There are two main types of employee leave software:

  1. Standalone employee leave software: With this type of software, you can track how much leave everyone has, process people’s leave requests, and get an automatically-updated time off calendar.
  2. HR software that lets you track leave: This type of software works within a much larger HR system that lets you handle other stuff like recruiting, new staff onboarding, performance management, payroll, and more.

We’re going to take a look at how each option works, so you can see which one’s better for your business right now.

But here’s a super short version if you’re in a hurry: Most companies and teams only need standalone employee leave software. It handles the key leave management tasks for you without anything else to distract. HR software is more expensive and tends to include a massive range of features that most people don’t use.

The best standalone employee leave software: Timetastic

Timetastic is standalone employee software that makes it easier for you to manage all aspects of staff leave, including:

  • Tracking how much leave your team has left to take.
  • Receiving and responding to time off requests.
  • Updating a shared time off team calendar so you and your team can see when everyone is off.

See who’s off and why they’re off with your company Wallchart

When you use Timetastic, you get a company-wide Wallchart.

Your Wallchart is basically a time off calendar that tells you when your employees are off and why they’re off.

Timetastic Wallchart example: Easily see all of your staff's days off in one place.

You get colour-coded descriptive icons that tell you why someone’s off.

For example, in the image above, the pink colour with an umbrella icon tells you someone’s away on holiday, and the golden icon with a hand and heart tells you someone’s on bereavement leave.

You can also get this information sent directly to you through email, Slack, or your MS Teams account.

Who's Off This Week: With Timetastic, you can easily get an overview of everyone who is going to be off for the week sent via email, Slack, or MS teams.

This is called an Absence Summary, and it goes out daily, telling you who’s out for the day or who has leave coming up later in the week.

Finally, you can also sync your Timetastic account to your preferred work calendar. It’s really easy to set up Timetastic with any calendar that works off a WebCal feed, such as Outlook, Google Calendar, and iCal.

Timetastic easily integrates with your work calendar; Google Calendar, Outlook, iCal, etc.

Know how much leave each employee has left to take

From your Wallchart, you can also see how much leave every employee on your team has left for the year just by looking at the number next to their name:

Annual leave remaining per each Customer Services team member

You can also click on any individual employee's name and pull up a detailed breakdown of their leave history for the year:

Calendar and time off example: days remaining 3

This tells you how much leave they’ve taken, breaking it down into deductible leave (like holiday time) and non-deductible leave (like sick leave and compassionate leave).

Receive and respond to new leave requests

When someone wants to put in a new leave request, they can do it through Timetastic.


On their account, they select the dates they want, pick which type of leave they’re taking (such as sick leave, holiday leave, parental leave, etc.) and submit their request.

They can put their request through the web app or our mobile app, which works with both iOS and Android devices.

The approval process is straightforward and intuitive. Their request gets routed to you, or the manager who’s responsible for approving staff leave. It can get sent directly to your email, Slack account, or MS teams account.

Sophie Jones has requested time off: Mon 16th August through Fri 20th August

You’ll see all the info you need to approve or decline their request.

Bonus: Avoid calendar clashes and staff shortages

Because all of your team’s leave requests go through Timetastic, you can easily see if there is any conflicting time off without having to cross-reference or compare different requests.

Leave requests to be approved or denied: This photo shows employees who have requested time off, which dates, etc.

FYI: Do you regularly have more than one employee asking for the same dates off, and you’re not sure what to do? Check out our post on creating a fair leave request policy.

Another really useful thing: When you use Timetastic, you can set up maximum absence levels. This tells Timetastic how many people can have the same day off:

Department set staffing levels allowance for days off

For example, if you set it so your customer service team can have 2 people off at the same time, then Timetastic won’t let a third employee request time off. The third request will simply bounce back to the user with a notification that there’s a clash.

Sure? This takes you over the maximum absence limit of one

This helps you make sure you always have the staff you need throughout the year, and that you don’t accidentally approve too many people to have the same day off.

Start your free one-month trial with Timetastic today

Timetastic is a simple-to-use employee leave software. You’ll always know when an employee is on leave and when they submit a new time off request. You’ll also have an always-up-to-date record of everyone’s annual leave balance.

Start your free one-month trial today.

If you want your employee leave software to be part of a larger, more comprehensive HR system, then you’ll want to peruse the rest of this article to learn about that option.

2 options for tracking employee leave with HR software

If you’re looking to overhaul or improve your current HR processes — things such as recruiting and onboarding and payroll — and you also need a way to track employee leave, then you can kill two birds with one stone by finding the right HR software.

Here are a couple you might think about. Of course, there are many more out there.

1) BambooHR

With BambooHR, you get the main features of any good employee leave software, but it also has features aimed towards shift work.

Your team can use BambooHR to clock in and clock out for their shift, which helps with not just leave management, but also attendance management (i.e. You can track timesheets and use BambooHR to automate payroll).

When you use BambooHR, you’re also paying for:

  • One place to keep employee records (like new hire paperwork, employee reviews, disciplinary notices, and other legal documents).
  • A tool that lets you review new job candidates and discuss their applications with other team members.
  • A way to easily onboard team members into your company by creating a sort of "workflow" for new hires.

2) Factorial HR

Another HR option is Factorial HR, a human resource software that helps with overall talent management as well as employee leave management.

With Factorial HR, you can write schedules and add goals and to-do lists within your team’s schedule.

For example, if you’re managing a large retail store, you can write in the schedule who’s working the front-end on the registers and who’s managing the inventory out back.

You also get the basics of handling employee time off, like receiving and responding to leave requests and getting an updated time off calendar.

For talent management, you can use Factorial HR to file performance reviews of your team. Plus, similar to BambooHR, you can use Factorial HR to overhaul your recruiting process and create an onboarding workflow for new team members.

Finally, with Factorial HR, you can track employee expenses, like per diem for work-related trips, and make sure your payroll is accurate.

Before you start looking at different HR tools, we’ll just leave these comments from our users right here 😉

Customer review: "I thought it was absolutely fantastic but we brought everything under one roof with [HR Tool] and it was the worst thing I have done. Unfortunately I am in a long-term contract with them. I would highly recommend Timetastic to anyone."

Customer review: "Signed up with another holiday portal that included HR. Regretting it already so we will be back."

Customer review: "I love your product but annual leave was a free module in HR software we have started to use (nowhere near as good as your though)

Quick recap: Choosing the best employee leave software for your business

When you’re choosing employee leave software, the big factor to consider is what kind of features you want in the software.

What do you actually need for managing leave?

You can get HR software that has all the bells and whistles: Time off management functionality, recruiting and onboarding, performance management, and all the other stuff.

But if you’re a business that just needs to manage your team’s holidays and sick leave a bit better, then a standalone employee leave software does the job perfectly:

  • It’s more affordable.
  • It’s easier to use.
  • It has all you need to track and manage employee leave (and nothing superfluous).

You can try employee software right now with Timetastic’s free one-month trial.

For more info on how to handle employee leave, check out these posts: