You don’t have to swim in scattered paper piles and spreadsheets anymore. Leave management systems are the most automated, seamless, and painless process for requesting and approving time off.

When an employee asks for time off, your mind automatically goes to thinking about how it will affect the business.

Manually altering your staff schedules, recording absences, and calculating payroll is extremely time-consuming. More often than not, this inevitably results in errors.

With a leave management system, absences are quickly processed, tracked, and managed automatically for conflict-free scheduling. Whether you’re in Human Resources or a business owner, put your mind at ease with these 7 best leave management systems.

If you don’t have the time to read through our research, jump down to our quick comparison table.

Our Top Picks

  1. Best all-in-one leave management system for streamlined processes

  2. Great as a flexible absence-approval hierarchy system

  3. Good for clever for using time-off trends to better understand absences in the future

What to Look For in a Leave Management System

Leave management systems are never the same. When it comes to making the best choice for your business, look out for the following:

  • Time Clock: records entries automatically into easy-to-read timesheets.
  • Smart Scheduling: senses scheduling patterns, makes suggestions, & flags overlaps.
  • Cost: find pricing that will be affordable even as you grow as a company.
  • Alert System: notifications of incoming absence requests that need your approval.
  • Seamless Workflow: an all-in-one intuitive system that’s easy and simple to operate.
  • Calculator: accounts for all recorded absences (paid or unpaid); per each employee.

The 7 Best Leave Management Systems of 2024

  1. Connecteam — Best all-in-one leave management system for streamlined processes

    Available on

    • Web
    • iOS
    • Android

    Connecteam is the best leave management system out there. The award-winning all-in-one employee management platform serves more than 36,000 companies in over 80 countries. We have made Connecteam fully customizable so you can set your own rules according to your national laws and company policies; simply set the rules, and everything will be calculated and flagged accordingly.

    Connecteam’s employee absence tracker is simple and easy to use. Employees pick an absence option amongst the given options, mark the time and dates they will be absent, and once submitted, the request is sent directly to you. On your end, you’ll be notified of requests automatically and red-flagged if multiple requests conflict. From there, you can control who will be granted approval or denial.

    Once time-off has been granted, each submission is automatically recorded for payroll. Connecteam calculates time-off in categories so that paid and unpaid absences aren’t grouped. This can be especially helpful if you count wages according to hourly time rather than days in bulk. The time-off will be docked off of an employee’s payroll accordingly.

    Connecteam’s all-inclusive scheduling app and employee time clock work together to help you make the right decisions when it comes to absences, all while abiding by your time-off rules and regulations.

    Connecteam also offers a free for life plan – Get Started Now!

    Key Features

    Pros

    • An all-inclusive schedule, absence, and time tracker.

    • Smooth process from employee to manager

    • Flexible absence rules

    • Timely notifications

    Cons

    • Mobile and desktop visibility differs.

    Pricing

    Free-for-life plan availablePremium plans start at $29/month for 30 users

    14-day free trial, no credit card required

    Start your free trial
  2. Calamari — Great as a flexible absence-approval hierarchy system

    Available on

    • Web
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Windows
    • Mac
    Screenshot of the Calamari webpage

    Calamari’s leave management system integrates with other platforms such as Slack, Jira, and Google Apps. Calamari is customizable and can be adapted according to your company policy. The flow of requests and approved or denied absences is also very versatile.

    Learn more about Calamari

    Key Features

    • Attached files onto absences as supportive evidence
    • Settings can be quickly set by region
    • Keeps past history of absences on record
    • Notification & alert system

    Pros

    • All data is found in one place
    • Requests & approvals can be done on the go

    Cons

    • Relies on integrations to be fully functional
    • Time clock is a separate product from the LMS platform

    Pricing

    Starts at $2/user/month ($20 minimum) Trial: Yes Free Plan: No

  3. LeaveBoard — Good for clever for using time-off trends to better understand absences in the future

    Available on

    • Web
    • iOS
    • Android
    Screenshot of the Leave Board webpage

    Leave Board promotes a time-off process that has an air of self-service to it all. It is completely automated and cloud-based so that users can visually see their time-off allowance and ask, or rather “book” time-off accordingly. With an employee database, you can then view all employee absence records at a centralized location. Search for specific employees or filter according to teams, office, country, or even job position. This stored information acts not only as a record keeper but is turned into data insights for HR purposes. HR can finally have data to gain a better sense of employee absence trends and how this can help your company better forecast future company policy needs, alters, additions, changes, etc.

    Learn more about LeaveBoard

    Key Features

    • Control approval of absences
    • Overtime calculator
    • Portal for self-service station
    • Analytics & data reports

    Pros

    • Data insights for bettered absentee policy
    • Both self-served and controlled by upper management

    Cons

    • Outdated interface
    • Uses 3rd party systems that you may not want to use

    Pricing

    Starts at $1.35/user/month Trial: Yes — 14-day Free Plan: Yes

  4. PlanMyLeave — Good for companies that need a system that can support languages beyond English

    Available on

    • Web
    Screenshot of the PlanMyLeave webpage

    PlanMyLeave’s leave management system is extremely customizable to your company practices. The absence rules applied per department, employee level, and location, don’t need to be one in the same; they can be altered to fit each more appropriately. With PlanMyLeave, employees submit an absence along with any relevant documents. Employers will be notified of requests in real-time and can reference the company-wide calendar to make their final decisions. PlanMyLeave supports many different languages, locations, and thus a variety of absence laws.

    Learn more about PlanMyLeave

    Key Features

    • Mobile-friendly
    • Customizable settings
    • Dashboard
    • No time-off overlaps

    Pros

    • Gender-based leave
    • Multiple locations can be customized their own way

    Cons

    • Extremely outdated interface
    • Customers report slow software

    Pricing

    Starts at $1/user/month ($30 minimum) Trial: Yes Free Plan: No

  5. Timetastic — Good for multiple variations of absence views for both managers and employees. 

    Available on

    • Web
    • iOS
    • Android
    • Windows
    • Mac
    Screenshot of the Timetastic webpage

    Timastic’s leave management system is visually appealing and known for its wallchart display that makes seeing all employee absences at once easy. This month-by-month visual is helpful for an overview, but on top of that, Timetastic has a weekly roundup, so you know what to expect and focus on for the week to come. On an employee’s end, they will each have their own personal calendar and summaries of used time-off, available time-off, email notifications of granted requests, and even their break trends.

    Learn more about Timetastic

    Key Features

    • Approval control workflow
    • Calendar views
    • Track overtime
    • Summary reports

    Pros

    • Leave types are customizable
    • Good notification system

    Cons

    • Unable to edit requests
    • Depends on integrations

    Pricing

    Starts at $1.05/user/month Trial: Yes Free Plan: No

  6. Freshteam by Freshworks — Good for full HR experience with tools that exceed leave management system tools

    Available on

    • Web
    • iOS
    • Android
    Screenshot of the Freshteam by Freshworks webpage

    Freshteam by Freshworks provides a full HR experience with tools such as onboarding/offboarding, employee information systems, a tracking system, and HR reports on top of the leave management system. This is all-inclusive but differs from price plan to price plan. The leave management system offers the usual customization for time-off types and welcomes any customization based on region and/or company policy. Both your side of approvals and the employee’s end are doable on the web and mobile.

    Learn more about Freshteam by Freshworks

    Key Features

    • Automated time-off workflow
    • HR reports
    • Notification center
    • Recruitment services

    Pros

    • Varied lines of support (email, chat, phone)
    • Bulk sent out email option

    Cons

    • Limit in time-off policy customization per price bundle
    • Scheduling is dependent on 3rd party integrations

    Pricing

    Starts at $1.20/user/month + platfrom fees Trial: Yes Free Plan: Yes

  7. Built for Teams — Good for customizable pricing that makes it easy to pay only for what need

    Available on

    • Web
    • iOS
    • Android
    Screenshot of the Built for Teams webpage

    ates in relation to the inputted hours. When it comes to requesting time off, employees can have access to the entire company calendar to ensure that they are minimizing schedule clashes so that it won’t intercept with the staffing needs of the company. Calendars and changes to time-off are always kept up to date in real-time.

    Learn more about Built for Teams

    Key Features

    • Collaboration tools
    • Employee profile pages
    • Filter system for calendar view
    • Sharable time-off requests

    Pros

    • Exportable reports to print out
    • Updates are automatically done

    Cons

    • Not user-friendly, with too many details
    • ½ day holidays are not recognized

    Pricing

    Contact vendor for price Trial: Yes Free Plan: No

Compare the Best Leave Management Systems

Topic Start for free
Reviews
4.8
4.7
4.4
4
4.7
4.4
4.7
Pricing
Starts at just $29/month for the first 30 users
Starts at $2/user/month ($20 minimum)
Starts at $1.35/user/month
Starts at $1/user/month ($30 minimum)
Starts at $1.05/user/month
Starts at $1.20/user/month + platfrom fees
Contact vendor for price
Free Trial
yes
14-day
yes
yes
14-day
yes
yes
yes
yes
Free Plan
yes
Free Up to 10 users
no
yes
no
no
yes
no
Use cases
Best all-in-one leave management system for streamlined processes
Great as a flexible absence-approval hierarchy system
Good for clever for using time-off trends to better understand absences in the future
Good for companies that need a system that can support languages beyond English
Good for multiple variations of absence views for both managers and employees. 
Good for full HR experience with tools that exceed leave management system tools
Good for customizable pricing that makes it easy to pay only for what need
Available on
Web, iOS, Android
Web, iOS, Android, Windows, Mac
Web, iOS, Android
Web
Web, iOS, Android, Windows, Mac
Web, iOS, Android
Web, iOS, Android

What Is a Leave Management System? 

A leave management system is software through which an employee can request any form of time-off, and managers or HR staff can approve or deny it. This cloud-based solution is often directly connected to your company’s payroll software to keep a record of all absences (both paid and unpaid) and ensure employees aren’t mispaid. Leave management systems are additionally useful to detect employee absence patterns and provide both you and your employees with an automatically calculated total of available time-off balance and absence history.

How Do Leave Management Systems Work?

As employees log in to their profile on the platform, they will go to the absence tracker and choose the dates they need time off and detail their reason for time off. You’ll receive a notification of such a request, and then it is up to you to decide whether you’d like to approve or deny this.

Suppose you’re unsure whether you should grant their leave of absence. In that case, you can simultaneously see how many absences they’ve accumulated in the past, and additionally, check out the full-view scheduler that gives a visual of the workload in the coming weeks.

Once this is granted or denied, employees will receive another notification. If it is granted, this will be automatically accounted for in payroll, and if it is denied, an employee can carry on as so or submit another request offering different dates.

Why Should I Use a Leave Management System? 

It is a lot of responsibility to manage employee absence requests, so to have something that automatically does it for you should already be reason enough to use a leave management system.

How this is done automatically for your convenience is what makes it so beneficial:

  • Complies with labor laws such as vacation and overtime rights
  • Automatic notifications keep everyone up to date, and efficient
  • No more manualized spreadsheets, lost papers, and calculations
  • Pay only what is deserved, and not over or under, based on accurate absence records
  • Nothing slips through the cracks– you’re made aware in proper time to schedule accordingly
  • Seamless workflow
  • No need for HR (less of a need to hire unnecessary employees)

How Much Does a Leave Management System Cost?

Leave management systems often go hand-in-hand with scheduler software systems. This can either be charged as double or as a package deal. That being said, many leave management systems will range across the board, but normally it falls between $50 a month to $100 for 50 users.

As you can probably imagine, the best deals you’ll find are priced at a fixed cost instead of per employee.

Connecteam is a steal with our fixed rate of $29 for up to 30 users. This is an all-in-one solution, so you can feel confident knowing that you’re getting a full package deal in return for such an affordable price.

FAQs

What are the main leave types I should put into my company policy?

It’s important to distinguish the difference between your paid and unpaid leave types so that your payroll is properly calculated. Knowing what should be paid or unpaid and what’s considered overtime in your company sometimes comes down to your local, state, and national laws.

On average, this is what you’ll expect from most places:

Paid Leave

  • Vacation days (according to company limit)
  • Maternity and paternity leave
  • Sick days
  • Military obligations
  • National holidays
  • Sabbaticals

Unpaid Leave

  • Furlough
  • Personal time-off requests

Many paid leaves in one state, can be considered unpaid in another. So, as noted, it boils down to what applies to you in your location.

How do leave management systems help my employees?

There is mutual interest in leave management systems for your employees, as there is for you.

Studies show that giving breaks to employees will result in more productivity. It’s important that employees know exactly what they have rights to so that they can be this efficient.

Requesting an absence can feel uncomfortable or sometimes an employee might not even have the time or space to bring it up to you. Through the no-contact approach to leave management systems, employees finally have all the opportunity to ask for time away.

The Bottom Line On Leave Management System

Leave management systems are beneficial to both you and your employees. On your end, you can know that when employees need time off, you can approve or deny according to company needs without having to hassle through a myriad of manualized calculations of overtime rules and staffing needs on the schedule maker.

We believe Connecteam is the number one platform choice of the best leave management systems for its ability to do so seamlessly. From managing your company’s time off policies to automatically processing incoming time off requests accordingly, Connecteam has it all covered and incorporated into its all-in-one employee management solution.