Leave, out of office and sickness

With ChurchSuite, you can record and track Leave, Out of office and Sickness through the Calendar module. This has a number of advantages: from a human resources perspective, it facilitates managing your staff's Leave allowances. From a church management perspective, it means that your staff know with one glance at the calendar whether a member of staff is away on a particular day. Here is how to use this convenient set of features. Importantly, Leave is not visible on your public-facing calendar (e.g. if your calendar is embedded in your church's website).

In this article

Overview of the Leave functionality
Adding Leave
Creating custom Leave types
Edit or cancel Leave from ChurchSuite
Add absence notifications for line managers
Managing staff Leave allowance
Starting a new holiday year?
Deleting a User's Leave Setup
Keeping on top of the changes to Leave Setup with 'change logs'
Sickness recording

Overview of the 'Leave' functionality

The Leave functionality in ChurchSuite operates on a "trust" basis and is not intended to be an "approvals" system. Whilst each church will have their own internal processes for handling "Leave" requests, optional line manager notifications can be configured in each user's Leave Set Up.

In this way, Leave can be helpfully captured and displayed on your ChurchSuite calendar to help with event planning or ensuring staff are not clashing with their Leave bookings. This feature is also useful for your volunteers with user accounts, as it may be helpful to know when they are going to be absent too.

All users with Calendar module access will be able to see Leave recorded on the calendar in ChurchSuite, allowing teams to work collaboratively and share this important information.

The Leave functionality also allows churches to record different types of Leave.

Leave entitlement (Holiday entitlement) for each Leave Period can be created for your staff/users. By adding Leave entitlement in advance to allow staff/users to book their Leave; perhaps for a future Leave Period.

The Leave Setup page provides an informative summary of your staff's annual leave, showing their entitlement and a progress bar showing how much Leave has been booked/used and the amount remaining. Staff/users who have exceeded their allotted entitlement are shown in red.

The Leave Summary report in the Calendar module provide a helpful list of leave taken and a summary of total leave taken/remaining, for each user. The report can be filtered for a designated Leave Setup Period and by User Group.

Adding Leave

Go to "Calendar" > "Leave" and click "Add Leave".

Complete the Leave details, type e.g. holiday, add any notes and finally the dates.

When adding dates - select "Add dates(s)", you have the option to "Exclude public holidays?". This feature allows you to choose whether or not the Leave booking in respect of the public holiday date should be counted as coming off their Leave entitlement.

If a User attempts to add Leave that will exceed their annual Leave allowance, a warning message will be displayed when saving the Leave booking, with the option to override the Leave allowance, or to amend the Leave booking accordingly.

Creating custom leave types

While ChurchSuite includes the most common "Leave" types you'll use, it's possible to add custom Leave types in the Calendar module settings.

Edit or cancel leave

To edit or cancel 'Leave' you will need to have Manage permissions on the Calendar module or be an Administrator in order to make these changes. In the 'Leave' page view, if the 'Leave' you wish to edit/remove is not your own, begin by first clearing the filter. Click 'Clear' to show all Leave for all users.

Locate the Leave entry you wish to edit or cancel. Click the cog-wheels on the right-hand side of the entry, and select the appropriate option.

The above works if you wish to delete the entire 'Leave sequence'. If however you wish to simply remove one or more dates from the sequence (perhaps where a person is shortening their holiday), select 'Edit Leave', locate the date(s) to be cancelled, and click the 'X' next to those date on the right-hand side. Remember to save your changes.

Add absence notifications for line managers

In the Leave Set Up for a user, designate a Line Manager by selecting the appropriate user from the drop-down menu. An email notification will be sent to this user whenever Leave is entered into ChurchSuite.

Managing staff leave allowance

Ordinarily, a User requires Manage module or Administrator permissions to maintain the Leave Set up section. It is possible to further restrict access to the Leave Setup section so that only users within designated User Groups are able to view the leave set up of other users or add/edit the leave setup of other users. To change the visibility settings of the Leave Setup section, head into the Calendar module settings - note the Leave Setup setting where you can set the Leave Setup section to display only for selected user groups. Save your changes before navigating away from the module settings.

Next, click on "Calendar" and hover over "Leave" - you will see a choice of "My Leave" and "Leave Setup". Select "Leave Setup" and click on "Add Leave Setup".

Next to "Person", select the member of staff you want to add a leave setup for from the drop down list. Enter the period (for instance, one calendar year) and the hours of leave the staff member has for that period. For instance, if they work 2 days (15 hours) per week and have 4 weeks of leave per year, and if the leave period is one year, then that means they have 4 x 15 = 60 leave hours.

When you have finished adding all the information, click "Save Changes". Repeat this process for each member of staff who you want to manage leave allowance for.

Starting a new holiday year?

You'll need to make some preparations for the start of each new Leave Year for your church. It will not be possible to record annual Leave for a new leave year until this has been done. Go to "Calendar" > "Leave" > "Leave Setup".

In this example above we need to setup the Leave for 2016. You can duplicate Leave setup from a previous Leave Year, if you wish.

For each existing staff member you want to setup new Leave, click the option cog on the right-hand side of their entry and select "Duplicate leave setup".

Make any necessary changes - in particular, update the "Period from and until" dates to reflect your new Leave year.

Save your changes and repeat this for each each existing staff team. Staff members can now add their Leave bookings for the new Leave Year.

Deleting a User's Leave Setup

If at any point you need to delete a User's Leave Setup, simply select "Delete Leave setup" from the drop-down menu.

A final warning confirmation is displayed. Note that deleting a User's leave setup will also delete all leave that has been previously added for the corresponding Leave Setup - delete with caution!

Keeping on top of the changes to Leave Setup with 'change logs'

Whenever a change is made to a User's Leave Setup, a record is added to the change log in the Leave Setup. To view the change log, scroll down to the very bottom of the Leave Setup page in the Calendar module, and select "Changes" from the "Recent Activity" section. The log includes the change date and time, the User who made the change, and a description of the change. There is also the option to 'undo' the changes made.


While all users are able to record most types of leave (holiday, compassionate leave, out of office etc.), sickness requires a User to have "Manage" permissions in order to be able to record them against a User. This is intended functionality to ensure that statutory leave records for sickness (which may give rise to a payroll adjustment) are managed appropriately by a manage-level user and prevent use-only level users from adding sickness records for themselves!

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