otherwise, the employer could become flexible with his policies regarding time-off leaves.

Most important is to include managerial flexibility so that you can allow for situations you cannot plan ahead of time. Write an employee handbook and make your policies available to all employees to and entertain their questions if they arise. If possible, cover the subject up during their interviews.

A Deadline for Requests Must be in Place

It is also essential to regulate time off requests of employees. Certain businesses could not afford a deluge of requests for time offs, especially those involved during high-intensity seasons. These are the businesses where too much time off would spell disaster. Case in hand is the retail establishments operating during holidays.

To avoid the filing of time offs during these times, the employer needs to set a deadline for filing the time off. Going further, you may also set a time frame for when requests can come in. Some employees have that annoying habit of filing requests for next year, a clear disadvantage for employees who haven’t been hired yet.

Such deadline notice should also be announced at the same time to all employees. This is important because it will give the employer time to decide on who will be granted the time off in case time off requests are submitted at the same time. Usually, the decision is made on a “first come, first serve” basis, then followed by seniority.

“First come, first serve” basis benefits the early requests but also flawed because those who requested early could also be the same ones next year. It would be unfair for those who couldn’t file their request until the next day. If and when two requests are valid reasons, seniority will be considered.

But do not depend too much on the “first come, first serve” basis in choosing who gets the time off. Nor should your discretion be swayed all the time by seniority. If you do, the new employees would feel that they will never be deserving of time off opportunities because they are neophytes in the group. Do consider that these young people change work for short periods of time and displaying some mild type of discrimination on time off decisions could hasten their exit from your establishment.

During Peak Business Times, Try Using Employee Rewards

Employers who stick strictly to the rules are likely to be disliked by employees. Practice some flexibility. For schedules that require sacrifice, rewards usually work on a reluctant force.

For example, employees who are willing to work during holidays, weekends or other peak times that are notorious for time off requests, a reward is a welcome gesture. Time off bonuses to solve time off problems would be great. Tit for tat for deserving employees. Then, of course, we have those employees who do not want any time off. But that is a different story. 

Provide a Rotating Schedule for your Employees

A Survey conducted by HR Solutions, Inc. has compiled the top ten complaints employees have and rearing its head in number one is Favoritism. In all businesses establishments, there are always employees who can charm their way to get what they want.

Like weekends off for the summer or often family emergencies or unscheduled sick leaves. These greasy characters can easily get for them time off requests. This is so unfair to reserved employees who request their time offs the usual way. And this is why a rotating time off schedule is needed.

Many employees will always remember being stuck up on work during holidays. It’s pretty safe to assume that some are even given work time during holidays for two years in a row. Rotating the time off requests of employees is a fair way to manage these requests, especially when it comes to holidays and weekends. 

Monitor All the Previous Requests which have been Made

With the help of forms, it would be so easy to keep track of the time-off requests of employees. From these, we could record when they made the request/s, why they requested it and the actual time off. It certainly is tedious to be going through all these requests but it will give you a view on employees’ time-off patterns.

Here, one would find out who have too often requested for time offs for the same reasons. This employee’s next request would certainly be denied. Or find out an employee who rarely requested for time off and thus is deserving of such. Often times, such employees are not confident enough and they need be informed that they are entitled to some time off. 

Suggest Trading Shifts or Days

It is inevitable that emergencies would happen. What if the employee has used up all his/her time offs? What if the company has strict rotating schedules? The Employer will have to have some flexibility to resolve the predicament. The best solution to this is to allow employees to trade shifts/days.

Employees will just have to agree between themselves the shift in work days. This takes the employer out of the equation. It also dispels the idea that the employer is showing favoritism in granting emergency leaves. A word of caution here: you need to check with the employee that the agreement is mutually advantageous to both.

Managing time off requests isn’t that complicated. It is a collage of defined policies, flexibility on matters of emergencies and the avoidance, if not, the elimination of favoritism. But as you are managing your employees’ time-off requests, it will be very helpful if you have the appropriate time off request form template to serve as a reference.

Request For Time Off Form

Writing a Time Off Request

An employee should bear in mind that when requesting for time off, it is always good practice to put this in writing. This would give it a sense of professionalism and formality. Required pertinent documents should accompany the letter. It should be concise and should provide all vital information relevant to the request.

The presentation of said letter will have an impact on the employer or the person responsible for its approval or denial. A bad presentation would certainly be denied. A little research before writing the letter should be done, especially vacation policies of their place of work.

All forms required should be accomplished on a time frame provided by the policy. An important detail to be supplied by the employee is the duration of the request, when it would commence and when it would end. Fulfilling all the company regulations requirements would give the employee a better chance of getting an approval. All these requirements should be attached to the requests letter. Request letters are typically given when the organization doesn’t have its own time off request form.

When making a request letter, you should make sure to cover or consider the following:

  • The main purpose of your request letter must be stated at the very start, ideally in the first paragraph. In doing this, you are informing the reader of your intentions early on.
  • The reason behind your request must be clearly explained. If needed, include important details so that the reader understands what you are trying to say.
  • Your letter should be short and to the point. Making a lengthy letter may decrease the chance of the reader going through all the content. When you submit your letter to your immediate supervisor or to your manager, remember that they have more important things to do.
  • If your immediate supervisor has already agreed to your request, you can attach a letter from him/her, which contains a statement of the said approval. One good thing to include in your letter is the names of the people who will be handling your work while you are gone.
  • You must also indicate the date when you are coming back to work. The start and end dates of your time off are important so that the people in your department will be able to make plans on how to handle the work when you’re away.
  • If you’re working in a small sized company, you can address your letter to your immediate supervisor. But if you’re working in a bigger company, you will have to address the letter to the HR department.
TemplateLab September 26th, 2017