A sick leave app helps you track staff sickness, gives you info on sick leave trends, and informs the right people if someone’s going to be off work. And because sick leave can affect payroll, the best sick leave apps will allow you to export sick leave data to finance and HR. 

Managing sick leave provides challenges, but there are tools on the market that you can utilise to lessen the strain on you. Perhaps a dedicated sick leave app packed full of handy features is your calling card? Well, you’re in luck! Here at Timetatsic, we’ve created just the solution to make sick leave tracking swift and seamless. 

Considerations for Tracking Sick Leave

As we’ve already alluded to, managing sick leave isn’t exactly a straightforward process. There are a few variables that can put a spanner in the works that can leave you with a headache when it comes to tracking sick leave. For example:

  1. Sick leave isn’t planned out in advance like a holiday. Yes, you’ll have times where an employee knows they have surgery or a medical appointment coming up, but most of the time, sick notices are last-minute notices.

    For plenty of businesses, the de facto norm is getting a late night/early morning text from an employee who says they can’t make it in because they have a fever or otherwise don’t feel well. But this method isn’t ideal for anyone. Your sick employee has to get hold of you, which adds stress and hassle to their list of symptoms. And then you’re personally responsible for making sure the sick leave is tracked correctly and alerting everyone on your team.

  2. Your employee might need to provide some documentation. For example, in the UK, employees are required to show their employer a sick note (officially called a ‘fit note’) if they’ve called out sick for 5 consecutive days in a row.

  3. You need to separate paid sick leave from non-paid sick leave. Just because someone’s taking a sick day doesn’t mean it’s automatically paid. Some policies work with accruals (where sick leave allowance builds up over the year) and sometimes an employee will just run out of paid sick leave. Either way, your payroll department needs to work out whether that sick leave is paid or unpaid.

Based on the above, there are a few situations that require a little unsticking perhaps? We’re sure you’ve encountered the above scenarios in your business, but did you have the requisite tools at the ready to combat them swiftly? 

That’s why we’re here to explain what the alternative could be to transform your business…

Different options for tracking sick leave 

So, let’s paint the picture. You’re confronted with unique challenges as outlined above and we:

Let’s look at each of these options and check out the pros and the cons.

Note: Don’t want to mess around with a clunky spreadsheet? You can track your team’s sick leave (along with any other type of leave) using Timetastic’s time off management app. Start your free trial today.

Option #1: Tracking sick leave manually (with Excel templates/spreadsheets)

Plenty of companies will try to track their sick leave with an Excel template.

The overall process looks like this:

You’ll either download a Staff leave planner template or create your own and put in your team’s information.

When someone needs to take a sick day, they get hold of you, and then you open your spreadsheet and mark them as out sick for the day.

For this post, we’ll show what a template looks like using Microsoft Excel’s standard annual leave template as an example.

Employee Absence Schedule with Microsoft Excel's Standard Annual Leave Template

You can see there are different colours for holiday leave and sick leave, so you can quickly look at your spreadsheet and see why someone is off.

If someone is taking a sick day, you just find the date they’re calling out and type in “S” for sick. And then in the right-hand column, you can see a total of how many days they’ve taken off in the year.

It’s all fairly simple, but there’s a handful of disadvantages to using an Excel holiday planner template that can make this option practically useless for most companies:

  1. Your spreadsheet lumps different types of leave together (see “total days” in the screenshot above). This means sick leave and holiday leave both get totted up, but you actually want them to be completely separate from their own record. So, if you’re using an Excel template, you either need to manually add up the sick days to get an accurate number, or create your own customised formula that removes it from the total.
  2. You have to manually update the spreadsheet. Every time someone calls in sick, you’ll need to pull up the sheet, find their name, and add their sick days. And if you forget to update your spreadsheet, it’ll end up causing problems with payroll.
  3. It isn’t easy to see if someone’s sick leave is paid or not. Excel templates aren’t a big help for your payroll because you don’t get an individual breakdown of each employee’s paid leave. You can’t easily see how much sick time someone has taken for the year.

Option #2: Tracking sick leave with software

For this section, we’re going to look at how tracking sick leave works in Timetastic — our all-in-one time off management app. Timetastic can automatically track sick leave as well as any other types of absence from work like holidays, maternity and paternity leave, sabbaticals, and more.

When you use Timetastic to track sick leave, you’ll always have:

  • A clear breakdown of how much sick leave each employee has taken in the year (including when they’ve taken it).
  • An updated time off calendar where your team can see when someone’s taking a day off.
  • A simple way for your team to put in their sick leave notice, including attaching any necessary documents. This keeps all of your info in one easy-to-reference place.

Automatically updated records and sick leave tracking

When you use Timetastic, you can see all of your team’s sick leave notices (and other types of leave) from your company Wallchart.

The Wallchart tells you when someone is off and why they’re off. You can see your entire company in one view or filter down by department.

Timetastic Wallchart showing All Departments Time Off

You can click on an employee's name and get a detailed breakdown of their annual leave, including sick leave or any other type of leave they’ve taken.

Awwal Yakubu's schedule for the first 6 months of the year with dates off displayed.

For example, in the image above, you can see that Awwal’s leave days are broken down into deductible leave (such as holidays) and non-deductible leave (such as sick days).

This gives you a complete view of someone’s sick leave history for the entire year.

You can also look for trends with Timetastic. Specifically, you can see when most of your team is taking sick leave throughout the year.

Absence Insights: Your organisation's absence data, at a glance

This can help you see if you need to adjust your policy. For example, if most of your team is getting sick at the beginning of the year, but most of your team’s sick leave isn’t accrued until later in the year, it might make more sense to change how your sick leave accruals work.

An easy way to put in for a sick day

We already looked at how you can track sick leave, but Timetastic is also an app that makes it stress-free for employees to inform managers about sick leave.

Easily Book Time Off with Timetastic's Wallchart

If someone needs to take a sick day, they just open their Timetastic app (or log in through their web browser), mark the date they need to take off as a sick day, provide any notes, and then send their request.

Once they send their request, your staff holiday booking system is updated so everyone on your team can see that someone is taking the day off. But only managers and admins can see why someone is off to help protect everyone’s privacy.

Note: You may still want your employee to reach out to their direct manager to let them know they’re calling in sick, depending on how your business operates. In this case, Timetastic doesn’t replace that process but supplements it with a clear and recordable tracking process. Without Timetastic, when someone reaches out to their manager to call in sick, only the manager is up-to-date. But with Timetastic, all records are updated for easy reference.

Always keep payroll in the loop

There are two ways you can use Timetastic to make sure your payroll department is paying out for sick days correctly:

  1. Your payroll team can log into Timetastic. They can use your team’s Wallchart to see if anyone has taken a sick day within a specific pay period. Then they can click on an individual’s profile and see how much sick leave they’ve taken for the year. If they’re under the allotted amount for a year, then it’s paid. If they’ve taken more than allotted, then it’s unpaid.
  2. You can export sick leave information out of Timetastic. With Timetastic, you can export your team’s time off data into a spreadsheet. You can filter away everything that isn’t sick leave-related and send it over to your payroll department.

Four sick leave app benefits you need to know about

Choosing a sick leave app that’s right for your business requires careful thought. But, we can give you a helping hand in making that decision much easier. We’ve compiled four key benefits that quite frankly are must-haves. 

  • Track and record sick leave automatically and get a breakdown for each employee
  • Keep your payroll accurate with automated calculations
  • Total transparency for any sick leave taken  
  • Practical tracking tools to help prevent burnout 

In a nutshell, that’s what a sick leave tracking app like Timetastic can offer. Let’s take a closer look at each benefit - so you can wave goodbye to manual Excel spreadsheets for good.

Automatic tracking of sick leave

Using a sick leave app like Timetastic means you can register your team’s sick leave notices through the Timetastic mobile app or web browser. So, once a sick leave notice gets sent, the time off automatically shows up on your team’s Wallchart.

Timetastic Wallchart Example

Sick leave is automatically tracked separately from all the other leave types. On your Wallchart, the different types of leave are super easy to spot. Our handy colour-coding system complete with descriptive icons means you can take a glance and instantly see who’s out sick—as well as who’s away on holiday or compassionate leave, on a sabbatical, etc.

Better accuracy for payroll

Most companies have a cap on the amount of paid sick leave that can be taken within a year. Your payroll team will need to know when someone’s sick leave should be paid or unpaid.To do this with Timetastic, you can either:

  • Give your payroll department access to Timetastic, where they can quickly scroll through departments on your Wallchart and check for any recorded sick leave within a pay period.
  • Export that data out of Timetastic and send it to your payroll department as a spreadsheet.

Without a sick leave app like Timetastic, your payroll department would have to go through clunky spreadsheets and add up each employee’s sick leave. Then they’d need to cross-check that with how much sick leave they’ve taken for that year. But with Timetastic, all of that info is easily available and already calculated for you. 

Total transparency over sick leave

Taking a sick day isn’t like submitting a holiday request. With a holiday, your team is usually looking at their work calendar, trying to find the best dates for a well-earned break.

A sick day is often last minute. People are not necessarily worried about whether or not someone can cover their workload when they’re dealing with a case of food poisoning. But you still want a way to alert your team when someone’s out sick, so everyone can prepare for the absence and shift priorities if needed.

Once the sick leave notice is sent, your company’s Wallchart is updated. Managers and admins can see that someone is out sick, and co-workers can see that they have the day off—but for privacy reasons, they won’t see the reason why.

Plus, you can stay up-to-date with calendar integrations and daily absence summaries.

  • Calendar integrations will sync information out of Timetastic directly into the work calendars you use every day, like Google Cal or iCal. So, when you start your day, you can look at your calendar and quickly see if anyone has put in a sick day overnight or in the early morning hours.
  • Daily absence summaries can be sent to you every morning. These summaries tell you of any time off your team has scheduled for the day. So let’s say a team member feels ill Monday night and puts in the Timetastic mobile app that they’ll be out sick on Tuesday. When you get your daily absence summary, you’ll see that they’re off sick.

Helping you avoid burnout

Timetastic’s time off app won’t stop anyone from catching a 24-hour bug, but it can help you reduce stress-related absences within your team.When you use Timetastic, you get access to a company-wide Burnout Board:

Burnout Board in Timetastic: See who might be overworking or in need of a break.

Your Burnout Board tells you who on your team is overdue for a holiday. For example, in the image above, you can see that Verity Vaughn hasn’t taken a day off in the last 90 days and she has no holidays booked for the rest of the year. It would be a good idea to reach out to Verity and make sure she has what she needs to take a holiday (such as department coverage and support from management).

When your team takes their holiday time throughout the year, they’re going to be relaxed and happier at work. This can prevent team members from feeling like the only way they can take a breather is by using a sick day.

Timetastic - the sick leave app you can rely on

Tracking sick leave doesn't have to be a chore. With Timetastic in your corner, you can gain greater transparency across your business, manage resources effectively and protect your employees - so everyone in your team gets a well-deserved rest.

Timetastic is a simple-to-use sick leave app that gives you:

  • Up-to-date tracking on your team’s sick leave (as well as other leave types).
  • Two ways to share sick leave information with your payroll department.
  • An easy way for your team to put in their sick leave notice, so you don’t have to worry about updating your company calendar or their individual sick leave balance.

Simply sign up today and you can get 30 days completely free of charge! Discover the wonderful benefits of sick leave tracking without the fuss!

Get your 30-day free trial

For more information on tracking sick leave properly, why not indulge in a little further reading?