Rota unavailability

In this article

Overview of intended functionality
Recording unavailability in ChurchSuite
Recording unavailability in ChurchSuite when adding leave
Recording unavailability in My ChurchSuite (Overseers)
Recording unavailability in My ChurchSuite (Members)

Overview of the intended functionality

Rota unavailability is an optional feature that must first be enabled in the Rotas module settings.

Once enabled, the Unavailability section is added to the Rotas module in ChurchSuite (and to the My Rotas section of My ChurchSuite) so that Users, ministry overseers and rota members can begin managing unavailability. Within both platforms unavailability can be added for single dates, part-days, or ranges of dates, and with My ChurchSuite only, rota members can add unavailability for themselves and also for their linked spouse/partner and children.

Unavailability causes a clash notification for ministry overseers when they attempt to add or swap a team member to a rota date when the person is unavailable for a rota date. Unavailability clashes are reportable in a Clashes report in the Rotas module's reports section and are displayed on the rota Clashes page on each rota in ChurchSuite and My ChurchSuite. Unavailability is also shown visibly against the serving rota member's Next Serving list in the My Rotas section of My ChurchSuite and displayed on a rota member's profile page in the Address Book or Children module.

Within MyChurchSuite, rota members are prevented from processing swaps with unavailable rota members, although ministry overseers are always able to override rota clashes, including unavailability clashes.

Unavailability can be edited - unless it is linked to a User's leave request. Unavailability can also be deleted if no longer required.

Unavailability history is retained in ChurchSuite and can be viewed in the Rotas module by switching View between Past and Future on the Unavailability page. Unavailability moves from Future to Past when the final date in the unavailability range has passed. Duplicated or overlapping unavailability is permitted and handled by the system.

Unavailability applies across all ministries - it is not ministry or rota specific. It is therefore not possible to add unavailability for one ministry while remaining available for other ministries. A person flagged unavailable will cause an unavailability clash across all rotas where a rota's date clashes with their unavailability.

Where adding unavailability generates a rota clash to an existing rota, an email notification is sent to the ministry overseer(s). Where adding unavailability doesn't generate a clash then no email notification is sent, although they will receive a clash notification on screen if they attempt to subsequently add an unavailable person to a clashing rota date.

For overseers, at the point of adding a rota for a ministry, rota members with unavailability continue to be assigned to rota dates according to a ministry's team rotation; however a visual indicator is shown on the rota so that overseers can make rota changes accordingly. Without this step overseers may not otherwise be aware of rota gaps caused by unavailability. Clashes (whether serving date clashes, or unavailability clashes) are shown in red, with unavailability further distinguished by a strikethrough on the serving team member's name. In the example below, Graham Michael has a rota date clash because he is on more than one rota at the same time, but Phillip Hallam is unavailable. Phillip will not receive a rota reminder, but the other rota members would receive a rota reminder with Phillips's name included and shown in red strikethrough to indicate that he is unavailable.

The unavailability feature is accessible by Users via the Unavailability section in the Rotas module in ChurchSuite, and by rota members and overseers via the Unavailability section on the My Rotas page in My ChurchSuite. Ministry overseers can manage unavailability on behalf of their rota members in My ChurchSuite, as well as manage their own unavailability. The Unavailability section in My ChurchSuite will initially display unavailability for the person who is currently logged in, but if they have a linked spouse or children, they will be able to select them from a drop-down list and see/manage a list of their unavailability too.

Unavailable rota members will continue to see next serving entries for dates of unavailability, shown in red strikethrough. Unavailable 'next serving' dates will disappear once the rota member is removed from the rota by the ministry overseer, or if the rota member processes a swap with another rota member for an available date.

Recording unavailability in ChurchSuite

From the Unavailability section within the Rotas module, select Add unavailability.

On the Add unavailability pop-up, use the 'Search people' box to find the right Person and add the unavailability details for that selected person. Note the option to untick All Day - ideal for blocking out part of a day as unavailable. Optionally enter an unavailability Description, perhaps a reason, like 'Holiday'. Click Save to complete the process.

As you add the unavailability details, any rota clashes caused by that unavailability will be highlighted before the pop-up is saved. Clicking Save will add the unavailability (with the clashes) - ministry overseers will be sent an email notification for unavailability clashes that affect their existing rotas.

The added unavailability is added to the list in the Unavailability section. Notice the Clashes column, which highlights any rotas affected by the unavailability. You can easily navigate to each clashing rota - just click the rota name in the Clashes column - you can then decide how best to resolve the clash, perhaps by removing or swapping the clashing rota member. You can return to the Unavailability section at any time, perhaps to Add further unavailability, or to Edit, Duplicate or Delete an existing unavailability entry in the list.

Unavailability added in respect of a User making a leave request (in the Calendar module) is distinguished by a yellow warning triangle in the list. It's not possible to edit leave unavailability - although a user can edit their leave request, which will update the liked unavailability accordingly. Leave unavailability can however be deleted. For Rotas module Users with Calendar module permissions too, selecting View leave request will take you through to the leave request linked to the unavailability entry.

Having added unavailability, now, when adding people to rotas, unavailable members are still shown in the list - for both Add to date and Add to role - but they shown in red strikethrough. If you proceed with adding an unavailable person (which you can do if you wish), an unavailability clash notification is displayed.

Recording unavailability in ChurchSuite when adding Leave

Users have the option of adding unavailability when they Add a leave request in the Calendar module. For Users whose user account is linked to their underlying Address Book profile and where there is an active Leave Setup for that User, they'll see an option to select that they are Unavailable at the point of adding a leave request, which will make a corresponding unavailability entry in the Rotas module. And even if they later change their leave request or cancel it, the linked unavailability is updated accordingly too!

Line managers and Users with appropriate permissions for the Calendar module can Add a leave request (with auto-added unavailability) for other Users. Unavailability can be auto-added for any leave 'type', not just 'holiday', including any custom leave types created in the Calendar module's settings.

The Unavailable check box will not be visible if: -

  • The user profile is not linked to a contact profile in the Address Book.
  • The Unavailability feature has not been enabled (or is disabled) in the Rotas module settings.
  • The user does not have an active Leave Setup profile in the Calendar module.
  • You do not have the Rotas module on your ChurchSuite account.

Recording unavailability in My ChurchSuite (Overseers)

Ministry overseers are able to easily record unavailability within the My Rotas section of My ChurchSuite for the members of any rotas that they oversee. Unavailability dates added for a rota member in this way will affect all rotas that the unavailable rota member serves on.

To add unavailability, click into a rota that you oversee and for whom the person you want to add unavailability for serves on. There are 4 tabs - Dates, Members, Clashes and Unavailability - select the Unavailability tab and click the +Unavailability button.

In the Add unavailability pop-up window, select the rota Member name from the drop-down list - note you will only see names of people that are members of that rota's ministry. Enter the unavailability Dates and optional Description (reason). If the unavailability being added causes any clashes with any rota, including the rota being viewed, those clashes are displayed.

Unchecking the All day checkbox will allow you to enter unavailable Times for the start and end dates. Click Save Changes to save the entry.

The added unavailability is now listed on the Unavailability tab. Note that you can further Edit or Delete unavailability within the list. You will not be able to edit unavailability that is linked to a User's leave request - this is distinguished in the list by a yellow warning triangle icon.

For any rota where unavailability causes a rota clash, this is clearly distinguished on the rota - unavailability clashes show in red strikethrough, and date clashes (caused by a person serving on more than one rota at the same time) are displayed in red without a strikethrough. Hovering your cursor over the name indicates the reason for the clash (browser only).

When overseers are working with rotas in My ChurchSuite, there are two other useful ways to add unavailability. The first is from the date menu on the Dates page of a rota - select Add unavailability...

And the second is from the rota member menu on the Dates page of a rota - select Add unavailability.

Recording unavailability in My ChurchSuite (Members)

The My Rotas section is available to all rota members. On the My Rotas page, under the Next Serving section is the Unavailability section. This section lists the rota member's future unavailability - past unavailability is not shown within My ChurchSuite. From this section a rota member can add unavailability - click +Unavailability.

On the Add unavailability pop-up, just like for ministry overseers, rota members can add unavailability for a range of Dates and an optional Description (reason). For rota members with a linked spouse/partner and children, they can also select to add unavailability for them too - ideal for recording the family holiday that requires a block out of dates for all the family members. Any clashes arising from the unavailability being added is shown within the pop-up - perhaps alerting that rota member to organise a swap. Importantly, ministry overseers receive an email notification alerting them to any rota clashes that are caused by unavailability being added. If the added unavailability doesn't give rise to a rota clash, no overseer notification is sent.

Unchecking the All day checkbox allows the rota member to specify Times, which apply to the start and end date of their unavailability - ideal if someone is away for a morning service, but available for an evening service.

Returning to the Unavailability list in My Rotas, rota members see the list of all their own unavailability, but the drop-down family member selector can be used to see their unavailability list - perhaps to edit or remove their unavailability.

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