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What to look for when choosing a leave management system

21 April 2023 7 min read

searching for leave management system

There’s a lot to consider when choosing the right leave management system for your organisation – from its capabilities to cost. And of course, it should be treated as an investment that is going to reduce your time spent on admin, automate your previously manual processes, and provide a great user experience.

In this blog, we provide 7 key things to look for when choosing a leave management system, and suggest 7 of the best leave management platforms on the market.

What is a leave management system?

A leave management system, also known as leave management software, is a platform used to manage all types of employee leave including staff holiday entitlement, parental leave, compassionate leave, sickness leave and more. Having one leave management system in place that can be utilised by all HR, managers and employees within your business helps dramatically in streamlining your organisation and management of employee leave.

What to look for when choosing a leave management system

There are many leave management solutions on the market, so it can be difficult to know where to start.

We’ve compiled a list of 7 key things to look for when selecting the right leave management platform to meet your organisation’s requirements:


The level of customisation available to you within a leave management platform is great for tailoring your and your employees’ experience of using the software.

For example, if your organisation offers custom leave types such as volunteering days, or you have minimum staffing levels to manage, or you’d like to set rules for automatically approving or denying leave requests that meet certain criteria, a system that allows you to set up all of those things is going to be of huge benefit to your absence management process.


A leave management system needs to give you complete visibility of who’s off, when and for long. Visibility of the leave that is being used (or not used) within your organisation should be easy to breakdown – whether that’s for a certain location, office, team or individual. Look for a system that enables you to do this so that you can resource plan in the most effective way.

Group calendars are also a great feature – allowing all employees to view not only their personal calendar, but that of their team or whole organisation – making booking and requesting leave that doesn’t clash with others so much simpler.

Ease of use

It almost goes without saying, but any leave management system needs to be easy to use above anything else. If it’s clunky, not very intuitive or unreliable in its performance, you may end up spending more time using it which defeats one of the purposes of having it in the first place.

Make sure you explore how a platform works and take advantage of a free demo prior to committing to it, so you know exactly how the system looks and works. At edays we’re more than happy to show you and your stakeholders how our leave management software works and how to use it, so that rolling it out to the entire organisation is simple and straightforward.


Requesting and approving holiday and leave can be transformed into a straightforward process by saying goodbye to spreadsheets and manual processes. But to completely automate your approach to leave management, you want a software that is feature-rich.

So, a leave management system should come with a plethora of functionalities to improve the entire absence and leave experience for HR, managers and employees.

Whether it’s email alerts, triggers, personal and group calendars, the ability to control who has access to what, document storage, Bradford Factor calculator or an easy-to-use mobile app, take a deep dive into a software’s features and capabilities. You’ll be able to see how you can get the most out of the product, and make sure it’s not going to fall short of your requirements.


How well can a leave management system handle complexities within your organisation? For example, if you have part-time and full-time employees, a single system should be able to calculate and track leave entitlements for both. Or, if your organisation is spread across multiple locations or even countries, does the software enable you to be compliant with varying guidelines and legislation in different regions?

For larger organisations with multiple offices, sites or teams, the right leave management system should enable you to align all your absence and leave processes and policies in one – giving the a complete picture of how absence and leave is impacting your business.

Mobile App

A fantastic benefit that some leave management systems have over others is a mobile app, which lets managers approve holiday requests and log sickness on the go, and allows employees to request leave from anywhere, any time.

It turns an already quick task into an even quicker one – saving you from logging in via your desktop browser. It’s also great for employees who aren’t office-based or who are away from their desktop for large portions of the day.


Having a staff holiday booking system is a huge time and admin-saver, but what can it tell you about your organisation? How do you know if an employee is using up all of their holiday allowance, or if they haven’t taken a day off in six months? Is a certain department in your organisation struggling with their workloads and not using any holiday? What is your organisation’s sickness absence rate?

Having a leave management system that has reporting capabilities is a must-have for answering those questions and revealing how absence and leave is impacting your organisation. It can be a vital tool to use for resource planning and management, and empowers HR and managers to be proactive in checking-in on the wellbeing of their employees.

Here are 7 leave management systems on the market


Our leave management system covers all of the basics for SME, mid-sized and global organisations. It’s an easy-to-use solution for staff holiday booking, but it also includes all other types of leave, custom leave, sickness tracking, absence reporting and more. Does your organisation operate across multiple locations and/or have part-time employees? That’s also not a problem, and is easily managed in our software.

Our mobile app makes the employee experience even greater too – leave requests can be made from anywhere, any time. Managers receive a request alert, quickly have sight of it and who else might be off at the same time, and approve or deny the request in a couple of taps, all via the app.


A great system for simple employee holiday management. Timetastic offers time-tracking functionality to manage employees’ annual leave at small businesses.


CharlieHR is a great time-off management system for UK startups. It offers annual leave management, custom leave types, leave allowance calculations, annual leave reporting functions and more – all within a clean, easy-to-use platform.

Who’s Off

A popular time management and overtime management platform that offers staff holiday booking, as well as overtime tracking and calculating time off in lieu. A great platform to use whether you’re a small or global organisation.


BambooHR is a platform for small to medium-sized companies, offering leave management as well as onboarding, performance management and payroll. Most of its features are specifically designed for organisations operating out of the United States.


A HR platform designed to be used by medium-sized organisations to manage the lifecycle of an employee – from payroll, to benefits administration and analytics. It includes a leave management component that allows you to centralise all holiday requests, approvals and bookings in one place.

Leave Dates

Leave Dates is a simple staff holiday planner which can also be used to log sick days. It is a great tool for small companies in particular, and is free to use for businesses with five employees or fewer.

Want to see edays for yourself? Book a free, personalised demo here.

Georgina at edays
April 21, 2023

Georgina Mackintosh is an accomplished copywriter and marketing professional with a background that spans several industries. Her writing focuses on HR topics such as employee wellbeing, engagement and experience - as well as absence management best practice, how-to guides and news from the HR sector.