How absence request validation works
Absence requests can be validated and approved or denied automatically, manually, or using a combination of both automatic and manual validation. There are several automatic validations available. Requests that do not pass the validations are denied. You can decide if the requests that pass all automatic validations should be automatically approved, or if you want to review and approve them manually. When an absence request is approved, the absence is automatically added to the agent's schedule.
All absence request validation settings are managed in Options > Scheduling > Workflow control set > Absence requests tab. You can set up different rules for different groups of agents by using more than one workflow control set.
The validation of a request is done in the priority order of the rules which are set up. The rules are always applied from the bottom up; that is, the lower rules override the ones at the top of the table. You can change the priority by changing the order of the rules.
When an absence request arrives, the validation process checks the rule at the bottom first. If that rule matches the request, the request is validated according to that rule. For a rule to match a request, the absence type must be the same, the absence request must be within the request period and today's date must be within the open period. If the first rule doesn't match the request, the validation process will go on to check if the rule above it is a match, and so on. If there is no rule that matches the request, the request is denied.
NOTE The priority can affect the absence probability. When setting up rules for a time period, ensure that the rules for absence types where a staffing check is used are placed lower in the table than rules for absence types where no staffing check is used. Otherwise, the absence probability is not shown for the agents.
When working with absence requests you need to define the request period, for which the agents can request to be absent, and the open period, when those requests can be sent. If an agent sends an absence request for a period which is currently not open, the request is denied.
A from-to period is a specific date period, with a start date and an end date, for which agents can request to be absent.
EXAMPLE This can be used to open June to August for vacation requests or to handle the Christmas period with special rules for approval.
A rolling period is a period that moves in relation to the current date and defines when agents can request to be absent.
EXAMPLE If the rolling period is set from 0 to 14 days, absence requests for today and the following 14 days are handled.
The open period is the period during which agents can send their absence requests. An open period must always be set, regardless of if the request period is a from-to period or a rolling period.
EXAMPLE The agents can send their vacation requests for the request period of June during the open period in April.
Type of absence
The setting for type of absence makes it possible for you to set up different rules for different types of absences. You can also use the same absence type in more than one rule if they are valid for different request periods or open periods.
EXAMPLE For annual leave you use a longer request period, but only the next two weeks are open for requests to leave early.
Personal account check
Set up personal accounts for the agents in People to view their balance for different types of absences. The personal accounts can be used as a validation when automatically approving absence requests.
When enabled, the automatic validation of the absence requests checks if there are enough days or hours in the agent's personal account balance for the requested absence type. If there is not, the request is denied.
By enabling the staffing check, the absence request validation ensures that absence requests are denied or waitlisted if they affect the staffing more than the given limit.
There are two main options for automatic validation on staffing; to validate based on actual intraday staffing or on budget allowance, both described below. If you don't want to use any automatic staffing check, select No.
Intraday and Intraday with shrinkage
When using intraday staffing for automatic approval of absence requests, the absence request validation checks if there are any intervals that are critically understaffed and if the percentage of intervals that are understaffed is higher than what is allowed by the skill understaffing tolerance. If one of those are true, the absence request is denied.
With the Intraday option, the validation is done using actual staffing values. With the Intraday with shrinkage option, the validation is done using staffing values including shrinkage. This means the Intraday option is generally more suited for the near future, where you have a very good understanding of the staffing situation, and the Intraday with shrinkage option is more suited for absence requests a little bit further into the future, where you want to keep the margin that the shrinkage gives.
The intraday staffing validation, with and without shrinkage, only checks the staffing situation on the agent's personal skills. If any of the agent's skills fail the staffing check, the request is denied or waitlisted regardless of if the agent is scheduled on an overstaffed skill or even a non-skill activity.
If the agent's skills are closed on the day of the absence request, the request will always pass the staffing check. The same is true for when the agent is scheduled with a day off or not scheduled at all.
New requests which are for a period shorter than 24h and within the next 14 days are processed immediately.
For new requests which are longer or for a period more than 14 days away, a few simple validations are performed directly. For example, there are checks to ensure that the agent has enough hours or days in the personal account (if this is used) and that the agent does not already have an absence at that time. If the request passes those validations, the request is put on a request queue, which is being processed regularly. How quickly an absence request on the request queue is handled depends on the load of the system. If the load is normal it should be handled within 15 minutes. When a request is processed, it is either approved, denied or waitlisted.
Budget group and Budget group head count
When using allowance for automatic approval of absence requests, the absence request validation checks the Allowance after threshold value in the budget and denies or waitlists the absence request if the threshold is already exceeded or if approval of this request would cause it to be exceeded.
With the Budget group option, the used allowance is calculated based on how many FTEs, Full-Time Equivalents, the absences correspond to in total. This means that if the FTE is 8 h per day and an agent is absent for 4 h, that is 0,5 FTE. The Budget group option only counts absences on workdays. This option is generally used for periods where there is a published schedule.
With the Budget group head count option, an agent who is away always counts as 1 FTE, regardless of if they are absent 1 h or 8 h and regardless of if it's on a workday or a day off. The total used allowance on a day is therefore the same as the number of people with an absence (which is connected to the budget group) on that day. This is generally used for periods where the schedule is not published.
If there is no saved schedule, the system will use the agent's contract schedule to determine which requested days that should be checked against the budget group. For example, if an unscheduled agent has a contract schedule for workdays from Monday to Friday and days off on Saturday and Sunday, any requests placed on Saturdays and Sundays will be handled as follows:
Budget group option—Always approved
Budget group headcount option—Checked against the budget allowance for the agent's budget group
If all skills included in the budget group are closed on the requested day, the absence request always passes the staffing validation.
New requests which are for a period shorter than 24 h and within the next 14 days will be processed immediately.
For new requests which are longer or for a period more than 14 days away, a few basic validations are performed directly for any new request, similarly to when using intraday staffing check. If the request passes those validations, it ends up on a request queue which is processed regularly. How quickly the request is handled depends on the load of the system. If the load is normal it should be handled within 15 minutes. When an absence request is processed, it is either approved, denied or waitlisted.
Set Auto grant to Yes to allow absence requests that have passed all automatic validations to be automatically approved.
Set Auto grant to No to send all absence requests that have passed all the automatic validations to manual approval.
NOTE Even if you are not using automatic approval, a request that doesn't pass the automatic validations is still automatically denied.
If you for a certain period within a longer request period want to deny all requests, for example because it is a peak period for your business, you can create a special rule with a higher priority and set Auto grant to Deny.