This screen allows you to set up your leave categories and control which of them accrue automatically, how they will behave in the pay run, whether or not to include them in termination payments, and decide which should appear in your employee's pay slips.
The settings for leave categories can be accessed and updated by clicking on the 'Payroll settings' > 'Leave Categories' link on the payroll dashboard.
A short video on this setup can be found here.
- Any changes that are made to your business's leave category settings will not be applied to existing employees. The new settings will only apply "automatically" to any new employees who are subsequently added to your payroll.
- If a leave allowance template is not assigned to an employee, the leave category settings will apply automatically to those employees. If you want to change the leave settings for employees you will need to do this on an individual basis. To do this, go to the employee file and access the Leave Allowances screen.
- You can change employee leave settings in bulk by using a leave allowance template, then apply that template to each employee's record - this is all explained here...Leave Allowance Templates.
Any business created from 28 August 2020 will have the following default leave categories set up:
- Annual Leave
- Compassionate Leave
- Family and Domestic Violence Leave
- Leave Without Pay
- Long Service Leave
- Paid Community Service Leave
- Personal/Carer's Leave
- Time in Lieu
Prior to 28 August 2020, the leave category - "Personal/Carer's Leave (10 days)" - was also added to businesses by default. This leave category was configured so that the accrual method and balance was in days as opposed to hours in accordance with the Full Federal Court of Australia's decision on 21 August 2019.
On 13 August 2020, the High Court handed down a decision regarding the method of accruing personal/carer’s leave under the National Employment Standards. This decision overturns the previous decision made by the Full Federal Court in August 2019. As such, we have removed the leave category "Personal/Carer's Leave (10 days)" from our default list of leave categories.
Add a leave category
You can choose to add more categories by clicking on the "Add" button to the right of the screen. You will then need to enter the following information:
- Name (required)
- External Id - This is only required if you are using an external system to capture leave requests or timesheet entries and hence need to map the code used from such external system. If an external id is used that has been used before you won't be able to save it if the 'unique external Id' setting is switched on. This setting is located on the Payroll settings > Advanced settings page. See here for more information.
- Leave Loading percentage - Used to automatically apply leave loading, such as annual leave loading;
- Leave Category Type - There is a drop down box to choose from 'Standard', 'Long Service Leave' or 'Personal/Carer's Leave'. N.B. If 'Personal/Carer's Leave' is selected the fields Automatically Accrues and Standard Allowance will be pre-populated and locked, ie cannot be edited.
Employee Leave Balance - There is a drop down box to choose from 'Tracked' or 'Not tracked'.
Note: For some types of leave that aren't accrued in the usual way (e.g. leave without pay) it might not make sense for an employee to have a 'balance'. In these cases you should set this value to 'Not tracked' to tell the system it doesn't need to keep track of how much of this type of leave an employee is entitled to;
- Automatically accrues - Select this option if the leave is to accrue automatically. You will then be required to choose whether the leave will accrue on an ongoing basis or accrue based on a defined leave year. The leave year can be set as the employee's start date or another specific date. This date is specified via the employee's "Leave Allowances" page:
- Exclude from termination payout - Select this option if you do not want any of the unused leave balance for this leave category to automatically be paid out upon termination.
- ETP - You can only select this option if the "Exclude from termination payout" option above is not selected and the "Employee leave balance" is set to 'Tracked'. If the leave category can be classified as an employment termination payment (ETP) when paid out on termination, for eg unused sick leave, unused rostered days off and/or time off in lieu of overtime, you should tick the checkbox so that the payout of the unused leave is correctly classified as an ETP and taxed accordingly. Further information on what unpaid leave is defined as an ATP can be found here.
- Hide accruals from pay slips - Select this option if you do not wish to allow employees to see the amount of leave accrued for this leave category within a pay run on their pay slips;
- Hide balances from pay slips and in employee portal - Select this option if you do not wish to allow employees to see the balance of this leave category on their pay slips or in the employee portal;
- Hide leave category name from employee view - Select this option if you do not wish to have the leave category name displayed in the calendar contained within the employee's portal. All that will be displayed is the employee name and the period of leave taken. This setting works in conjunction with the setting "Employees can view approved leave" from the Employee Portal Settings screen.
The following image is an example of how approved leave is displayed in the employee portal depending on whether the leave category name is displayed or hidden:
The following image will only be displayed where leave is set to accrue automatically on an ongoing basis:
N.B the 'Limit leave accruals to the first pay run for the period' will only display if the allowance is set to Standard Weeks per year or Standard Days per year.
- Standard allowance - Enter standard weeks per year, standard days per year, number of hours per hour worked OR hours per pay run the employee is to accrue. You can also click on the calculator icon to assist with calculating the entitlement and ensuring the correct figure is being applied, for eg:
- Leave accrual capping - This setting allows you to select whether or not the number of hours accrued will be capped. If the accrual is to be capped, select "limited to" from the drop down list and then enter the maximum number of hours that should accrue:
The following image will only be displayed where leave is set to accrue automatically based on the employee's leave year:
- Standard allowance - Enter the number of units the employee is to accrue. You can also click on the calculator icon to assist with calculating the entitlement and ensuring the correct figure is being applied;
- Accrue in advance - Select this option if you want employees to accrue their whole entitlement in advance. This means that the full annual entitlement will be accrued in the employee's first pay run and will be added to their leave balance;
- Limit leave accruals in the first pay run for the period - Enabling this option will allow the leave type to accrue in the first pay run for the pay period, and cap the leave for any other pay runs with the exact same pay period start and end date. This applies to ordinary pay runs and ad hoc pay runs.
- Leave accrual capping - This setting allows you to select whether or not the number of units accrued will be capped. If the accrual IS NOT to be capped, select "not limited" from the drop down list. If the accrual IS to be capped, select "limited to" from the drop down list and then enter the maximum number of units that should accrue;
- Carrying over the balance - This setting allows you to cap the number of leave units to carry over to the next leave year. If the entire leave balance is to be carried over, keep the default setting of "the entire balance". If only a portion of the leave balance is to be carried over, select "a maximum of" from the drop down list and then enter the maximum number of units to be carried over.
The setting "Unit type" will only display if the "Automatically Accrues" checkbox is not ticked. This setting is required so that the system knows whether to display the leave in days, weeks or hours. The display is relevant for when an employee applies for leave. When a leave category is displayed in either days or weeks, the leave will then be converted into hours in the pay run and a conversion formula will be made available to see how the conversion was calculated.
Payment Setup: This determines whether the employee is paid for the leave taken and the pay category that is assigned when leave is taken. (The default setting for Payment Setup on the Annual Leave - leave category used to be Basic but this has been updated in later releases so that the leave is reported against a separate pay category called Annual Leave Taken - you are free to change this if necessary)
Basic: When an employee does not use timesheets, the employee's leave balance will be reduced, earnings are not impacted. When an employee is using timesheets to submit all time worked, an earnings line will be created and the leave balance will be reduced. To check or assign the employee's timesheet setting, go to the employee's 'Pay Run Defaults' page. The timesheets option
is near the top of the page.
- Don't pay for the leave taken: When an employee does not use timesheets, an earnings line with negative hours will be added to reduce the earnings for the employee. When an employee is using timesheets to submit all time worked, two earnings lines will be created (one positive, one negative) that will cancel each other out.
Report the earnings for the leave taken against another pay category: When wanting to report payments for leave taken in a separate pay category (for reporting/journaling purposes), select this option. The earnings related to the leave taken will be assigned against the specified pay category instead of the employee's primary pay category. When this alternative is selected, the option will be given to use the rate of pay from the employee's primary pay category.
- Custom: For advanced users only, this option allows the user to deduct hours from an arbitrary pay category and transfer them to another arbitrary pay category when leave is taken.
- We have removed the “weeks per year” and “days per year” leave accrual methods. So for all businesses created from January 2017 onwards those accrual methods were no longer available.
- We have added "standard weeks per year" and "standard days per year" as new leave accrual methods. Take note that these accrual methods are different to the historic “weeks per year” and “days per year” accrual methods.
- If your business is still using the historic “weeks per year” and “days per year” leave accrual methods, nothing will change and you will continue to accrue leave as you always have, however we would strongly encourage you to consider switching leave accrual methods as we will be retiring these historic accrual methods in due course.
- The following articles explain how the "standard weeks per year" and "standard days per year" leave accruals are used when converting leave in pay runs, and if you are converting a leave category's accrual method from 'hours per hour worked' or 'hours per pay run' to 'standard days per year' or 'standard weeks per year':
For examples of how to set up leave based on different scenarios, refer here.
Editing an Existing Leave Category
To edit the settings of an existing leave category, simply click on the name of the leave category to expand the settings. Make the relevant changes and then click on "Save".
Any changes made to leave category settings will not be applied to existing employees. Updated settings will only apply automatically to any new employees who are subsequently added to your payroll. If you want to change the leave settings for your existing employees you will also need to make the same adjustments on each employee's Leave Allowances page. You can manage this better by using leave allowance templates, which is all explained here.
Restoring a deleted leave category
You are able to restore a leave category by going to Payroll settings > Restore deleted items, and selecting 'leave category' from the drop down box. A list of all deleted leave categories will appear and you can click the 'Restore' option against the leave category that you are wanting to reinstate.
If you have any feedback or questions please contact us via email@example.com.