Leave Master Blogs

Encourage and facilitate collaboration

Using LeaveMaster, you can book and approve time off and keep track of who’s in and who’s out of the office, quickly, easily and efficiently. It gives everyone in your company access to a fast and fuss-free online system.

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The Bradford Factor is a human resource tool that helps prevent the disruption caused by short term sickness. It can be used to support disciplinary action taken against employees, but all too often when calculated manually, the data is unreliable.

Manually calculating the Bradford Factor is fraught with problems. The chances of human error naturally come into play, and in a large organisation there is a significant time loss issue. Although better than manual calculations, spreadsheets have their own limitations – it’s easy to make mistakes with formulas, and general data input is still open to human error.

What’s needed is a foolproof method of automated calculation providing data that can be used with confidence, allowing businesses to take control of persistent absenteeism.

LeaveMaster calculates Bradford Factor scores in a matter of seconds, helping managers to tackle unwarranted absences in two ways:

  • by acting as a deterrent against employees taking ‘sickies’
  • by providing indisputable information on an individual’s sickness record if disciplinary action is necessary

Take a look at our website for more information, or book a personalised demonstration of the software to see how it can help you tackle human resource issues with confidence.

At certain times of the year, managers can struggle to cope with the sheer volume of leave requests they receive. Part of the problem is the lack of an overall view of departmental staffing levels and existing leave requests.

Mistakes in granting leave can be costly to productivity and team morale if members of staff are expected to cover for colleagues in addition to doing their own job, and this has a tangible knock-on effect to end-of-year profit levels.

Take full advantage of new technology

Wall planners, year-to-view calendars or spreadsheets are rather out-dated, inefficient methods of dealing with leave requests. It just takes a single error in recording leave to have a negative effect on productivity or customer service, potentially attracting complaints and harming business reputation.

The calendar facility within LeaveMaster makes it easy to see who has already booked leave. Managers can make at-a-glance, quick and educated decisions on whether to grant leave requests or not. Operational efficiency isn’t compromised, even in the height of summer.

To find out more, book a tour of this powerful but easy-to-use software. Call 0800 334 5630 or book a customised demonstration via the website.

A formal health and wellness programme could be all that’s needed to improve the level of sickness absence in your organisation. If you’re wondering where to start, take a look at Britain’s Healthiest Company. Businesses with more than 50 members of staff can take part in this programme, with the closing date for registration being 31st March each year.

Now in its second year, it’s not so much a competition as a way to help organisations encourage a healthier lifestyle among their staff. PruHealth provides the metrics to calculate each employee’s ‘Vitality Age’ and any associated health risks.

Corporate Health Report

Each business taking part in Britain’s Healthiest Company receives a Corporate Health Report, which serves several purposes:

  • an overall view of workforce health is provided
  • recommendations for tackling health problems are included in the report
  • the information helps managers and executives to control the costs of absenteeism

This type of data is only useful if analysed and processed in the right way, however, and that’s where we come in. LeaveMaster lets you see the ongoing picture of absenteeism in your organisation. You get a 360° view of the entire company, as well as departmental and individual employee information.

Download the white paper from our website, or book a demonstration of the software to find out more.

According to Right Management’s Flux Report, 60% of HR leaders and line managers asked, saw employee health and wellness as a business investment rather than a staff perk. They also believed that strategic goals became more attainable with a healthy workforce.

In the report, 72% of line managers thought their organisation could be more proactive in helping staff to deal with stress, so what are some of the benefits you might see by adopting a formal health and wellness policy?

  • Reduced absenteeism and associated costs
  • Higher staff retention rates
  • A motivated workforce
  • Increased productivity

A global wellness survey conducted by Xerox, found that 43% of businesses managed to create a distinct brand identity for their workforce wellness programmes, with more than half offering reductions on health insurance premiums.

This type of incentive sends out a positive message to staff, and is widely seen as a long-term business investment that can significantly reduce the costs of absenteeism.

Cutting-edge software used in conjunction with a programme such as this is a powerful combination. LeaveMaster is a flexible web-based system that gives you back control of absenteeism and attendance, providing accurate, up-to-date information on each employee.

Take a tour of the software or book a personalised demonstration by calling 0800 334 5630.

According to Pay and Benefits Magazine, research by Canada Life Group Insurance found that open-plan workplaces can have a detrimental effect on the health and wellbeing of a workforce. The likelihood of illness spreading is increased, as is the risk of a drop in productivity.

In closed offices infections are more contained, although there will always be a risk of passing on illness to a colleague.

Canada Life’s managing director believes that organisations could solve this problem by putting advances in technology to better use, offering work-from-home options to employees where possible.

With technology still in mind, organisations can also reduce the cost of sickness and absenteeism by adopting up-to-date administrative systems to better manage the problem.

LeaveMaster fits the bill for this perfectly, providing a comprehensive and flexible solution for the easy management of leave and absence. You can see exactly who is in and who is not, using reliable data to monitor individual sick leave.

Each employee’s Bradford Factor score is incorporated into the software, making it easier to take formal action where necessary.

Download a brochure or white paper from our website for more information, or book a software demonstration that is tailored to your business.

Presenteeism is defined as ‘the act of attending work whilst sick’. It happens for a number of reasons although worry about job uncertainty is among the most common. The reality is, it has the potential to cost an organisation more in lost productivity than absenteeism.

The main reason for this is the risk of illness spreading to other members of staff or even to entire departments, causing a catastrophic drop in overall production levels. There is bound to be a degree of absenteeism and presenteeism in every organisation, but the costs of both can be lowered simply by taking advantage of new technology.

LeaveMaster is a powerful platform with which to manage leave and absence. It lets you see exactly who is off sick and when, and can pinpoint the consequences of presenteeism as they occur, showing patterns of sickness running through an organisation.

Viewed on a web-based system, managers are quickly able to identify potential problems and act accordingly, taking on temporary staff if necessary before productivity levels stall.

For more information on how LeaveMaster can help your business, download the white paper on our website or book a demonstration of the software.

A survey commissioned by Hilton Hotels & Resorts revealed that a new workplace epidemic has hit the UK. Vacationitis is a term used by the leading hotel chain, to describe an ever-increasing number of employees who fail to take their full annual leave allowance.

The research found that around 40% of respondents never or rarely use their full holiday entitlement. Two of the top ten reasons for not taking full leave allowance was worry about losing their job and running out of time to take it.

Ease of access to leave information

It’s not always easy to consistently provide accurate leave information for employees, particularly when procedures are manual or spreadsheet-based. Staff and managers alike become frustrated by the lack of clear information, at a time when everyone is economically stretched and fearful of losing their job.

One of the biggest benefits of using LeaveMaster to control annual leave issues is at-a-glance access to detailed information on how much leave has been taken and how much is due. It allows a clear view from both sides of the managerial fence, and as the software updates each employee’s leave allocation automatically, the risk of running out of time to take it is reduced.

Put simply, LeaveMaster is a cost-effective, practical solution to a common problem in the workplace.

Get to grips with absence management in your organisation by booking a free demonstration of the software. LeaveMaster improves efficiency, saves time and money, and puts you in control.

‘Interview’ is perhaps the wrong word to describe the discussion that takes place with members of staff returning from sickness absence. It’s more of a chat to put the period of absence into some context, even if it was for only one day.

A degree of compassion is needed to obtain mutually-beneficial information that can be used to improve operational efficiency, and employees will know what is expected of them if these meetings are arranged following each period of absence.

Checking an employee’s sickness record is good preparation for a return-to-work interview. You get valuable insight into potentially questionable patterns of absence, or a problem that could potentially lead to long-term illness.

Why manual systems don’t help you

Gaining this insight is easier said than done when manual or spreadsheet systems are used, however. What’s needed is reliable, in-depth employee attendance data, so that a decision can be made as to whether formal action is necessary.

LeaveMaster provides this level of data at the push of a button. It incorporates a calculation of each employee’s Bradford Factor, which is automatically updated along with their sickness record.

Once the interview is over, it’s easy to update all information and make a judgement about future actions.

With the help of powerful absence management software, return-to-work interviews integrate seamlessly into your sickness absence policy. You save time and money, and everyone has confidence that the data is accurate and reliable.

For more information download our white paper or book a free LeaveMaster demo.

Do your employees complain about the time it takes to request leave? Or the fact that leave requests get lost in a pile of paperwork? This type of thing can be demoralising and have a serious effect on workforce productivity, and the reason may be that you are simply using an outdated system.

If staff have access to slick, state-of-the-art web-based software to request holiday or other types of leave, it not only offers them reassurance that their issues are important to you as an employer, but it also makes life easier for your managers.

Agree leave in seconds

LeaveMaster is an impressive computerised leave and absence system that lets employees know in a matter of seconds whether their leave has been agreed. They have their own page set up within the system, telling them everything they need to know about their attendance record, holiday allowance, whether they have taken any training days, and a myriad of other information that is not readily available with manual or spreadsheet systems.

The sheer speed and ease of requesting leave, and the clarity and depth of information stored, can ease working relationships between managers and staff. There are no more lost leave sheets, and the data is trusted by both parties.

LeaveMaster is accessible from any device or location with an internet connection.

We can set up a personalised demonstration of the software to show you exactly how efficient your organisation can be. Alternatively, take a look at the features and benefits on the website, or download our white paper.

The benefits of flexible working have long been the focus of positive discussion amongst employees, but employers can also take advantage of alternative ways of working that reduce costs and boost productivity.

Flexible working hours or working from home can:


  • Raise staff morale and increase commitment, leading to improved productivity
  • Reduce costs for absenteeism and poor timekeeping
  • Increase staff retention, so lessening recruitment costs


The requirement to meet business needs is still a priority, however, and whether it’ll work for you depends on the industry you operate in. But if you think it could benefit your organisation, these statistics might help you make the decision to offer flexible working.

The figures speak for themselves

A 2012 survey by Regus called ‘Flexibility Drives Productivity’ returned these statistics:


  • 72% of global businesses reported increased productivity as a direct result of flexible working practices
  • 63% of staff said flexible working helps them to feel more motivated


Advances in technology have made it possible to offer flexible working, and it’s these same advances that can help you control your workforce. You need a robust and powerful computerised system to do it though, otherwise things will be difficult to manage.

LeaveMaster keeps track of flexible working hours so managers aren’t battling with spreadsheets or outdated manual systems. You’ll know exactly who should be in and when, and there’ll be no chance of staff taking advantage of the situation.

Take a tour of the software on our website, or download the white paper to learn more.

Monitoring various types of workplace leave is becoming increasingly difficult for managers who use paper or spreadsheet-based systems. On a daily basis they may have to deal with requests for holidays, bereavement leave, training days, parental leave or jury service.

Add in random sick leave and regardless of the size of your organisation, it’s easy to see that managing leave and absence can be a real headache. It’s a stressful situation for managers to deal with every day, apart from which they are not putting their expertise to good use – they’re simply fire-fighting administrative problems.

Complexities of absence management

Unless you use powerful leave and absence software, you’ll more than likely come across the following problems:


  • Leave requests that are mislaid
  • Slow and uncoordinated responses to requests for time off
  • A risk of being under-staffed due to inefficient administrative practices
  • Demoralised managers who should be focusing on more important strategic tasks


Managing leave doesn’t have to be a problem though. You just need the right tools to deal with the complexities.

LeaveMaster incorporates all types of leave, and can be tailored to your organisation. Agree requests for time off in a matter of minutes, keep an eye on individual absence patterns, and make it easy for managers to do their job with state-of-the-art software that improves productivity.

To find out more, take a virtual LeaveMaster tour or book a personalised demonstration of the software. It can be tailored to your individual requirements, with an intuitive interface that’s easy to use.

Taken at face value, the Statement of Fitness to Work, or Fit Note scheme introduced by the government in 2010 was a positive step in reducing absence in the workplace. Gone was the ‘Fit for Work’ option on the sick note, and in its place the doctor could state whether a person was fit for at least some duties, with support from the employer.

If doctors specified which type of duties an employee could carry out, this would surely minimise levels of long-term absenteeism.

Not so according to the 2013 CBI survey Fit for Purpose, which suggests that not all employers are happy with the scheme. Only 19% of respondents said the use of Fit Notes had improved their rehabilitation policies.

Other results reflect a general dissatisfaction with the scheme:


  • A mere 5% of employers had faith in the doctor’s understanding of workplace issues
  • Just 17% believed that Fit Notes had changed their return to work culture
  • Only 20% of respondents said the notes received contained constructive or insightful advice


Obviously this remains a problem for UK businesses. Absenteeism is a considerable cost for many organisations, so if the Fit Note scheme is not living up to expectations, what else can businesses do to manage absenteeism and keep down costs?

LeaveMaster gives you control of employee sickness absence, whether short-term or ongoing. You can access it from any device with an internet connection, and the software identifies unusual patterns of sickness, making it easier for managers to tackle the problem quickly.

For more information, simply download the white paper from our website or call 0800 334 5630 to arrange a personalised demonstration of the software.

Streamlining operations has become the norm for organisations trying to stay afloat in the current economy. One area often overlooked when cutting costs is absenteeism. Not only does it affect productivity, but staff morale and customer service levels are also compromised.

Determining the exact cost of absenteeism is almost impossible using out-dated manual systems which are difficult to implement effectively, but accurate costings are needed to provide a baseline from which to track improvements and cost reduction.

In the Mercer 2008 Pan-European Health & Benefit Report, 21% of the 800 countries taking part across Europe said they had no access to good data on absence levels in their organisation, never mind the causes or costs.

So what are the costs of absenteeism?

The absent employee’s salary, paying overtime rates and hiring temporary or agency staff are the obvious costs of absenteeism and are easy to calculate, but what about the indirect costs of lost production and time spent on administration?

The European Working Conditions Observatory estimated in 2010 that the indirect costs of UK absenteeism amount to £27 billion a year. Using a powerful web-based application like LeaveMaster puts you in control of workforce costs.

LeaveMaster monitors individual employee absence, providing a reliable source of information from which to accurately calculate costs. You can use this benchmark figure to track improvements and reduce costs in the long-term.

For more information on how LeaveMaster contributes to cost reductions, call 0800 334 5630.

Recent research by Canada Life Group revealed the ongoing problem of absenteeism during national sporting events. Almost 1 in 10 of respondents said they would consider taking a day off sick to watch the World Cup this summer.

Equivalent to 2.4 million employees when replicated across the country’s workforce, the effect on productivity of this type of non-legitimate absence is significant. In the case of the World Cup, success of the team would have resulted in an increased level of absence, with 61% of respondents saying they would take time off to watch the semi-final.

Are flexible working options the answer?

Flexible working was named as the option most likely to deter non-legitimate sick days. Thirty-five per cent of respondents said they would be less inclined to take unnecessary sick leave during the World Cup if flexible working arrangements were in place, with 30% citing the ability to work from home as something that would make a difference.

It’s not just the World Cup that’s the problem though. All national sporting events are a distraction whether it’s the World Cup, Wimbledon or the Olympics.

LeaveMaster supports your efforts to reduce absenteeism at these times. You can keep track of individual employee sick days and see if there’s a pattern emerging. LeaveMaster manages all types of leave including flexible working arrangements, so it’s easy to find out who is in on any given day.

Download our white paper or take a virtual tour to see how LeaveMaster can help your organisation deal with non-legitimate sickness absence.

A report by the Office for National Statistics has revealed that among larger public sector organisations, staff working for a health authority or NHS Trust had the highest levels of sickness in 2013. ‘Sickness Absence in the Labour Market’ reports that 3.4% of working hours in these sectors were lost due to sickness.

Based on occupation, the highest level of sickness was in the ‘Health, Leisure and Other Services’ group, which reportedly lost 3.2% of working hours. Workplace size was also found to have an effect on sickness statistics, with employees in organisations of between 50 and 499 members of staff being 31% more likely to take sick leave than those working in a firm of fewer than 25 staff.

Most common reasons for sickness absence

Back, neck and muscle problems were reported to have been the cause of the most days off - 31 million days were lost due to these issues. Minor illnesses were second in the list at 27 million days, with stress, anxiety and depression being blamed for 15 million days of sickness absence in 2013.

Effective management of sickness absence plays a large part in boosting your bottom line. Lost days of productivity quickly add up to increased costs and reduced profit levels.

LeaveMaster helps you manage high levels of absence by gathering and analysing data, providing reports and valuable insight into patterns of disruptive absence. Take a tour of the software today, or phone us to book your live demo.

It’s estimated that a third of UK businesses with 20-80 employees lose £10,000 to £25,000 per year due to absenteeism. When you consider how many firms still use paper-based systems to record leave and absence, it’s not surprising that this figure is so high.

Here are some of the reasons why paper-based systems are so costly in terms of time and money:

  • lost paperwork
  • an increased risk of human error
  • the time needed to manage leave requests
  • difficulty in keeping track of various types of leave


A single computerised system is the best way to manage absenteeism. LeaveMaster has everything you need – full automation of the booking, processing and monitoring of leave. It will save you money, free up managers’ time, and reduce the overall administrative burden.

Quick to set up and easy to use, you can access it from any location with an internet connection. Customise it to suit your business needs and enjoy ongoing support from our technical team.

A practical solution

So how does LeaveMaster differ from a manual system?

  • employees sign in to request leave rather than fill out individual forms
  • managers see all the information they need on one easy-to-read screen
  • data is seamlessly collected and put to good use in controlling absenteeism
  • all types of leave and absence are monitored
  • patterns of absenteeism are reported


It will increase operational efficiency, boost productivity, and you’ll soon see a return on investment.

Take a tour of LeaveMaster’s features and benefits, or download the white paper to see how it can help.

Minor illness such as coughs, colds and nausea were the most common reason for sickness absence in 2013. So says the ‘Sickness Absence in the Labour Market’ survey carried out by the Office for National Statistics.

This type of short-term absence accounted for 30% of the reasons given for sickness, with 27.4 million days lost productivity being endured by UK businesses as a result. Don’t let short-term sickness affect your bottom line. Get to grips with all types of absenteeism using LeaveMaster.

See the big picture

You can track each employee’s sickness record, gain an overall picture of workforce absence and regain control of administrative costs. Quick to set up, LeaveMaster automates everything from leave applications to in-depth reporting.

Administration of short-term sickness is a huge drain on managers’ time. Sifting through piles of paperwork or monitoring absence using Excel spreadsheets isn’t easy. Not only are systems like these burdensome, they waste the expertise of key staff.

Deter persistent offenders

LeaveMaster automatically triggers an alert when employees exceed a pre-set number of short-term absences. Managers can act quickly to deter unwarranted absence and see at a glance who might be abusing the system.

LeaveMaster is a powerful application that puts you back in control, and because it’s web-based you have access from any location with an internet connection.

Take a tour of the software, download our white paper, or book a demo to see exactly how we can help you.

The 2013 Absence and Workplace Health Survey ‘Fit for Purpose’ found that 12% of sick days taken by UK employees are not legitimate. It’s estimated that this problem alone costs the UK economy £1.7 billion every year.

Some employees perceived an entitlement to paid ‘sick’ leave, almost as if it was an extension of their annual leave. These issues can be tackled head on using state-of-the-art technology that minimises costs and puts you in control of workforce absence.

Manual systems are inadequate in dealing with large numbers of leave applications. Forms quickly start to pile up and are easily lost, putting stress on managers who would be better employed dealing with operational or strategic issues.

An inherent problem of manual systems is the difficulty in obtaining a clear picture of persistent absenteeism. LeaveMaster lets you see at a glance who has been off sick and when, tracking each instance of sickness for every employee to get a long-term view of their attendance record.

Profit levels are affected

Taking single sick days before or after a weekend, when a national sporting event is taking place, or simply because they don’t feel like working has a significant effect on your bottom line. According to the CBI survey, in 2012 the average total cost for each absent employee was £975.

Download our white paper or take a tour of the software to see how LeaveMaster can help your organisation. It’s simple to use, requires minimal training, and provides a quick return on investment.

According to the Office for National Statistics ‘131 million days were lost due to sickness absences in the UK in 2013.’ Although reduced from 20 years ago, this figure adds up to a significant loss of productivity and reduction in growth for many companies.

Causes of absence in the workplace include:

  • Stress: if left unchecked, stress can lead to total burnout and prolonged illness
  • Caring for children or parents: carers without access to leave at short notice feel compelled to take days off sick
  • Lack of motivation: a disengaged employee is more likely to call in sick


What can be done about it?

Providing the tools to improve employees’ physical and mental health is a start. Formal ‘wellness’ programmes are a valuable workplace benefit not offered by many SMEs in the UK, as this research by CIPD confirms:

“44% of people we surveyed said their organisation does not promote health and well-being.”

Flexible working arrangements offer employees greater work/life balance. A degree of autonomy is also known to increase job satisfaction, but what happens if you can’t afford to implement health programmes or flexible working patterns?

Long-term control of absenteeism

Keeping an eye on levels of absence over the long-term certainly puts you in control, but it’s not possible to do this effectively using manual systems.

LeaveMaster software provides you with detailed attendance information for every staff member, helps tighten control of absenteeism, and makes management of a growing workforce easier.

The Bradford Factor is used to control absenteeism. It’s a formula that calculates a ‘score’ for each employee, and is designed to highlight patterns of absenteeism that need to be addressed.

Short absences are understood to be more disruptive to productivity than prolonged periods of absence, and firms using the Bradford Factor are able to identify employees who frequently take off single sick days.

Calculations are made using the following formula, which is usually taken over a pre-agreed period of 52 weeks:

Number of absence periods² x number of days absent

Scoring system
You set up your own system that triggers an action when certain scores are reached. As an example, staff with over 50 points might receive a verbal warning about their absence, and more than 200 points could attract a written warning.

Integrated and effective

The Bradford Factor system is fully integrated into our software. Businesses can use it as a deterrent. An employee with a high Bradford Factor might think twice about calling in sick on a Monday morning if they know there’ll be repercussions.

LeaveMaster automatically calculates the score for each employee, and helps you control disruptive absences in the long-term. You can warn staff when they’re approaching a trigger point, and the data provides irrefutable evidence in disciplinary hearings if required.

To find out more about effectively managing absenteeism in your workplace, call us to arrange a free demonstration of our software.