Definition of absence plan

The absence plan (see also holiday plan) is used for planning absences (e.g. in the form of business trips, but also due to illness) within a company. For the smooth operation of a company, it is essential that management knows at all times who is available as a worker and who is not. Absence planning must, therefore, contain information about which people are absent, what is the reason for the absence, and the period over which the absence lasts.

Holidays and vacations can usually be planned for the longer term; for short-term absences, however, a buffer should always be planned. Changes in absence must be mapped in real-time by the absence plan: an interactive plan tailored to the company’s specific needs is ideal for this.

The absence plan in practice: structure and elements

Even if you are actively working with monthly or weekly views, the plan must be able to map all the data for the entire calendar and fiscal year. This is the only way to highlight problems with staffing or filling individual departments or functions.
All employees of the company should be able to be issued both by the department and alphabetically (this is not only useful for larger companies); the question of representation is easier to answer by various sorting and output functions. It is also essential, for example by means of colored coding, to represent the reason for absence.

For example, the reasons for absences can be:

  • Business trips
  • Training
  • Conference and trade fair participations
  • Sickness
  • Overtime reduction
  • Holiday

Also helpful is an absence plan that provides feedback when a critical number of absences are exceeded on a given date, or when employees representing each other will not be present at the same time, which could significantly disrupt the company’s workflows. This function makes sense especially for the management and employees entitled to sign.

In the case of larger companies, the absence plan must at first glance show which of the employees present would be qualified and able to represent a failed colleague in time. If an employee is sick, this absence must be immediately inserted into the absence schedule and made available to all affected persons and departments with reference to the status change. In order to avoid duplicate or false entries, the maintenance of this plan should be the responsibility of a person in charge who works directly with the management in this area – be it someone from the chief secretariat, the HR assistant of the managing director or a specialist from the human resources department.

Online absence planning

A good alternative to the classic absence plan is an online absence plan, such as Papershift’s holiday planner. Thanks to the possibility of employee integration, employees can create absences here themselves, which only have to be checked by the superiors and, if necessary, released. This facilitates planning, saves time, and gives employees more freedom in the design of their working hours.

At the same time, Papershift continuously updates the employees’ holiday account. Managers also have the option of hiring so-called “vacation ban or holiday lock periods”, so that even in busy times, there is enough staff to keep the business going.