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Tips & Tricks: Employee Central Time Off

business woman working on laptop.jpgEmployee Time Off is a highly dynamic add on to the SAP SuccessFactors Employee Central module. Its purpose is to track and request time off for absence plans like vacation, paid time off (PTO), sick time and leave of absence. When an employee requests time off, a workflow can be triggered, making Time Off a powerful self-service feature of Employee Central. The feature enables building rules for eligibility, accrual, carry over, and for when employees can take time off. It is flexible in configuration but can be very complex at times. Understanding the full business requirements and how to configure the system’s features and functionality accordingly is key to successfully implementing Time Off with advanced calculation functions. 

Here are some tips and workarounds on how to configure Time Off in Employee Central.

Accrual Rules based on Seniority and Additional Job Attributes  

Within Employee Central, there are two types of business rules: simple and complex. An example of a simple rule is one that might provide a default value. A complex business rule, such as those used in Time Off, allows you to look at multiple tables to pull values on the fly, perform calculations, and create additions or deductions to specific time accounts. These accrual rules allow the system to calculate the amount of leave an employee receives during a plan year. The accruals are setup to run and be posted to the employee’s time accounts. These rules can be set up as a fixed amount or based on company tenure. This is where the Seniority Lookup table comes in. 

The guide provided by SAP SuccessFactors explains how to build the Seniority Lookup tables but it does not explain how to utilize additional attributes needed for the accrual calculation. If the requirements call for an accrual based on years of service and grade level or other job information attributes, follow the steps below:

  • When creating the Seniority Lookup table in the Meta Data Framework (MDF), add additional attributes that also reside in the employee’s record like Pay Grade. A link to the Foundation Table is necessary to avoid duplicating and creating unnecessary tables/picklists.
  • Once that is created you can use the Seniority Lookup table and add additional criteria in the rule. See image below.

EC Seniority Lookup Table.png

Changing Plans After Employees are Assigned

During the testing and building phase of a project, you may have additional requirements or changes to the plans. If the assignment of employees to their plan is already finalized, it may seem impossible to make changes to existing plans. However, the “go-to” solution is to manually delete all time accounts one-by-one. This can be a tedious and overwhelming task, however, what seemed impossible before can now be done with a little workaround. 

Inactivating Employees from a Time Off Plan

  • Navigate to the MDF Object > Time Account
  • Add the Status field to the Time Account MDF Object
  • Ensure the Status attribute is set to “editable”
  • Download the Time Accounts for all Employees in the plan you want to change
  • With the new field exposed in the file, change the Status for all employee’s Time Accounts from “A” Active to “I” for Inactive

Import the file using the following steps; there are no active records associated with the Time Account which makes the Time Account editable.

  • Navigate to the Time Type and Time Account Type fields to make appropriate changes
  • Navigate back to the Time Account File and change the Status column from “I” for Inactive to “A” for Active
  • Load the file
  • Navigate to the MDF Object > Time Account
  • Change the Status field on the Time Account MDF Object to “Not Visible”

Automatic Assignment of Holiday Calendars

The Holiday Calendar feature allows for displaying the appropriate schedule for each employee based on their location. Each employee needs a Holiday Calendar assigned on their Job Information record. Historically, it might be set up as a Business Rule that triggers as follows: 

  • Add Business Rule to Lookup Holiday Calendar
    • Example: If Location = “X”, then use Holiday Calendar “123”, If Location = “Y”, then use Holiday Calendar “345”, etc.

We determined that there is an easier way to achieve this through setting a default on the Location table with the following steps: 

  • Add custom-string to Location Foundation Object for “Holiday Calendar”
  • Add Business Rule to propagate Holiday Calendar
    • Example: Look up Employee Location, go to Location Foundation Object and select “Default Holiday Calendar” from Location Foundation table to propagate it to Job Information Holiday Calendar


In conclusion, Employee Time Off is a powerful tool with many variables like company, country, etc. With the many options for configuration, it’s important to ensure that your implementation partner can install Time Off and has a thorough understanding of the system capabilities, functionalities, and most importantly, your requirements. Although there are many ways to get the end result, it’s important to ensure the configuration is sustainable, simple, and easily understood to ensure successful ongoing maintenance of the solution.

Samantha Munoz

Samantha is a Senior Principal Consultant at 3D Results. She has over 25 years of experience as a human capital and information technology professional, specializing in human resources information systems, human capital operations, employee relations, compensation, and staffing.

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