Blog post

Can you take holidays by the hour in HRLocker?

We’re often asked if HRLocker can allow employees to take their holidays by the hour. (The answer is no. But there are workarounds to make that a yes!)

However, we usually throw the question back and ask ‘why’re you managing your team so microscopically?’

HRLocker is built with Best practices and the workplace – and workforce – of the future in mind. We’re all about helping you unlock your team’s potential, not suffocating it.

If someone wants an hour or two off – even in a largely paid-by-the-hour sector such as catering or retail – let them have it. And let them ‘give it back’.

Fostering a culture of trust will reward you back with loyalty and responsibility for the kind of stuff you really need.

If you don’t give trust, you’re less likely to have faithful staff that help you achieve your goals.


What kind of workers do you want?

Employees you can rely on, or ones you can beat with a stick and need to follow how their time’s spent down to the second?

Sure you get unreliable workers. But micro-managing at this scale won’t help you retain them, it will only expedite how and why you part ways.

Frankly, if they’re that unreliable you were going to part ways regardless.

Our advice is to cultivate a different environment that attracts and retains the right kind of team players. At any level in your organisation.

If you work with people they will return the favour in bucket loads with good work, loyalty and reliability.

We hear from a surprising number of employers looking for HRIS systems that come with a big list of requirements (that’s good, you need to make a list) and the holidays by the hour are quite often a ‘deal breaker’.


Why? Usually, the rest of the list is ticked off and this can become a tricky point for the stickler.

The customers in this situation that we see ‘set free’ by using HR automation usually do the simplest thing, which is to change the policy!

If you ask for two hours off why not just take a half day? If they only need an hour to nip out to do something important, let them. Be a human being about it, not a taskmaster.

If you need to get across town for an appointment and back, you’re likely to take a half day in reality anyway by the time you’ve built in time for delays, stopping for a snack etc.

In the long term, the looser leash is definitely the smartest choice. Even if you have a system to calculate when people really left and returned to work, tracking and monitoring time off down to this level is really time-consuming from the managers’ point of view too.

This type of worker is rarely your most expensive team member either. It’s likely these are unskilled employees in question anyway.

So, in effect, you’re measuring an ‘nth’ % of a small % of your headcount cost anyway. And as a costlier employee yourself in a People Management function, you’re spending your higher hourly cost on something as irrelevant as this?

Are you as strict with your managers and skilled workers? They cost you significantly more.

Would they like reigns this tight? No. And they arguably contribute a lot more to the business.


Why? Because they’re trusted too.

If you trust your managers, let your company culture and Brand Value philosophies spread to trust your regular employees just as much.

HRLocker has a TOIL (Time Off in Lieu) function that allows staff to accumulate time off based on overtime worked.

The system allows these hours to be claimed by multiple of either half or full days, as defined by the working times you set up for that employee and/or office in the system.

We could certainly, quite rapidly, roll out the capability to give holidays by the hour. But we won’t. (That said, we actually have some workarounds for this … )


Why? Because we don’t believe in that. We hear so much from happy customers that feel massive relief that their heavy-lifting admin is taken care of and that they can focus on proactive employee management instead, working with their team to advance their overall skills and happiness and productivity rather than checking up on them all the time.

It’s really unlikely we’d ever hear from somebody that’s glad they have a better stick to hit people with.

Sorry. But we’re only really interested in working with forward-thinking employers, not draconian, power-hungry control freaks.


HRLocker’s CEO, Adam Coleman

Can you take holidays by the hour in HRLocker? was last modified: September 27th, 2023 by Adam Coleman

Enquire about using HRLocker in your organisation in 2024

Book a Demo

Join our Newsletter

Receive blog posts, updates & keep up to date with HRLocker!