Frequently answered questions


How do I sign up to WhosOffice?

That's easy, just simply click on the Free Trial link above and you will be presented with a form, complete the form and hey presto! Let the magic commence...

Are there any setup fees or minimum contract length?

There are no setup fees and there is no minimum contract. All we ask is that you give us 30 day notice should you wish cancel using the service.

How do I set up a minimum Group or Department level?

Minimum Department Levels allow you to set how many staff members you need at work on any given day within a Group (Department). Once this Level has been reached staff won't be able to request leave on any given day.

You can set Department (we use GROUPS) levels via the Settings Menu > Rules

  • Click Create a new Rule
  • Enter a Name for the Rule e.g. "Sales Min Dept Level"
  • Set Rule Type to GROUP
  • Choose the GROUP you want to apply the rule to
  • Select function as "Min Group Level" 
  • Enter a value for the level
  • Choose whether the Approver Decides (and can override) or just Block Leave (at the time of Request)
  • Go to Leave Types, for each Leave Type that affects Department Levels, choose Options and check "Include in Min Group" 

If you want to set the Maximum number of Staff who can be Off you can select the function to be: "Max Group Level"

Min. Group Levels also apply to your Manning Levels on each day in the Work Planner for the chosen Group.

Why are my times correct, but all my co workers are wrong?

As Users on WhosOffice can set to their own Time Zone based on where they work or where their office is based around the world (London, France, US etc.) it is possible that not all Users will be in the same location. Therefore you may need to check your Time Zone setting

  • Click on your Name at the top of your screen
  • Select My Details / Settings
  • Click the Location Settings tab

You may also want to check your staff members Time Zones also, to see what Time Zone they are in.

  • From the Settings menu click Users
  • Find and click on the required Users Name
  • On the left click Account Settings
  • See the Timezone drop-down box.

The times for your Work, Leave and Overtime are displayed in your local time. Even if your Co-Workers are in a different time zone, these occurences will also show up in YOUR local time.


If your Time Zone is -8 US Pacific  and you work 09:00 - 17.30 - it will display as 09:00 - 17.30

If your co worker Time zone is (GMT/London) and they work 09:00 - 17.30 it will display as 17:00 - 01:30 (your local time).

How do I set up Calendar Feeds?

Calendar feeds are a great feature for accessing WhosOffice Work, Leave and Events data outside of the system. Calendar feeds can be created by an individual user and is unique to that person, allowing them to create a separate calendar in their Outlook, Google or iCal Calendars.

First, the Administrator needs to have granted permission for users to create their own feeds.

  • This is accessed via Settings
  • User Roles
  • Click on the [Role Name] and click the Permissions tab on the left
  • The Calendar feed permission is under General.

Once this has been set to "Yes", Users in that Role will then be able to access the Feed Settings under the "My Details/Settings" area.

Using "Feed Settings" in My Details/Settings

  • Select the feed duration: 6 months forward/6 months back is usually suitable for most cases.
  • Set whether you want to include Work, Leave and / or Events.  
  • Choose how you want Times on the Feed to be presented, you can choose to display times of work, leave or events in either your Local Time or relevant to your colleagues who may be in different Time Zones.

Click Save.

Once saved you will then be able to select further options under the Work, Leave and Events tabs to further define your feed.

Click the Feed Link to import directly into your email client (MS Outlook) or copy into your Google Calendar / iCal.




Dashboard - What does all the information mean?

Throughout WhosOffice lots of information will be displayed to each user and, depending which page they are on, it will be specific to either their Work, Leave, Overtime or local Bank Holidays. The Dashboard acts as a central hub for each staff member, offering them snapshot pieces of useful information that can help them when they are looking to make bookings on their WhosOffice account. Below you will find a breakdown of what sort of information is displayed.

Please note that the Dashboard cannot be customised to display tailored information.

VIEW WORK/SHIFTS (far left top)

Whilst not every company will use the full elements of the working time tools that are available in WhosOffice, it is still a key area which allows staff to correctly book leave and ensure that the right amount of allowance is deducted. On each users Dashboard they will see a countdown of Hours/Days until their next due to be at work. This countdown takes into consideration any leave or company event i.e. Christmas Closures, Bank Holidays.

By clicking on the countdown, the user will then be able to see a monthly overview of their teams working time for the current month.

VIEW LEAVE (centre top left)

This countdown allows the user to quickly see the status of their next planned leave request, the system will show how long until the next leave is due to start but also whether it is still pending or not - being able to see the status could be quite important if the leave is due to start soon but has not yet been approved.

Clicking on this field brings up a monthly overview of your teams leave requests.

VIEW COMPANY EVENTS (centre top right)

In a similar fashion to the 2 countdowns mentioned above, this section counts down to the next planned company event that affects you, or your group, specifically. These Events could represent important calendar events for the department or entire company - or they could just represent any local public holidays.

Clicking on this field brings up a monthly overview of any events that are relevant to you.


These options give you direct access to be able to request leave, submit overtime or access any useful help and support articles.

MY CALENDAR FOR ..... (bottom left)

Sometimes a countdown until your next working day, leave request or company event isn't clear enough to see what's really going on for you over a certain period of time. The monthly calendar indicated in the bottom left hand corner of the Dashboard alleviates any potential concerns you might have over spacing out your leave in accordance with your company policies. Using this quick calendar tool, you can very quickly scan throughout the year forwards, but also backwards, to find out exactly what's going on.

As the dashboard is personal to you, this calendar will only display your own information, for information on what's going on within your team(s), you can refer to the dedicated team views.


Within the centre panel of your dashboard there are 2 tabs that are setup to show different pieces of information dependent on your level of access to WhosOffice. 1 other tab is constantly available regardless of your user level access.

  • Tasks - From here you can see whether any tasks have been scheduled for you on a certain day of the week or month.
  • Pending Items - If you approve for certain members of staff within your company, their pending Leave or Overtime requests will be visible here. By clicking on any of these requests, you will have direct access to the request itself, where you can then action it accordingly.
  • Notifications - This allows you to quickly find out if your Leave or Overtime requests have been approved or not. 

Pending items and Notifications can be cleared individually by pressing the bin icon in line with each prompt, or they can be cleared in one go by scrolling down and pressing clear all. This does not affect the leave / overtime request that the prompt refers to.


Staff will always be able to view their current active balances for This Year, and any future years, when they've been applied to their profile. Allowances are typically just used for holiday entitlement, but they can also be used to represent alternative means of entitlement such as Parental Leave, TOIL, Purchased Leave etc. The format of the Leave Allowances is made up of the following;

  • Allowance Pot - Indicates the Allowance Pot that has been granted to you
  • From - Indicates what year the entitlement applies to*
  • Open - This value shows you what you started the leave year with, whilst this is normally a static figure that doesn't change, it could change monthly if your company accrues leave on a month by month basis.
  • Left - This shows you how much leave entitlement you currently have left.
  • C/O Left - If you have carried any leave entitlement over into the current year, you will be able to see how much Carryover you currently have left to take. This field will disappear once Carryover is exhausted, or if it has expired.

It is important to note that Administrators will always be able to view any allowances for staff that they can SEE within the system. This includes any Carryover, and standard leave entitlement.

*whilst the From section indicates the start month and year it applies to, this could be different for various staff, if their holiday years are not the same i.e. Some staff could run from Jan - Dec, whilst others might be Apr - Mar.

 COMPANY MESSAGES (bottom right)

This section allows you to view any important company messages that have been setup to be displayed on your Dashboard. This can also be viewed next to the Notification icon in the top right hand corner of your page

How do I change someones holiday year?

While you can change a user's holiday year within WhosOffice, doing so requires a bit of a 'stepping-backward' process - before you can change the holiday year, you must remove any allowances, and before you can remove the allowances you must remove any leave requests. For this reason, if the user has a lot of history in WhosOffice, it may be easier to delete them (downloading the required copy of their data beforehand) and then set them up again with the new holiday year.

To remove the Leave and Allowances;

  1. Go to Leave > Leave Admin. From here you'll be able to find and cancel any leave requests (all leave, past and future will need to be removed)
  2. Go to Settings > Users > click on a Users' name > Leave Allowances, where you can delete each allowance pot.

Once you've completed the above, refresh your page. On the resulting screen, the Allowance Calendar Year option will become available for you to select the correct one going forward, then click Save.

You will then need to refresh your page again once saved, this will then enable you to be able to re-enter any allowances and leave requests into the system for this user.

If you are changing the holiday year for a large number of staff, feel free to contact the support team, who may be able to assist with a bulk change to the holiday year for the required users.

How to create a new user from scratch

To create a new user, you can;

  • Go to the Settings and click Users
  • Click Create/Import User
  • Enter the individual's details, the Staff code and Title are optional but the following must be included:
    • Name
    • Employment start date
    • Allowance calendar year
    • Working pattern (if you choose None, you will still need to enter a working pattern on the Work Planner page later)
    • Pattern start date (this is usually a Monday)
    • User role
    • Region
    • Default group (i.e. department)
    • Email address
    • Password, which must follow the requirements (
  • Click Save
  • At first, the group that you selected as their default group will be the only group the user is IN and the only group they can SEE; to place them in additional groups or let them see additional groups, go to the Groups tab on the left and use the dropdowns within
  • Then to assign the user an approver, go to the Leave approvers tab on the left and assign at least an Approver 1, then click Save
  • To apply the user to any relevant allowance policies, click the Leave policies tab and use the dropdown within, then click Save
  • To set up the user's initial allowance, go to the Leave allowances tab and select the relevant pot, then choose the Unit (days/hours) and enter the Opening and Remaining balance. Click Add.

Depending on your company's preferences, some of the above steps, like applying allowance policies, make not be applicable. Once you have set up the user, you can use their Account Details tab to send a welcome message (via the button at the bottom right).

How do I reset my password?

If you have forgotten your password, there is a 'Forgot your password' link on the login page of your company's WhosOffice account that will allow you to receive a new password. After clicking this link, you will be asked to enter your email address, and then you will be sent an email containing your new login details.

If you don't see an email, please check that it has not gone to your Spam / Junk folder, and that you have whitelisted emails from no-reply [at] whosoffice [dot] com. 

Once you have logged in, you will be asked to create a new password. Complete this, and you will be sent straight to your WhosOffice dashboard.


How much will it cost me per month?

Click the on the Pricing link above to view our Pricing Calculator. The pricing breakdown is based on how many Users you intend on uploading onto your WhosOffice account. Enter the number of Users into the form and the pricing will then automatically be calculated for you.

How do I let my Accounts team get access to Invoicing and Payments?

In WhosOffice you can create User roles for users which can allow them access to different parts of the system. To allow your staff members to have access to the Invoicing and Payments area of the system you can use the below to help.

  • From the Settings menu click [User Roles].
  • On the resulting page you can either Edit an existing Role or click the Create New Role link to start from scratch.
  • Once you have clicked the Create New Role link you can choose to name the Role, for example, Accounts.
  • Once you have chosen the name for the Role and clicked save you can apply some permissions for the new Role by clicking the Permissions Tab. For example, you want to give it all the same permissions as the Staff Role but with the "Invoicing and Payments" permission set to Full Access.

When you have successfully Created / Edited your new Role you can apply it to a User by going into their Personal Record i.e. Settings Menu > Users > Click the User's Name > Account Settings > User Role.


Can I setup 2 approvers for some leave types?

Within Leave Types you are able to specify what level of Approval the request needs. You can choose from any of the below

  • Single, First Approver
  • Single, Any Approver
  • Both Approvers
  • Chain, 1st then 2nd Approver

To set up that a Leave Type requires two Approvers follow the below;

  • From the Leave menu click Leave Types
  • Find and select the relevant Leave Type
  • Click the Approvals tab

Here you will see options to set the Approval Level - Choose either Both Approvers or Chain (if Approval needs to be approved in order)

Then to ensure that you have set up 2 Approvers for the staff member;

  • From the Settings menu click Users 
  • Click on a user
  • Go to the Leave Approvers tab 
These approvers will need to be in the correct order if you choose to use the Chain Approval system.

How do I manage allowances for different sorts of leave?

In WhosOffice you can manage and administer different "pots" of leave.

For example, a person may have 20 days Annual Leave and 5 days of Sick leave. You can then create Leave types and assign them to be deducted from specific allowance pots .

  • From the Settings Menu click Users
  • Click on the user's Name
  • Click the Leave Allowances tab.

Here you can set up and administer different pots of allowance for the user as necessary.

Why can I not book leave off for a staff member?

When you request leave for another member of staff you need to ensure that they have an Allowance Pot that matches that of the Leave Type you are looking to request e.g. if Holiday / Vacation deducts from Paid Leave and has the Unit Available of Days, the staff member needs to have a Paid leave allowance in Days.

First you may want to check the Leave Type and what Unit and Allowance Pot(s) it relates to.

  • From the Leave menu click [Leave Types]
  • Click on the relevant [Leave Type]
  • On the resulting page check the [Unit Available] and the [Leave Pots] tab on the left.

You may then check the staff members Allowances.

  • From the Settings menu click [Users]
  • Click the staff members [Name]
  • On the left click [Leave Allowances]

If the User hasn't got an appropriate Allowance Pot then you can create one using the fields provided.

How do I set Staff members to accrue leave over time?

You can set various policies affecting leave accrual and carryover etc. This is an example of an ACCRUAL POLICY.

From the Leave Menu choose POLICIES

  • Click Create a New Policy
  • Enter the Name of the policy and Choose the Policy Type "Accrual"
  • Select the Allowance Pot affected (see below*)
  • The Unit to Accrue (DAYS or HOURS*)
  • The Year Affected
  • When you want the process to run - For Accrual that would normally be Monthly
  • Select the Day of the Month (if Monthly)
  • Click Save

Once Saved you will then be able to click the RULES tab and add the following:

Min. Service Length (In Months) = Is how long your staff need to have worked before they are entitled to accrue leave

Days to Accrue on Policy Run =  Is the amount of leave to be accrued each time the policy runs e.g 1.5 days (if you want to accrue 1.5 days per month)

Max Days to Accrue = Is the maximum amount allowed before the accrual process stops e.g. 25 - when the staff member has accrued 25 days, the accrual process will not add any more leave to their allowance.

Finally click the USERS tab to add the Users you want to be affected by the policy. They will need to have the same ALLOWANCE POT and UNIT (as above**) in their Allowances details.

Click here for further information on Leave Policies

How can I set up someone to be an Approver?

Not everyone on WhosOffice can be set as an Approver, first they need to be under a USER ROLE that has the Approver Permissions. An Administrator will be able to intially setup who has the "Approver" User Role. Once this has been done they can set staff members approvers up from the within the Users record (See Below) and also choose what each Approver can do.

You can set up to 2 Approvers for each member of staff and (via the Leave Type settings  see below*) you can decide what level of Approval a Leave Type requires i.e. No Approval, Single or Multiple Approval or even an Approval chain (A specified order of approval).

  • From the Settings Menu, Click Users
  • Select the users Name, or click Create New User
  • Click the Leave Approvers tab on the left
  • Select who Approver 1 will be, and Approver 2 (if required)
  • Choose the CAN permission the approver has

You can also include people to be notified, for example somebody in HR. In the Notifiers field on the Leave Approvers page, You can add as many email addresses as you need, seperated by a semi colon ( ; )

* From the Leave Menu click Leave Types

  • Click the Leave Type to manage or click Create New Leave Type
  • Click the Approvals Tab
  • Chose the appropriate Approval Level (No Approval, Single, Multiple or Chain Approval)
  • Click Save

How do I set a minimum notice period for leave requests?

You can set Notice periods, Cancellation notice and a maximum notice period.

  • From the Leave Menu click Leave Types
  • Choose the Leave Type you want to administer or Create a New Leave Type
  • Click the Restrictions tab
  • Enter the Number of Days (or HOURS) for the Notice Period
  • If Required enter values for the Max Notice Period and Cancellation Period
  • Click Save 

Example: If you enter 7 Days for the Notice Period, Users must request Leave at least 7 days before the Leave is due to Start.

How do I manage carry over?

You can set various policies affecting leave accrual and carryover etc. This is an example of a CARRY OVER policy

From the Leave Menu choose POLICIES

  • Click Create a New Policy
  • Enter the Policy Name
  • Choose Policy Type "Carryover" or "Carryover with update on any leave"(*)
  • Select the Allowance Pot to affect
  • The Unit to carry over (DAYS or HOURS)
  • The Allowance Pot Year affected - This Year (the carryover policy must not be run before the start of the new holiday year)
  • When you want the process to run - For Carry over that would normally be Yearly
  • Select the relevant month of the year (if Yearly)
  • Click Save

Once Saved you will then be able to click the RULES tab and add the following:

  • Min. Service Length (In Months) - this is how long your staff need to have worked before the Carry over rule will apply to them.
  • Max Days to Carryover -  this is the maximum amount of leave that can be carried over
  • Expire x Days after Year Starts - this is when the Carry over needs to be used by, i.e. 90 days would mean the carryover would be deducted if the user books leave that falls within the first 3 months of the new holiday year

Finally click the USERS tab to add the Users you want to be affected by the policy. They will need to have the same ALLOWANCE POT setup in their Allowance details.

*If you want the system to recalculate any leave the staff may have booked ahead of running the carryover process, to ensure that carryover is deducted first, choose the "Carryover with update" option.

Click here for further information on Leave Policies

Why can I not add a user to a Carry over or Accrual policy?

When you set up a policy, you can define which Allowance Pot it relates to and whether the Allowance Unit will be in DAYS or  HOURS.

You need make sure that the User has the same Allowance Pot and Allowance Unit (Days / Hours) that is affected by the policy. In addition, Users can only be added onto one policy of each type that affects a specific allowance pot i.e. Users cannot be on two accrual policies that affect the Paid Leave allowance pot.

Check the User's Allowance Pots and the Allowance Unit (Days / Hours) by;

  • Click the [Settings] Menu and select [Users]
  • Select the [Allowance] tab
  • Here you can Add or Delete an Allowance Pot for the User

You may also need to check the Allowance Pot and Units Type for the Policy also, to ensure that these are the correct ones for the User you are trying to add.

  • From the Leave Menu click [Policies]
  • Select the relevant Policy
  • Look at the [Allowance Pot] and [Units*] drop-down boxes.

If you have a mix of people who work in HOURS and DAYS then you could create a Carry Over or Accrual policy based on Days and a separate one for Hours.

*Units - These can be set in a Policy as either DAYS or HOURS.

How do I cancel Leave in the past as an Administrator?

In order to be able to Cancel leave that has already occurred (in the past) you need to be setup with the appropriate permissions or as an overall Administrator you will be able to cancel leave in the past. To cancel past leave you can,

  • From the Leave Menu click Leave Admin
  • On the left hand side use the search filters to get the required information on screen i.e. User, Dates, Leave Types
  • Then in line with the relevant Leave Request click View
  • On the left click the Cancel tab
  • You can then either add in any relevant Notes or simply click Cancel Leave.

Cancelling leave will add back any allowances that were deducted at the time of requesting the leave initially.

If you do not have access to Leave Admin, you may need to check your Role Permissions (contact an Account Administrator or your Line Manager).

How can I view what Leave My Staff have booked for This Year?

If you need to view/cancel leave that your staff have already recorded within the system, follow these simple steps to access their leave and manage their requests accordingly.

  • From the Leave Menu click Leave Admin
  • Then using the search filters on the left find the required User
  • You can then click View in line with the required request to view further details or Approve / Cancel it.

On the resulting page you will be able to see any leave requests that have been Approved or are still Pending for the selected User, you can also see how many Days / Hours allowance the user currently has left for This Year.

If you do not have access to Leave Admin, you may need to check your Role Permissions (contact an Account Administrator or your Line Manager).

How do I cancel a leave request?

In order to Cancel leave you can;

  • From the Leave Menu click My Leave
  • Then on the left hand side of the page using the search filters you can find the required leave request. 
  • In line with the appropriate request click View.
  • Then on the left hand side of the page click Cancel Leave.
  • Then on the resulting page click Cancel Leave again. You will then need to confirm the cancellation.

Any allowance that was deducted at the time of the request being submitted / approved will then be added back onto your allowance accordingly.

If the leave request you need to cancel is in the past you will need to contact either your Line Manager or an account Administrator.

How do I track sick leave without letting staff SEE or REQUEST it?

If you want sick leave to be entered on your staff members' behalf, and also want to stop them seeing when their colleagues are off sick, you can set the leave type permissions to allow this.

You can set these permissions via the Leave menu > Leave types

  • Click on the relevant leave type
  • Click the Groups tab on the left
  • Ensure the staff member's group has the following permissions:
    • Requested by - Users approver only or Leave / Overtime admin only (depending on who can enter sick leave for the staff)
    • Seen by - User only
    • Notes visible to - None
Leave admins or approvers will then need to submit the Sick leave on the staff member's behalf via the Request leave page.  

Why are there lots of Duration options when booking leave and what are they for?

When booking time off within WhosOffice there are a choice of different leave durations that you might be able to request (depending on your company settings / policies).

Below you will find each Duration option along with a scenario of where this could be used.


  • Leave Type - Holiday
  • Start Date - 22nd April 2022
  • Duration - All Day

This is more common for booking a single day off.

Example - John Smith would like to book off Friday to ensure he has a long weekend.


  • Leave Type - Holiday
  • Start Date - 21st April 2022
  • Duration - Part of a Day
  • Day Part - 13:45 - 17:30

This is useful for only booking off 1 of 2 parts of your working day i.e. 0.5 Days, this will be based on the working time you have on that specific day.

Example - John Smith would like to include the afternoon of Thursday in his long weekend booking.


  • Leave Type - Holiday
  • Start Date - 13th April 2022
  • Duration - Single Shift: Wed, 13 @ 18:00 - Thu, 14 @ 06:00

This particular duration option will only appear if the Start Date you have selected is a night shift, as such is useful for ensuring that you are only booking off the right amount of Working Time so that the Allowance Deductions can be correct, also it will make your Holiday booking look clearer on the Team Views.

Example - John Smith would like to book off a single Night Shift and would like to clearly show on the Team views that it's the Night Shift starting on Wednesday 13th.


  • Leave Type - Holiday
  • Start Date - Monday 18th April 2022
  • Duration - Greater Than One Day
  • End Date - Sunday 24th April 2022

Make use of this option if you work whole days and are looking to book off more than 1 day i.e. 2 weeks in the summer holidays.

Example - John Smith would like to go on holiday for 1 week and works Monday to Friday, but would like to return to work the following Monday.


  • Leave Type - Holiday
  • Start Date - Monday 25th April 2022
  • Duration - Greater Than One Day, Between Times
  • End Date - Friday 29th April 2022
  • Start Time - 06:00
  • End Time - 08:00

This option allows you to not only book between 2 specific dates, but also allows you to choose what time the leave should Start on the Start Date, and then what time it will End on the End Date selected.

Example - John Smith works 2 Days (06:00 - 18:00) and 2 nights (20:00 - 08:00) and would like to book 4 "Shifts" in a row.


  • Leave Type - Doctors
  • Start Date - 3rd May 2022
  • Duration - Specified Times
  • Times - 09:00 - 10:15

This option is useful because it allows you to choose specific times of a certain leave request, the system then "Cuts" your working day to ensure full transparency on the team view so that your colleagues know when you are out of the office and when you are expected to return.

Example - John Smith has a Doctor's appointment at 09:00 and expects to return to the office at 10:15am.


  • Leave Type - Holiday
  • Start Date - Monday 9th May 2022
  • Duration - Multiple Shifts
  • No. of Shifts - 4 x Shifts : Mon, 9 @ 18:00 - Fri, 13 @ 06:00

This duration option will only appear if the Start Date you have selected is a night shift, and will allow you to book off multiple shifts starting from that date.

Example - John Smith would like to book 4 nights off in a row, from Monday 9th to the morning of Friday 13th.

Whilst there are various types of Duration options available in WhosOffice, your company may have certain Restrictions in place that could prevent you from being able to proceed with your selections. If this is the case you will need to contact your Line Manager and / or Account Administrator.

How do I choose which leave my staff can request or see?

It can be quite important to make sure staff, managers and admins have access to the correct types of leave within your WhosOffice account. An individual's leave permissions are determined by which group(s) they are in, so one way you can do this is to create groups (we'll call them Permission groups that handle the permissions, while also placing staff in their relevant department group. For example, if you had 3 levels of user (staff, approver, admin), you might create the following groups:

  • Staff (permission group)
  • Approver (permission group)
  • Admin (permission group)

To do this;

  • Go to Settings and click Company Groups
  • Click Create new group
  • Enter the group name and choose the Type as 'Group, department'

You can then assign the relevant permissions to each group using the Leave types tab on the left. Leave type permissions are explained in more detail in our knowledgebase article.

Then to assign the departments (e.g. Finance, Marketing, Sales etc.) you can create Tags. Tags are groups that do not have any associated permissions, and are simply a collection of staff. To create a Tag, follow the above steps for creating a group but choose the Type as 'Tag' instead.

Remember that using this structure means all users will need to be in at least 2 groups - their regular department (Tag) and a permission group (Group).


What are Pattern Codes, Work Patterns and Work Planner?

A quick overview of Pattern codes, Work Patterns and Work Planner


These identify an Individual Shift or Working Time on any given day. You can choose the Name, Code and Times that suit your organisation to build up a 'library' all the shifts that you use as well as setting the total number of Paid Hours for each shift.

 e.g  "D" could be DAYS and set to 09.00am to 17.30 pm

         "L"  could be LATES and set to 14.00pm  to  22.00pm

         "N" could be NIGHTS and set to 22.00pm  to  06.00am


These identify a period of work - made up of the Pattern codes above which (usually) then repeats itself.  

You can make any Work Pattern to suit your organisation for all the shifts that you work using the Pattern Codes above.

Enter your Work Patterns to cover every Working and Non Working day until it would repeat.


Office employee working 0900 - 1730 Monday - Friday and not working Saturday and Sundays

  1. D - 0900 - 1730 (Days)
  2. D - 0900 - 1730 (Days)
  3. D - 0900 - 1730 (Days)
  4. D - 0900 - 1730 (Days)
  5. D - 0900 - 1730 (Days)
  6. Non Working Day
  7. Non Working Day

(Work Patterns are really a tool to help you set up your staff members Working Schedule/Rota easily on the WORK PLANNER)


Work Planner is where you enter your staff working times.  This is a really great tool to help managing staff working times and rotas.

After a  very short time you will see how easy it is to set rotas, delete entries and swap shifts around!

For the staff member you want to plan, just click in the relevant  Date cell   -  You will have an option to enter either a single days entry or set the work pattern for this staff member up to a certain point in time or indefinitely. 

Right Click and you will see a quick option to add a single day entry.

By using the Show Totals dropdown at the top of this page, you can see the number of staff you have working per day, and the totals at the end of the rows show how many hours the staff members will have worked if they complete their schedule.

My part time person has changed their hours, what do I do?

If one of your staff members has changed their Working Time / Hours, you can amend their working time by;

  • Creating a new Pattern Code with the revised Working time (or amend an existing one)
  • Creating a new Work Pattern using the new pattern code above.
  • Go to WORK PLANNER, and find the Staff member concerned.
  • Click the cell for the date from when the times are to start from.

A menu option will appear and you can select the option to "Set Pattern"

Choose the newly created pattern in the drop down, leave option as "No End Date" or "Specified End Date" and click CONFIRM.

If you make a mistake, don't worry. Click again and use the REMOVE option to clear the working pattern and you can start again.

If it is just the odd day that they have changed their working time on, you can simply Remove a single entry from an already submitted Work Pattern by Right Clicking the relevant Date Cell and selecting the "Remove Entry" option.

Why can I not see some people in the Calendars?

You may need to check that you can see all the GROUPS that you need to see.

  • From the Settings Menu go to Users
  • Find and Select Your [Name]
  • Then click the [Groups] Tab.

At the bottom of the screen you have an option of either "Add User to Group" and / or "User Can See Group". Select the Group(s) you wish to be able to Be In or See.

Can I send my staff a copy of their working schedule?

To send your Staff Members' a copy of their Own / Teams Working schedule/rota;

  • From the Work Menu, click Work Distribution
  • Choose the group or staff member , start month and period.
  • Click Prepare Distribution
  • Enter a Subject for the Email
  • Enter a Message as required
  • Choose the Format of the schedule to send  (either Individual or a Team View)
  • Click Distribute

You can either send your staff their Individual Record in Planner View or as a Detailed view showing specific detail on each working day. You can also choose to send a Team Schedule to each staff member within a Group, allowing your staff to see when their colleagues are working also.

How can I setup and allocate Competencies and Skill Levels to my staff?

A Competency or Skill Level can be created in the system to represent particular qualifications or skills that each of your staff members have, for example Level 4 Engineer, French Speaker etc. Importantly these are then visible on the Work Planner to help you monitor how many of the right people you have at work on any given day.

  • From the Work Menu click Work - Attributes
  • Then click Create New Attribute
  • Use the Type option and select Competency, Skill Level and enter the Name.
  • Click Save.

Here you will be able to setup your different Competencies and then assign them to particular staff members by clicking the Staff Members tab on the left. A Staff Member can either have one or many Competencies.

You can also assign different competencies to staff members by going into their individual record, by doing the following...

  • From the Settings menu click Users
  • Then by using the Search filters to the left find the relevant staff and click on their Name.
  • Then on the left click Employment

Under the Competencies / Skills heading you can allocate the required competencies.


How can I submit Overtime?

Overtime on WhosOffice allows your staff to request Overtime with either Paid Time or Lieu Time to be added onto their account / allowances for days that they have worked when they weren't originally set to. To submit Overtime you can,

  • From the Overtime Menu click Submit Overtime
  • Select the User drop-down box to find the required person (ignore if you are requesting for yourself)
  • Select the required Overtime type
  • Choose the Date and Times of the request.
  • You can then enter any Notes that may be relevant, click Submit Overtime.

As Overtime is separate from Leave in the system, you have the ability to setup different Approvers for your Leave and Overtime. Therefore upon submitting the Overtime request, it will be sent off to your Approver that has been setup for your Overtime.

The Approver will also have the ability to adjust the amount of Lieu / Paid Time that is to be applied to the staff member on approval.

How many different Overtime Types are there and can I create more?

You can have as many Overtime Types as you feel you need, each Overtime Type can be customised to better suit the way that your company works. To setup an Overtime Type you can,

  • From the Overtime Menu click Overtime Types
  • Click Create New Overtime Type
  • Enter the Code and the Name
  • Select which Reimbursement you wish to have Allowance or Paid (with/without lookup)*
  • Choose the Overtime Rate, if applicable
  • If Allowance was chosen as the Reimbursement select the Allowance Pot to attribute to.
  • Click Save

(*) The Reimbursement type can be 1 of 4 options, Allowance, Allowance by lookup, Paid or Paid by lookup. Allowance reimbursement type will allow the staff member to request Time in Lieu along with the Overtime request and the Paid reimbursement will show on the staff members report details of how much could be paid to that person for completing the Overtime.


The Approvals Tab allows you to set what level (if any) of Approval is needed for this Overtime. You can also setup which emails and notifications will be sent out to who.


The Options Tab allows you to set whether the Overtime requires Notes and when to submit the Notes e.g. On Request and Approval.


The Rates tab allows you to set the specific increments this overtime can be requested in, for example if I enter the following rates:

Work rate - 4 hours  |  Reimbursement rate - 0.5 Days

Work rate - 8 hours  |  Reimbursement rate - 1 Day

Then staff will only get to select a duration of 4 hours or 8 hours when submitting this overtime (and have the corresponding allowance given back).


The Groups Tab allows you to set which Groups have access to the Overtime Type and what permissions they have. For example, you can set some Groups to be able to See the Overtime Type but not Request it.

History (Log)

Allows you to keep track of any changes made to the Overtime Type, along with who made the change and when it was changed. You can refer to this page when enquiries are made about the Overtime Type.

How do I set up the system for staff to claim time in lieu?

If your company allows staff to request time in lieu, there are a few steps you will need to follow to prepare the account for lieu time to be requested, and then used as time off. In short, these are:

  • Create at least one overtime type
  • Adjust the user roles to allow relevant staff to request and/or approve overtime
  • Assign each user an overtime approver
  • Ensure staff have a time in lieu allowance pot - overtime requests will replenish this pot, and leave requests will deduct from it.

To create an overtime type;

  • From the Overtime menu, click Overtime types
  • Click on Create new Overtime type
  • Enter a Code and Name for the overtime
  • Set the reimbursement to Allowance
  • Set the Unit available as Hours
  • Enter the rate (for example a rate of 1 will give the staff 1 hour of lieu time for every hour of overtime worked)
  • Set the Allowance pot to Time off in Lieu
  • Click Save
  • On the left, click the Approvals tab and select the relevant level of approval for this overtime type
  • On the left, click the Groups tab and assign permissions for each group, which determine whether staff can request or see this overtime type

For more detailed information on overtime type settings, please see the related knowledgebase article.

To update the user roles so that users with a particular role can access overtime;

  • From the Settings menu click User roles
  • Click on the Staff or Approver role
  • Click on the Permissions tab and go the Overtime section
  • If users with this role should be able to request overtime, set View / request overtime to Yes
  • If users with this role should be able to approve overtime, set View pending overtime to Full access
  • Click Save

Staff can either be assigned overtime approvers individually (via Settings > Users > Overtime approvers) or in bulk - the bulk set approver article explains how to ue this tool.

Finally, you will need to create an empty time in lieu allowance pot for any users that will be requesting time in lieu. The easiest way to do this is using the Bulk Allowances page;

  • From the Leave menu click Bulk allowances
  • On the left, select the Group that you want to affect and the Time off in Lieu allowance pot
  • Choose the year the pot will be for (you will need to repeat this process every year)
  • After clicking Load records, you will see a list of the staff in the selected group
  • On the right hand side, select the function Create allowances and the relevant Unit (this must match the unit of the related overtime type and leave type)
  • You can leave the Allowance value blank, as the pot will be empty, and then click Submit

Once all the above steps are complete, your account will be ready for staff to start requesting lieu time via the Overtime section. Don't forget, you will also need a corresponding leave type for them to use up the lieu time they accrue, however there is a Time off in Lieu leave type that the system creates by default that you could use.

Below are some common mistakes, and their causes:

Staff cannot see overtime/leave type in the dropdown when requesting overtime/leave - The user's allowance pot may not match the unit of the overtime/leave type (e.g. the overtime type grants Hours while the allowance pot is in Days)

Approvers cannot approve a pending overtime request from their staff - The approver may not be able to see the overtime type, this is determined by the 'Groups' permissions within the overtime type settings


How do I enter Public / Bank Holidays?

Public or Bank Holidays are entered into WhosOffice as Events, these can be set so that they do not deduct from staff allowances when they are booked on or across. Events can be applied to either Regions (company Location or Country) or Groups. We recommend using Regions to manage Events, so that they are visible on the team calendar regardless of which groups you are viewing.

There are 2 ways in which Events can be created - 1) Entered individually, or; 2) Bulk Imported into the system.

Creating Events Individually

  • From the Events menu click Events
  • Click Create New Event
  • On the Details page fill in the required information, see below as an example

Code - BH
Name - New Year's Day
Start Date - 01/01/2015
Duration - All Day
Event Type - Free Day, Bank Holiday
Action - Stop Allowance Deductions(*)
Click Save

Once you have clicked Save you will be able to use the Groups or Regions tabs on the left, to apply to the Event to a Group or a Region,

(*) Stop Allowance Deductions means that when staff book leave on or across the specified date, the system won't deduct any allowance.

Bulk Import Events

  • From the Events menu click Events
  • Click Create New Event
  • On the left click Import
  • Select the Location (country) to import the Public / Bank Holidays for
  • Select the Year i.e. Bank Holidays for 2022
  • Then select whether to import to either Selected Region(s) or Group(s)
  • Select the Action and click Import Dates. 

How do I manage public holidays for part-timers?

If your full-time staff are automatically entitled to take public holidays off, you can enter these into WhosOffice using the Events are (see our other FAQ titled 'How do I enter Public / Bank Holidays?'). But when it comes to part-time staff, you may not want to manage them in the same way - part-timers may have to book the bank holidays off, or have them included in their overall leave allowance. By using Regions, it's easy to separate your full-time and part-time staff and manage them in different ways.

For example, if you have staff in the UK and France and you also have full- and part-timers in each country, you might create the following 4 regions:

  • UK (Full-time)
  • UK (Part-time)
  • France (Full-time)
  • France (Part-time)

And so on, for each of your different countries/locations. Then, when you create your public holidays using Events, you would only create events that apply to the 'Full-time' regions. The Event Action would be 'Stop allowance deductions', meaning if a full-timer books across a public holiday, that day does not come out of their allowance - but the part-time staff would be excluded, and could book public holidays as normal.


Why is the HR menu not available on my account?

If you are an Administrator looking to manage HR in your WhosOffice account, but the HR menu does not appear at the top left, then you may need to activate the additional HR module.

To do this;

  • Go to Settings and click Invoicing and Payments
  • On the left, click Additional modules
  • Scroll down to the HR module and click 'Activate HR & Document Storage'*
  • Click Confirm.
  • Once you have activated HR, you will need to log out and back in to make use of the new area.

More information on the HR module can be found on our website - or if you would like a demo, get in touch with our support team.

*If you cannot activate the trial of the HR module, contact our support team and we'll be happy to help.

Please note that the HR & Document storage feature is a paid for add on module and therefore after the module's trial period, additional charges will be incurred - you can find more information regarding these costs on our pricing page.


How do I report on what Overtime has been worked this month?

When your staff are frequently submitting Overtime into WhosOffice, it is important to be able to extract this information so that it can correctly be passed onto the relevant person(s) to ensure that staff are reimbursed correctly. Within WhosOffice there is a report that is great for finding out the most relevant information at the right time.

Firstly go to Reports and click General Staff Reports. Then use the options on the resulting page as per the example below;

  • Report For - Group
  • Group(s) - Select the required Group(s), using CTRL and click for multiple selections
  • Report Type - Breakdown Overtime Report
  • Grouping/Ordering - Group By Staff, Order by Date (this will make it easier to locate requests for specific individuals)
  • Show Notes - This is an optional setting, but can help to spot any specific reasons for overtime submissions
  • Overtime Type(s) - Select the required Overtime Type(s), using CTRL and click for multiple
  • Dates - Custom Dates (or you can choose a fixed yearly date range
  • From - Select the From Date
  • To - Select the To Date
  • Status - Approved - but you might also want to look at what's currently pending as well, therefore select Pending & Approved.
  • Based on - If you've select the status as Approved, you'll have 3 options to choose from, these can be seen below.
    • Overtime Date - This means that the overtime requests captured will be overtime requests that occur within the chosen date range.
    • Requested Date - This means that the overtime requests captured will be any overtime that has been requested within the chosen date range.
    • Approved Date - This means that the overtime requests captured will be any overtime that has been approved within the chosen date range.

Then click Run Report. You will then see a breakdown of each overtime request for each employee within the dates specified. Don't forget you can also Print This Report or Export to .CSV or .XLSX.

You will then be able to review overtime that has occurred, been approved or been requested within this particular date range (depending on what you've chosen the overtime to be based on).

There are 3 headings on this report that detail how much overtime has been worked and therefore how much could (or has to) be paid out.

  1. Duration (Hours) - This indicates the total duration of the worked Overtime
  2. Paid / Lieu Time (Requested) - This value will be based on the rate that has been specified on the Overtime Type
  3. Paid / Lieu Time (Granted) - This value will only be visible once the overtime request is approved, typically this is the same as the amount of time requested, but could be different if it has been overridden by whomever approved the request.

Below is an example of what an approved Overtime request with a rate of x1.5 would look like on the report;

  • From - 16th July 2022 09:00
  • To - 16:00
  • Staff Code - 001
  • Name - Callum Ellis
  • Duration (Hours) - 7 Hours
  • Paid / Lieu Time (Requested) - 10hrs 30 minutes
  • Paid / Lieu Time (Granted) - 10hrs 30 minutes
  • Reimbursement - Paid
  • O/T Type - "Time and a Half Overtime"

Status - Approved

Further information as to how Overtime types work and how requests for overtime can be submitted / approved can be found throughout our Help and Support section.

How do I run a report to give to Payroll?

If you need to extract a report on the number of hours a user has worked, you can find this information by collating up to 3 separate reports.


The Summary Work Report will show you the number of hours a user was planned to work;
  • From the Reports menu go to General Staff Reports
  • Select the Group(s) or staff member that you want to report on.
  • Choose the Summary Work Report, followed by Selecting the relevant dates
  • Then click Run Report.

You will then see the total number of hours your staff have worked for each different shift, this is indicated in the column heading by the Pattern Codes you've created. You'll also see important information regarding the overall totals of their work records;

  • Entries - Total number of shifts worked
  • Total Hours - The total number of hours worked within the selected time frame
  • Paid Hours - Perhaps the most important, the total number of paid hours worked (this takes into account any unpaid breaks during each shift)

You can then click Export Data at the top right, to download this information into a .CSV or .XLSX spreadsheet, or print the report.


The Summary Overtime Report will show you any additional hours worked that has been put through as Overtime, as well as what the staff member is due to be reimbursed with;

  • From the Reports menu go to General Staff Reports
  • Select the Group(s) or staff member you want to report on
  • Choose the summary overtime report, and select the type(s) of overtime you want to include and the relevant dates
  • Select the status of overtime, if you choose to only view approved overtime you can choose to capture overtime requests that were approved within the date range (i.e. Based on Approved Date)
  • Then click Run Report.

You will then see the total amount of overtime hours worked, for each type of Overtime, as well as the total number of Lieu / Paid Hours (or Lieu Days) the users have requested, as well as what they've actually been granted (when the request is approved).

You can then click Export Data at the top right, to download this information into a .CSV or .XLSX spreadsheet, or print the report.


The Summary Leave Report will allow you to take into account any leave the user has taken*;

  • From the Reports menu go to General Staff Reports
  • Select the Group(s) or staff member you want to report on
  • Choose the summary leave report, and select the type(s) or leave you want to include and the relevant dates
  • Choose whether to include pending and approved leave, or only approved leave requests
  • Then click Run Report.

You will then see the total amount of leave that each user has taken/booked for that period, of each leave type. There are 3 columns of interest on this report.

  • D - Indicates the total duration of leave booked, this includes any non-working days
  • W - Indicates the amount of Working time affected by leave booked
  • A - Indicates the amount of allowance time that has been deducted from the staff members allowance pot(s) - where applicable

You can then click Export Data at the top right, to download this information into a .CSV or .XLSX spreadsheet, or print the report.

*Don't forget that some leave types may not be applicable when working out what to send to payroll, make sure you choose your leave types correctly.

Whilst WhosOffice is able to provide the above reports (and many others), the system is only as accurate as the data that is entered, therefore you may want to double check information where necessary before taking action.

How do I run a Bradford Factor report?

If your company uses the Bradford Factor, to monitor Sickness absence, then there is a report which will calculate the score for you. Do note, this calculation is for guidance only and should still be manually checked before any action is taken. To run the report;

  • From the Reports menu click General Staff Reports
  • Select the Group(s) or Staff member you want to report on
  • Choose the Bradford Factor report type
  • Select whether only whole shifts that have been affected by sickness will count towards the Bradford Factor, or if leave that covers part of a shift should also count
  • Where leave is booked across non-working days, choose whether those days should be counted towards the Bradford score or not
  • Select the type(s) of leave you want to include towards the Bradford score and pick a date range
  • Choose whether to only include approved leave, or any pending leave as well
  • Then click Run Report

You will then see the number of shifts and instances for each user, within the chosen parameters on the report, as well as the Bradford Score. The calculation behind the score is;

No. of Instances x No. of Instances x No. Shifts Affected

You can click Export Data at the top right to download this information into either .CSV or .XLSX and even print the report.

How do I monitor my staff members allowances?

To track users' remaining entitlements, you can use the Allowance Usage and Allowance Summary reports. 


The Allowance Usage report will show you the amount of allowance the staff have taken up to a certain point during the year, this is useful for tracking when staff are under, or over, utilising their leave.

To run the Allowance usage report;
  • From the Reports menu click General Staff Reports
  • Select the Group(s) or staff member you want to report on
  • Choose the Allowance Usage report type
  • Choose whether to consider the carryover staff have used, or just their standard entitlement
  • Select the relevant date range, for example you may run the report from the start of the year, up to today's date*
  • Then click Run Report.

You can then see the start date of each user's holiday year, as well as the Opening (what they started the year with), the Allowance taken (the total amount of leave used within the chosen date range) and the allowance taken as a percentage. This may help you to calculate the amount of leave a user owes, if they leave part way through the year, or simply keep track of staff who have not used enough leave.

*Please note that the allowance usage report cannot show a result if the date range selected crosses over a users' holiday year i.e. if John Smith's holiday year starts on 1st April, you cannot view their usage report if you select Jan 1st - July 31st as your date range.


The Allowance Summary report offers you a snapshot overview of what each user's Opening, Remaining, Carryover and Carryover Left balances are. This takes into account all leave booked prior to "today's" date, as well as leave booked in advance.

  • To run the Allowance Summary report;
  • Follow the same initial steps as before, but select the Allowance Summary report under the Report Type option
  • Select relevant pot(s) - you can choose multiple, and the report will display any users who have one of the selected pots
  • Choose a year, the report will display any allowance pots for this year
  • Then click Run Report

You will then see the start date of each user's holiday year, as well as the Opening balance, the Remaining balance (which takes into account all leave they have booked for the year, past and upcoming) and any Carryover / Carryover Left

Carryover will usually be deducted before standard leave entitlement, unless the carryover has an expiry date or the user has started to book leave before their carryover was applied.


My company already has an account, what shall I do?

In the first instance we would advise you to visit the "Login" page (, from here you will be able to enter your email address to locate your company's account. If you still cannot access your account, we would suggest contacting either your Line Manager, Team Leader or even your HR team.

Our support team are limited as to what information we can provide, due to security, but we will do our best to point you in the right direction


Do you integrate with any Payroll / HRIS or Clock In systems?

WhosOffice doesn't integrate with these sort of platforms, the only integration offered is for single sign-on (SSO) purposes, you can find how to set up SSO integration on the knowledgebase page, under Integrations.

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