Rota unavailability

In this article

Overview of intended functionality
Adding unavailability in ChurchSuite
Adding unavailability in ChurchSuite when adding leave
Adding unavailability in My ChurchSuite (Overseers)
Adding unavailability in My ChurchSuite (Rota members)

Overview of the intended functionality

Rota unavailability is an optional feature enabled in the Rotas module settings, accessible via the cogwheels icon in the top-right corner of the module - click Edit to make changes.

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 a range of dates and, with My ChurchSuite only, rota members can optionally add unavailability for their linked spouse/partner and children.

Unavailability causes a clash notification when ministry overseers attempt to add or swap a team member to a rota date when the person is unavailable for that date. Unavailability clashes are shown in a Clashes report in the Rotas module's reports section and are displayed on the rota Clashes tab for 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 Engagement tab 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, to process swaps.

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 Unavailability can also be deleted if no longer applicable.

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

Unavailability added applies to all rotas - it's not possible to add unavailability for one ministry while remaining available for other ministries (See our related support article for further information about Rota Accept/Decline). A person marked unavailable will cause an unavailability clash across all rotas where a rota's date clashes with their unavailability.

Where adding unavailability via My ChurchSuite (not ChurchSuite) causes a clash on an existing rota, an email notification is sent to the ministry's overseers. However, when adding unavailability doesn't give rise to a clash, no email notification is sent, although overseers will get a clash notification if they later add an unavailable person to a clashing rota date.

For overseers, when adding a rota for a ministry, rota members with existing unavailability are still assigned to rota dates according to their ministry 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 date clashes or unavailability clashes) are shown in red, with unavailability further distinguished by strikethrough styling of the rota member name. In the example below, Shane has a date clash because they are on more than one rota at the same time, but Stuart is unavailable. Stuart will not receive a rota reminder but the other rota members will receive a rota reminder with Stuart's name included, shown in red strikethrough to indicate that he is unavailable.

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

Unavailable rota members will continue to see the 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 an overseer or if the rota member processes a swap with another available rota member.

Adding unavailability in ChurchSuite

Let's explore the different places in ChurchSuite where Rotas module users can add Unavailability...

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

On the Add unavailability pop-up use the Person Search to find the appropriate person and select the unavailability Start and End date range. 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 are highlighted within the pop-up. Clicking Save will add the unavailability (with the clashes). Note that Overseer clash notifications are not sent for unavailability clashes created by module Users.

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 triangle in the list. It's not possible to edit leave unavailability - although a permitted Calendar module user can edit their leave requests, which will update the linked unavailability. However, Leave unavailability can be deleted. For Rotas module Users with Calendar module permissions too, selecting View leave request from the Action menu 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 are shown in red strikethrough. If you proceed with adding an unavailable person (which you can do if you wish), an unavailability clash notification will be shown.

Adding 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 when adding a leave request, which will make a corresponding unavailability entry in the Rotas module. Clashes caused by the leave request are surfaced to the User and 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.

Adding unavailability in My ChurchSuite (Overseers)

Ministry overseers can record unavailability in 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.

To add unavailability, and working on the rota "View", click on the Unavailability tab and click the Add unavailability.

On the Add unavailability pop-up, 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 clashes with any rota, including the rota being viewed, those clashes are displayed. Click Save to complete the process.

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.

Unavailability clashes are clearly distinguished on the rota in red strikethrough styling, and date clashes (caused by a person serving on more than one rota at the same time) are displayed in red styling without a strikethrough. Hovering your cursor over a name indicates the clash reason (browser only).

When overseers on rotas in My ChurchSuite, there are two useful ways to add unavailability. The first is from the date Actions menu - select Add unavailability...

And the other is from the rota member Actions - select Add unavailability.

Adding unavailability in My ChurchSuite (Rota members)

The My Rotas section is available to all rota members and includes an Unavailability section listing future unavailability. Rota members may also be able to view and manage the unavailability of their linked spouse/partner and children. To add unavailability click Add unavailability.

On the Add unavailability pop-up, as for overseers, rota members can add unavailability for a range of Dates and an optional Description (reason), for themselves and/or their linked spouse/partner and children. Any clashes arising from family unavailability are shown within the pop-up - alerting that rota member that they or other family members need to organise a swap. The respective ministry Overseers receive an unavailability clash notification alerting them to any rota clashes caused by family unavailability being added.

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