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Differences Between Time Off and Unavailability
Differences Between Time Off and Unavailability

Know when to use time off or unavailability to accurately manage your schedule

Shoshana Fleischmann avatar
Written by Shoshana Fleischmann
Updated over a week ago

Time Off and Unavailability can both be used to track your staff’s absences. However, you need to ask yourself for what purpose you need to do so. In this article, we'll go over the main purposes of each feature and provide a comparison of their capabilities so that you can be sure you're making the best decision for your business's needs.

Comparing Time Off and Unavailability

Time Off, otherwise known as paid time off (PTO), is used to track paid or unpaid absences. This is best for allocating pay, record keeping, compliance and legal reasons, and data reporting. Although Time Off is its own feature, it is also integrated into the Time Clock and Job Scheduler. On the Time Clock, you'll be able to see on your employees' timesheets their paid or unpaid absences, and they will automatically be calculated into their payroll. On the Job Scheduler, you'll see the Time Off appear as well and a conflict will be indicated if a shift is scheduled for that same day. On the other hand, Unavailability is limited to the Job Scheduler feature and is best used for scheduling purposes.

How Each Feature Appears on the Job Scheduler

You'll notice that on the Job Scheduler, time off and unavailability appear similar. The differences amount to the label given for each. Unavailability will be labeled as "Unavailable" while Time Off will show the specific name of the Time Off policy.

When a shift is assigned to a user on the same day as when they are unavailable or on time off, a conflict will be signaled.

Comparison of Capabilities

Time Off

Unavailability

For which purposes should you use this feature for?

To allocate pay, record keeping, compliance, and legal reasons, data reporting

Scheduling

Where can you see absences?

On the Time Off feature, Job Scheduler, Time Clock

Job Scheduler

How is pay set?

Time Off can be paid or unpaid

Pay is not recorded

Are they limited or unlimited?

Time Off policies can be set up as limited or unlimited policies

Unavailabilities are unlimited

Can you set recurring dates?

No

Yes - learn more about it here!

Can admins set absences on behalf of users?

Yes

Yes

Can users and admins choose to set a full day or partial day?

Yes

Yes

How can you remove the absence?

From Time Off or from the Time Clock

From the Job Scheduler

Can you set limitations?

Yes - Limitations include the option to require admin approval for time off requests and to limit how far in advance time off can be requested

No - admins can turn on/off the ability for users to mark unavailability from the Job Scheduler setting

When a shift is assigned on the same day, will it appear as a conflict?

Yes

Yes

Additional Resources:

Plan limitations

  • Adding unavailability is available from the Basic Operations plan and above.

  • Repeating unavailability is available from the Advanced Operations plan and above.

  • Time Off is available on Connecteam's HR Hub

  • Conflicts on a schedule are available from the Advanced Operations Plan. Conflicts between 2 Schedules are from the Expert Plan and above.

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