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4 Reasons Why Organisations Should Automate Absence Management

30 September 2019 4 min read

Man working at desk with lots of paperwork

Automating key business processes such as payroll and accounting is now routine across organizations. Using specialist software can help with both accuracy and speed when carrying out these administrative tasks. However, when it comes to managing employee absences, many organizations are still using spreadsheets, holiday request forms, and even email. Whilst many will argue that these methods work for them; they are simply not sustainable for a growing organization.

An online absence system that can automatically monitor and report, will significantly reduce the costs associated with employee absence. A fully automated absence management system can significantly help managers and HR gain insight and provides a better understanding of how absenteeism is affecting their organization.

Cost of employee sickness to UK organisations statistic


With employee sickness costing businesses every year, we have outlined 4 reasons why ditching the old paper and spreadsheets, and automating absence management should be made a priority for all organizations.

Reason 1: Save money

Automated absence management software significantly helps in reducing an organization’s absence-related costs. Managers/HR are alerted to absence issues immediately, allowing them to perform early intervention measures to minimize re-occurrences of employee absence. The power of data is at the fingertips of HR, with simple online dashboards and reports giving at-a-glance absence data insight. The end result is a significant reduction in unplanned employee absences.

Keeping in line with saving money, automated absence management ensures that sick pay is processed accurately. This is achieved at the click of a button, by combining precise sickness data with monthly absence reporting for payroll. This immediate bottom-line saving usually covers the cost of having an absence management solution several times over.

Reason 2: Productivity gains across the whole business

Improving employee productivity is an ongoing task for managers and HR. Automating absence management through employee/manager/HR self-service portals speeds up and simplifies the entire absence management process.

Currently, most businesses rely on employees to email their line managers and then wait for a reply. This could be a matter of minutes but could take days if not weeks if the manager is away. Once approved, the manager would then need to inform someone in HR and the employee to then manually add this into their calendar. A long process with lots of hazards to trip over.

An automated solution allows employees to book holidays online, with days off being automatically populated within their calendar. And if that employee’s line manager is off? Not to worry, as the request will be pushed to the next person up the chain. A quicker turnaround and fewer people involved, therefore allowing everyone to get back to their day jobs.

Reason 3: Dynamic data insight for managers and HR

Spreadsheets and paper-based systems are unable to provide the level of functionality that automated absence management can offer. Automated absence management features such as return-to-work forms, minimum staffing levels, shared calendars, and Bradford factor tracking can all be considered essential tools in achieving a streamlined absence management process.

Along with these additional features, because data on all different absences are stored within the system, HR managers can run various reports to really understand the business’s absences and tackle any issues.

Reason 4: Quick and easy implementation

The more superior online absence management solutions are typically delivered via Software-as-a-Service, ensuring implementation is rapid. Each solution is rolled out remotely, without the need for any hardware or software installations. Historic absence data can be imported, configuration settings can be mapped to different organizations, and administrative training is usually provided via live one-to-one webinars. The result is a hassle-free rollout.

In addition, absence management solutions can be seamlessly integrated with existing HR and business systems such as PeopleSoft, SAP, and Workday to combine employee data.


Unlike an Excel holiday spreadsheet or paper-based system, absence management solutions deliver value to managers and HR by providing instant access to accurate employee absence records. Employees can also quickly access their holiday entitlement and request time off work with ease.

Organizations who use absence management software instead of a manual process benefit significantly in terms of both cost and time-saving. Additionally, this is all provided within an easy-to-use online application.

Automated absence management solutions are simply the most convenient, cost-effective, and time-efficient methods for managing employee absences.

Edays is purpose-built to deal with absence, to comply locally but think and act globally, wherever you are in the world. Because absence matters. Book a demo to see just how easy it is to use.

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Katrina Bennett People Director at edays
September 30, 2019

Katrina is edays' own People Director with significant UK and international experience in delivering people strategy and value-adding HR solutions across a range of organisations and sectors (including Arriva, Boots, Rolls Royce, the utility and charity sectors). Katrina has over 20 years of experience in Human Resources and is CIPD qualified.