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Years ago a lot of HR systems people started off by making a leave recording database and putting a front screen on it. Back in those days all we were doing was recording the agreements manually entered on a leave card. Now self service means there is no leave card and the person puts in an online request to their manager who either authorises or rejects it.

When your leave request is submitted it will initially be pending P. There is a simulation of a line management decision making process built into the system. If your leave is approved you will see an acceptance symbol later in the day. If it is rejected you will see a rejection symbol .

Here we see that there are at least 15 different categories of leave that a person can request. In simulating a leave requesting system we allow the individual to do the following:

  • select the type of leave to be requested
  • enter the date the leave starts and whether it is a whole day or morning or afternoon
  • enter the date the leave ends and whether it is a whole day or morning or afternoon
  • enter any comments that the manager needs to be aware of
  • submit the leave request

If you have taken annual leave then your Annual Leave Balance will be updated to reflect the number of days off you have taken.

The recording of sickness is similar to leave except that it is not a request. one is either unwell or not. There is no process of authorisation only recording.

Sickness is incredibly sensitive and would not normally be available for general view. In the UK sickness categories can be obtained from the list prepared by the Institute of Occupational Medicine for the Health and Safety Executive (2005) . There are Level 1 classifications that are then further broken down into Level 2 sub classifications.


Error Checking
Given that there are over a dozen types of leave and a person can request any days that they like it is necessary for the system to do an initial check to ensure that the same period is not being double booked.

If the system notices a double booking it will issue an error message and refuse the entry. Because this is a demonstration system we have give you the option to delete rows of data and re-enter new ones.

The system has been programmed to be inflexible in relation to dates. An end date cannot be before the start date. Dates cannot be left empty. It is necessary to indicate if the leave is for a whole day or just the morning or afternoon.

Sickness has the above date logic controls but can be entered irrespective of whether any other time off has been booked in a period. Once a Level 1 sickness reason is selected only the Level 2 categories for that particular reason are available.

We have shown a standard attendance record where sickness is displayed without any medical details. Then at the bottom of the sickness page we have shown the level of detail that would be available to an occupational health service or HR.


Calculating Working Days
In order for the system to calculate the number of working days requested in a leave period it needs to strip out non-working days. To make this demonstration system for our fictional organisation easier we have decided that every person works Monday to Friday with Saturday and Sunday being weekend days of rest.

The above means that the system looks at a date range and then for each weekend day it subtracts 1 from the total days in the period.

The system also holds a table of UK public holidays. It checks every date range to see if any public holidays fall within that range. Each time it finds a public holiday it subtracts 1 from the total days in the period.

Finally the system looks to see if the leave starts or finishes part way through a day and then reduces the totals days by the appropriate fraction of a day if need be.

Once all of this is done the system is ready to record the number of working days requested.

From the above you will see that one of the tasks of an HR information system administrator is to ensure that the table of public holidays is complete each year. Also notice how much more complicated the system would be if it were an international one dealing with countries who have different public holidays.

Key Legislation Underpinning Employment Contracts

The Employment Rights Act 1996 underpins contracts of employment in the United Kingdom.

The terminolgy to use is a written statement of particulars of employment. This summarises the main particulars of the employment relationship and must according to the legislation be given within two months of the person's first day of service.

Whilst the law states two months it would actually be poor form to encourage a person to give up an existing job or prior state of affairs without actually presenting them with the contractual terms of their new role until two months after it has started. The law is quite flexible but if we are truly focused on the quality of the engagement with the prospective member of staff the written statement of particulars really should be issued as soon as possible after the decision to appoint has been made.

Issuing the written statement of particulars at the earliest point means the person is aware of what they being contracted to and can clarify any uncertainties before accepting. Starting a relationship in this manner where possible helps ensure a more harmonious contract.

The key aspects of a written statement of particulars are as follows:

  1. The names of the employer and employee.
  2. The title of the job which the employee is employed to do or a brief description of the work for which they are employed.
  3. Where the employment is not intended to be permanent, the period for which it is expected to continue.
  4. Either the place of work or, where the employee is required or permitted to work at various places, an indication of that and of the address of the employer.
  5. The date when the employment began.
  6. The date on which the employee’s period of continuous employment began (taking into account any employment with a previous employer which counts towards that period). The continuous employment date is often the same as the start date. Where it is earlier this may give the new starter certain employment rights that come with longer service.
  7. The scale or rate of remuneration/pay or the method of calculating this.
  8. The intervals at which remuneration is paid (that is, weekly, monthly or other specified intervals).
  9. Any terms and conditions relating to hours of work.
  10. Entitlement to holidays, including public holidays, and holiday pay.
  11. How incapacity for work due to sickness or injury will be handled, including any provision for sick pay.
  12. Pensions and pension schemes.
  13. The length of notice which the employee is obliged to give and entitled to receive to terminate his contract of employment.
  14. Any collective agreements which directly affect the terms and conditions of the employment. In large organisations trade unions negotiate with the employer on behalf of staff, the agreements they reach with the employer are called collective agreements.

Key to the Organisation Chart

An explanation of the symbols used

collapsed icon This icon represents a unit that has child units. Click it to see the child units.
expanded icon This icon means that a unit has its child units visible. Click to close the child units.
Unit name Click on a unit to get more information on it. If the unit has child units it will open a page showing them too.

Organisation structure details Clicking this icon takes you to some basic theory on organisation charts and structure.
collapse all button This button is Collapse All and when clicked closes all units that have been opened up.
expand all button This button is Expand All and when clicked opens all units so you will see every aspect of the tree.

Welcome to Learning in Small Bites

YouTube page

Welcome to the free website for people who want to learn about the technology used for keeping staffing details in offices. Using this site you can learn as much from the comfort of your arm chair as you could in two years at work. Here is your chance to practice with systems that you may only have heard about. Get a behind the scenes view of what happens with your information and how it is stored.

This site is aimed at people from school leaving age and above who may be interested in working with what are known as Human Resources (HR) information systems.

If we can help even one person to secure a job in HR or specialise in HR systems as a result of using our free development site then the creators of HRMISolutions and Learning in Small Bites will have achieved what we set out to do.


You will get the best out of this site if you have:

  • A little experience of using a computer, a tablet or a smart phone.
  • A desire to help people to use less effort to achieve more.
  • An interest in office systems (don't worry if you are not sure at the start).


Time Off From Work

In this section we will look at how an organisation might manage time off for employees. An important thing is ensuring that whilst staff take time off there are still sufficient numbers of people at work to actually deliver a service.

We will look at the administration and systems that go into ensuring that everyone can request their annual leave (holidays) and also how the organisation can keep a record of that time off that people might need to take if they are unwell.

Leave Record 01-04-2023 - 31-03-2024

AL Basic:   AL Carry Over:   AL Taken:   AL Balance:0

 Leave From To Comments Status  Response
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Request Time Off

YouTube page Leave is normally requested by employees. In paper based systems it would be a request on a leave card that gets agreed or rejected by the person's manager, recorded in a diary and sent back.

In an electronic system the request is entered into the system and once submitted goes to the manager to authorise. An advantage of an electronic leave card is that all of the time off for an individual is eventually visible in the same place irrespective of who approves it. Leave requests are made through Employee Self Service.

Leave From AM/PM To AM/PM
Comments (optional)

Sickness Record

This is exceptionally sensitive and confidential and would normally be maintained by a central Human Resources/Payroll team. The specific detail of any condition affecting a person is recorded for the purpose of assisting them at work.

Type From AM/PM To AM/PM Cert
Level 1 Sickness Reason
Level 2 Description

Below is a confidential representation of a sickness record that shows the level of private detail that would not normally appear on a general attendance record.

 Leave From To Days Reason Detail
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