Introduction to leave requests

The leave requests system is designed to completely replace departments' existing paper-based leave request process. Clinical staff can submit a request for leave through CLWRota or Medirota, to be approved or rejected by a rota master.

This page provides a guide to creating leave requests, assessing their impact on service delivery and going through the approval and rejection processes. It is intended to be used by rota masters and administrators who are able to review and approve leave requests for clinicians. A separate guide designed for clinicians is available here.

Leave requests in CLWRota

Booking process

The following graphic explains the possible stages of a leave request.

Booking process flow

The leave system allows users to request leave, which enters a queue for the rota master to approve or reject. In addition to this, you can choose to allow automatic approval for requests that meet the following conditions:

  • The leave book is open
  • There is space in the leave pool
  • The person has enough leave allowance remaining
  • The leave doesn't clash with essential activities, such as oncall assignments
  • The leave is not too far in the future

Once a leave booking has been rejected or cancelled, then there is the option to resubmit or make a new booking based on the original request.

Leave request settings

To review or change your site's leave request settings, log in as a super user and navigate to Settings > Leave Settings.

Leave settings

This page allows you to configure some of the basic leave rules in your department, including:

  • Whether leave is counted in days or missed sessions
  • The default leave allowances given to clinicians
  • Whether or not consultants all follow the same leave year
  • Whether clinicians are able to submit leave requests
  • Rules governing the automatic approval of leave and cancellation requests
  • The upper limits for the length of leave requests and how far into the future they may be requested
  • How close to the date of the leave clinicians are able to make a legitimate request

For advice on setting these defaults please contact the Rotamap support team.

Leave navigation

If you hover over the leave tab, you will see five options:

Leave dropdown menu

1. Requests

View a list of submitted leave requests and make new bookings.

2. Short view

View a condensed overview of who is away each day of the week.

3. Long view

See a full overview of who is on which type of leave for each given session in the week.

4. Pools

View the status of the leave pools within the department for any given time in the week.

5. Capacity

View a summary of the numbers of consultants still working in comparison to the demand placed on the service for each day.

Leave requests home page

Selecting the Requests item on the dropdown menu takes you to the leave home page. You can review all submitted leave requests and cancellation requests here, listed in order of date submitted.

Leave requests queue

To review or process a leave request that has already been submitted, click on the request in the list.

To draft a new request or view information about a person's leave, select the person's name from the 'Make a request for' dropdown. This will take you through to the leave page for that individual.

Drafting a new leave request

The personal leave requests page is split into four sections.

Leave booking page

1. Request leave

Fill out the 'Request Leave' form to make a new leave request for the currently selected person. You can choose whether the leave booking should deplete leave pools and which sessions within the day should be included. Supplementary information can be added in the 'Details' box.

Clicking 'Next' will create a draft request, taking you to the next page where you can review the booking prior to final approval.

2. Personal Leave Totals

This table summarises the person's annual leave allocation and the leave taken and remaining. The 'Total' figure can be adjusted in the Allowances and Adjustments sub-tabs.

3. Calendar Overview

The calendar provides you with an overview of what the person has planned for the week displayed. This information can also be viewed in a list view.

4. Upcoming leave and requests

Clicking any row on this table will allow you to view the details of that particular leave request. On the subsequent review page you can approve or reject submitted requests, or cancel requests that have already been approved.

Study leave

Note that Study leave requests have additional mandatory and optional fields to be added prior to submitting a request. You can mandate that these details are provided for custom leave types when creating or editing a leave location by ticking 'Expenses'. This will require a course name to be added to an individual request and allow for the clinician to submit expense costs for this leave type.

Reviewing a draft or submitted leave request

This page allows you to review the potential impact of a leave request.

Submitted leave request

1. Request Details

The request details provides an overview of the duration and type of leave request.

2. Summary

This section of the form shows you which stage the request is in. The booking field shows the cost and duration of the booking.

The Impact section summarises any warnings that may stop this leave booking being permissible:

Warning Meaning
Leave book is closed The week is already setup
Due to work The person has activity assigned for one or more sessions
Not enough leave remaining The person does not have enough leave remaining in their allowance
Problems with leave pools Some sessions may overbook a leave pool
Leave pools overdrawn Some sessions may overbook a leave pool
Overlapping another leave booking Another approved leave request for the same person crosses the same dates

If the request is in draft status, the three buttons at the bottom of the form allow you to discard, submit, or go back to edit the leave booking. Also, the request form can be updated with additional notes.

Once a request has been submitted, the buttons here will allow you to either approve or reject the request.

3. Overlapping submitted and rejected requests

A table here summarises all pending requests that overlap with the one under consideration, ordered by the date submitted. It also includes rejected requests, in case a space has opened up since someone's request was turned down.

4. Action log

Every time a change is made to the leave booking, a note is stored stating when the change was made, and which user actioned it.

5. Coordination

This section is designed for communication between rota masters in cases where direct approval is not possible. Typing a note in the 'Comment' section will add it to the action log for others to see. You can also configure custom coloured markers to attach to leave requests. Each marker has a two letter code, and reveals a longer string of text when hovering the cursor. For example, some departments may create a 'CD / Clinical Director' marker to highlight leave requests that need the clinical director's approval. Once a marker has been attached to a leave request it will also appear on the main leave queue. Markers can be configured in the super user area, under System management > Leave request markers.

6. Impact calendar

The impact calendar shows you how this leave booking will affect the department across the booked sessions. Each session shows you any work that the individual is already assigned to do or is planned to be doing, and also the impact on the leave pool if applicable.

To see more detail on who is working, planned to work or away from the department for a particular session, click on that session to show the context pop-up.

Clicking the 'x' at the top-right corner of a session will exclude it from the leave booking. Excluded sessions can be re-included by clicking the '+' icon.

The List tab displays the same information as the calendar view, in a different format. Clicking the 'exclude' button on a row in the table will remove the specified session from the leave booking, and you can click the row of the table to see the context pop-up.

Managing approved leave

Once a request has been approved, it is committed to the rota. This automatically removes the person taking leave from their activity, and if necessary highlights that cover is required. Confirmation messages will be sent to the person who requested the leave and any external recipients who are tracking their activity.

Approved leave request

Cancelling leave

To cancel an approved request navigate to the booking and click the 'Cancel leave' button. You will need to provide a note against any cancellations.

Consultants and trainees can request cancellations through the system. Cancellation requests appear in the pending leave requests list in the same way as bookings awaiting approval. Rota masters can choose to approve or reject cancellation requests.

Resubmitting leave

You can click the 'Resubmit' button to revert the booking to the submitted stage, so that changes can be applied. Whilst the booking is in the submitted state, you can change which sessions are included in the leave request and add new information to the notes section. The request will remain on the queue of pending leave requests until it has been re-approved.

Copying a leave booking

Clicking the 'Make a new draft request with these details' button will copy details of the current leave request to the first stage of creating a new draft request. This will allow you to edit the leave duration or to change the type of a booking.

Leave status alert messages

When a leave request or cancellation request is accepted or rejected, the affected consultant or trainee will be sent an automatic message through the CLWRota messaging system. Pending and sent messages can be seen on the Messages > Outgoing tab.

It is also possible to set up alerts to be sent out to external recipients, either for when leave is approved or rejected for certain people, or when a clinician has submitted a request that requires actioning. Messages for approved leave also contain a summary of the activities that will be left uncovered as a result of the leave. External recipients can be configured by following the instructions under Admin > External Recipients. For further assistance with configuring External recipients see here.

Context pop-up

This pop-up is designed to provide an overview of the department to help rota masters decide whether or not to approve a leave request. It includes three tabs: Working, On leave and Planned.

Department summary pop-up

Working summarises everyone who is currently on the rota for that date, so you can check who within a leave pool might be available to cover gaps created by the proposed leave booking. On leave shows the detail of everyone else with submitted or approved leave on the same day. Planned allows you to check the repeating templates if the rota week has not yet been set up.

If the department has the 'submitted requests' featured switched on, and someone has a leave request in the Submitted status, then their name will appear in blue in the relevant leave pool. This highlights that the booking has yet to be processed but the person has reserved a slot in the leave pool.

Leave pools

You can set up leave pools to ensure that it is not possible for too many people from the same group to miss planned activity through leave at the same time. These pools can be configured from the super user area under System Management > Leave Pools. The pool size determines how many people can deplete the leave pool at once. Once a leave pool is full, it will prevent any more people attached to the pool from having leave automatically approved, and it will be flagged as a problem in the 'Impact' section of a leave request.

Leave pool configuration

By default leave pools will be depleted as soon as a leave request is submitted. This is to allow pending requests (e.g. a study leave request awaiting approval) to hold a place in the leave queue, and not be overtaken by other requests being automatically approved. If a submitted request is rejected or withdrawn or an approved request is cancelled, it will free up any space it was occupying in the leave pools.

If you would like to change this setting so that requests only deplete leave pools once they are approved, go to Settings > Leave Settings in the super user area and uncheck the 'Submitted requests deplete pools' option.

Consultant leave pools are determined by the templates the consultants are attached to. These can be reviewed either by going to a pre-setup week on the rota, or in Admin > Templates. When you create or edit a template (including templates to the Available location, the 'Leave Type' field determines which pool consultants will deplete if they book a session of leave over the templated activity. This means that:

  • Consultants can be attached to different leave pools at different times in the week
  • If a consultant books leave where they have no planned activity, they will not deplete a leave pool

In addition to this, consultants who book leave over flexible in week availability will deplete the 'Flexi' leave pool.

Trainees will always deplete the same leave pool when they book leave. The leave pool they deplete is determined by the 'Leave Pool' option in their profile, under People > Trainees.

You can review the status of the leave pools for any week by going to Leave > Pools. This provides a grid that shows how many spaces are taken up in each leave pool for each session. Numbers in blue indicate how many of those spaces are occupied by requests that are still in the submitted stage.

Leave pool summary

You can click on any cell in this grid to show the context pop-up.

Leave pool information is also visible when you are making or reviewing a leave request, in the impact table at the bottom of the leave request review page. Red warning messages will appear here if any days or sessions in the leave booking would exceed the limit of the relevant leave pool.

Detailed summary

Detailed summary

This section of a person's leave page allows you to view a more detailed version of their leave totals. Rather than just the main accounting unit, the table here provides leave totals in days, missed sessions and missed PAs. It also provides a link to a full leave report, which shows the same statistics for historic leave years.

Leave adjustments and allowances

This page lets you change a person's leave entitlement, either as an adjustment for a particular leave year or as a repeating entitlement going forward.

To make one-off adjustments, go to the Leave adjustments sub-tab. Here you will find a form where you can set a date (determining which leave year the adjustment is applied to), a positive or negative amount, the category of leave allowance you would like to adjust, and the reason for the adjustment. All leave adjustments are logged on this page for future reference.

Leave adjustment

CLWRota can be configured to make automatic adjustments to people's leave when they are assigned to certain types of extra activity on the rota. For assistance configuring this, please contact the Rotamap support team or see this guide.

To change a person's basic allowance, go to the Leave allowances sub-tab.

Leave allowances

When you set a basic leave allowance on this page (in days or missed sessions), it will be applied to all future leave years. Any adjustments already made to leave years will be preserved.

By default the only two leave types with allowances are Annual leave and Study leave. You can provide custom leave allowances for different leave types when creating a new or editing an existing leave location by ticking 'Show leave allowance'. You can then set an individual's allowance via the Adjustments page.

Oncall requests

By following the Oncall notices link on an person's leave page, you can log people's requests regarding their oncalls. You may note the person's preference for being oncall or not oncall for any given day. Clinicians can also log these preferences themselves.

Oncall requests for a consultant

These selections will show as supplementary information to the oncall rota master when using the Oncalls > By Rota page to write the rota.

Short and long leave views

These options under the Leave tab provide a week-by-week summary of everyone away on leave each day. The short view shows a concise list of names, whereas the long view divides the information up into different types of leave, and includes indicators showing where consultants are missing planned activity and depleting a leave pool.

Short leave view

By default the leave book is closed at the point that the rota week is moved to the Setup stage, meaning that clinicians can no longer request leave without a warning message appearing. Most departments will set up rota weeks six weeks ahead, thereby maintaining a similar period where clinicians cannot book short-notice leave except in unusual circumstances. The button in the top-right of both the short and long leave views allows the leave book to be manually closed or re-opened. This can be helpful for departments that wish to close off busy periods for annual leave in advance, or respond to an emergency by discouraging leave for a period.

Automatic leave book closure can be configured in the super user area, under Settings > Leave settings > Books.

Capacity summary

This page provides an overview of the department's capacity to deliver the planned service, with absences and flexible availability taken into account. It can be found either by navigating to Leave > Capacity or by clicking on the 'View capacity summary' within a leave request.

Capacity summary

The form at the top of the page allows you to choose a date range and optionally filter down to a particular person group, location group or speciality. Clicking 'Get summary' will show a table with a row per session. The columns show:

  • Capacity: the number of available consultants who could cover gaps on the rota
  • Demand: the number of uncovered lists
  • Surplus: the number of consultants still available after all demand has been met
  • Admin capacity: the number of consultants delivering non-essential administrative work
  • Surplus w/ admin capacity: the number of excess consultants if those working in admin activities are considered to be available for clinical work

You can hover over any number in the table to see the names of the consultants who are included in the count.

Leave requests in Medirota

Booking process

The following graphic explains the possible stages of a leave request.

Booking process flow

The leave system allows users to request leave, which enters a queue for the rota master to approve or reject. In addition to this, you can choose to allow automatic approval for requests that meet the following conditions:

  • The leave book is open
  • There is space in the leave pool
  • The person has enough leave allowance remaining
  • The leave doesn't clash with essential activities, such as oncall assignments
  • The leave is not too far in the future

Once a leave booking has been rejected or cancelled, then there is the option to resubmit or make a new booking based on the original request.

Leave request settings

The ability for clinicians to create leave requests is dependant on role based settings. Navigate to Admin > Roles to change these settings.

Leave settings

The per role settings cover:

  • Enabling requesting leave for this role
  • Automatic approval
  • Automatic rejection
  • Automatic cancellation
  • Assignment of extras over annual leave

To review or change your site's global leave request settings, log in as a super user and navigate to Leave > Settings. This page allows you to switch between common or personal leave years, and define the values of day-based leave bookings.

Leave navigation

If you hover over the leave tab, you will see four options:

Leave dropdown menu

1. Requests

View a list of submitted leave requests and make new bookings.

2. People

A list of all clinicians which gives quick access to their leave pages, plus an overview of their leave entitlement and remaining allowances for this and the following year.

3. Books

Review the status of leave books and manually open or close upcoming leave books.

4. Pools

View the status of the leave pools within the department across any given session in the week.

Leave requests home page

Selecting the Requests item on the dropdown menu takes you to the leave home page. You can review all submitted leave requests here, listed in order of date submitted.

Leave dropdown menu

To review or process a leave request that has already been submitted, click the request in the list.

To draft a new request or view information about a person's leave, select the person's name from the 'Make a request for' dropdown. This will take you through to the leave page for that individual.

Drafting a new leave request

The personal leave requests page is split into four sections.

Leave booking page

1. Request leave

Fill out the 'Request leave' form to make a new leave request for the currently selected person. You can choose whether the leave booking should deplete leave pools and which sessions of the day should be included. Supplementary information can be added in the 'Details' box.

Clicking 'Next' will create a draft request, taking you to the next page where you can review the booking prior to final approval.

2. Personal leave totals

This table summarises the person's leave allowances and the leave taken and remaining. The 'Total' figure can be adjusted in the Allowances and Adjustments sub-tabs.

3. Calendar overview

The calendar provides you with an overview of what the person has planned for the week displayed. This information can also be viewed in a list view.

4. Upcoming leave and requests

Clicking any row on this table will allow you to view the details of that particular leave booking. On the subsequent review page you can approve or reject submitted requests or cancel requests that have already been approved.

Study leave

Note that Study leave requests have additional mandatory and optional fields to be added prior to submitting a request. You can mandate that these details are provided for custom leave types when creating or editing a leave activity by ticking 'Expenses'. This will require a course name to be added to an individual request and allow for the clinician to submit expense costs for this leave type.

Reviewing a draft or submitted leave request

This page allows you to review the potential impact of a leave request.

Submitted leave request

1. Request details

The request details provide an overview of the duration and type of the leave request.

2. Summary

This section of the form shows you which stage the request is in. The booking field shows the cost and duration of the booking.

The Impact section summarises any warnings that may stop this leave booking being permissible:

Warning Meaning
Leave book is closed The week is already setup and/or the leave book is already closed
Due to work The person has activity assigned for one or more sessions
Not enough leave remaining The person does not have enough leave remaining in their allowance
Leave pool limit reached through approved requestsSome sessions overbook a leave pool at capacity through approved requests
Leave pool limit reached through submitted requests Some sessions overbook a leave pool at capacity through submitted requests
Overlapping another leave booking Another approved leave request for the same person crosses the same dates

If the request is in draft status, the three buttons at the bottom of the form allow you to discard, submit, or go back to edit the leave booking. Also, the request form can be updated with additional notes.

Once a request has been submitted, the buttons here will allow you to either approve or reject the request.

3. Overlapping submitted and rejected requests

A table here summarises all pending requests that overlap with the one under consideration, ordered by the date submitted. It also includes rejected requests, in case a space has opened up since someone's request was turned down.

4. Action log

Every time a change is made to the leave booking, a note is stored stating when the change was made, and which user actioned it.

5. Coordination

This section is designed for communication between rota masters in cases where direct approval is not possible. Typing a note in the 'Comment' section will add it to the action log for others to see. You can also configure custom coloured markers to attach to leave requests. Each marker has a two letter code, and reveals a longer string of text when hovering the cursor. For example, some departments may create a 'CD / Clinical Director' marker to highlight leave requests that need the clinical director's approval. Once a marker has been attached to a leave request it will also appear on the main leave queue. Markers can be configured in the super user area, under Leave > Markers.

6. Impact calendar

The impact calendar shows you how this leave booking will affect the department across the booked sessions. Each session shows you any work that the individual is already assigned to do or is planned to be doing, and also the impact on the leave pool if applicable.

To see more detail on who is working, planned to work or away from the department for a particular session, click on that session to show the context pop-up.

Clicking the 'x' at the top-right corner of a session will exclude it from the leave booking. Excluded sessions can be re-included by clicking the '+' icon.

The List tab displays the same information as the calendar view in a different format. Clicking the 'exclude' button on a row in the table will remove the specified session from the leave booking, and you can click the row of the table to see the context pop-up.

Managing approved leave

Once a request has been approved, it is committed to the rota. This automatically removes the person taking leave from their activity, and if necessary highlights that cover is required. Confirmation messages will be sent to the person who requested the leave and any external recipients who are tracking their activity.

Approved leave request

Cancelling leave

To cancel an approved request navigate to the booking and click the 'Cancel leave' button. You will need to provide a note against any cancellations.

Consultants and trainees can request cancellations through the system. Cancellation requests appear in the pending leave requests list in the same way as bookings awaiting approval. Rota masters can choose to approve or reject cancellation requests.

Resubmitting leave

You can click the 'Resubmit' button to revert the booking to the submitted stage, so that changes can be applied. Whilst the booking is in the submitted state, you can change which sessions are included in the leave request and add new information to the notes section. The request will remain on the queue of pending leave requests until it has been re-approved.

Copying a leave booking

Clicking the 'Make a new draft request with these details' button will copy details of the current leave request to the first stage of creating a new draft request. This will allow you to edit the leave duration or to change the type of a booking.

Leave status alert messages

When a leave request or cancellation request is accepted or rejected, the affected consultant or trainee will be sent an automatic message through the Medirota messaging system. Pending and sent messages can be seen on the Messages > Outgoing tab.

It is also possible to set up alerts to be sent out to external recipients, either for when leave is approved or rejected for certain people, or when a clinician has submitted a request that requires actioning. Messages for approved leave also contain a summary of the activities that will be left uncovered as a result of the leave. External recipients can be configured by following the instructions under Admin > External Recipients. For further assistance with configuring External recipients see here.

Context pop-up

This pop-up is designed to provide an overview of the department to help rota masters decide whether or not to approve a leave request. It includes two tabs: Working and On leave.

Department summary pop-up

Working summarises everyone who is currently on the rota for that date, so you can check who within a leave pool might be available to cover gaps created by the proposed leave booking. On leave shows the detail of everyone else with submitted or approved leave on the same day.

If the department has the 'submitted requests' featured switched on, and someone has a leave request in the submitted status, then their name will appear in blue in the relevant leave pool. This highlights that the booking has yet to be processed but the person has reserved a slot in the leave pool.

Leave adjustments and allowances

This page lets you change a person's leave entitlement, either as an adjustment for a particular leave year or as a repeating entitlement going forward.

To make one-off adjustments, go to the Leave adjustments sub-tab. Here you will find a form where you can set a date (determining which leave year the adjustment is applied to), a positive or negative amount, the category of leave allowance you would like to adjust, and the reason for the adjustment. All leave adjustments are logged on this page for future reference.

Leave adjustment

Medirota can be configured to make automatic adjustments to people's leave when they are assigned to certain types of extra activity on the rota. For assistance configuring this, please contact the Rotamap support team or see this guide.

To change a person's basic allowance, go to the Leave allowances sub-tab.

Leave allowances

When you set a basic leave allowance on this page (in days or missed sessions), it will be applied to all future leave years. Any adjustments already made to leave years will be preserved.

By default the only two leave types with allowances are Annual leave and Study leave. You can provide custom leave allowances for different leave types when creating a new or editing an existing leave activity by ticking 'Show leave allowance'. You can then set an individual's allowance via the Adjustments page.

People overview

This page, accessible under the Rota tab, provides an overview of the leave stats for all clinicians in the deparment. The table shows each person's annual and study leave taken for the current and forthcoming leave years. Clicking on a person's name will take you to their leave page.

People overview

Leave books

This option under the Leave tab provides a summary of whether the leave book is open or closed for forthcoming rota weeks.

Leave books

By default the leave book is closed at the point that the rota week is moved to the Setup stage, meaning that clinicians can no longer request leave without a warning message appearing. Most departments will set up rota weeks six weeks ahead, thereby maintaining a similar period where clinicians cannot book short-notice leave except in unusual circumstances. However, the buttons on this page also allow the leave book to be manually closed or re-opened. This can be helpful for departments that wish to close off busy periods for annual leave in advance, or respond to an emergency by discouraging leave for a period.

Automatic leave book closure can be configured in the super user area, under Leave > Books.

Leave pools

You can set up leave pools to ensure that it is not possible for too many people from the same group to miss planned activity through leave at the same time. These pools can be configured under Admin > Leave pools.

Leave pools page

The system will automatically create a corresponding leave pool for each separate role that has been configured in the system, and these will automatically be kept up to date to include any new people who take on that role in the future. Click on any leave pool to alter the name or number of people allowed away. Alternatively you can use the 'Add leave pool' button to create custom leave pools for a distinct group of people. People may be part of several leave pools simultaneously.

The pool limit determines how many people can deplete the leave pool at once. The 'Always deplete' option determines whether people's leave will always take up a space in the leave pool, or only in cases where they are booking over planned clinical activity. Once a leave pool is full, it will prevent any more people attached to the pool from having leave automatically approved, and it will be flagged as a problem in the 'Impact' section of a leave request. By default leave pools will be depleted as soon as a leave request is submitted.

For custom leave pools, you can navigate to an Assignments sub-tab to choose who is included. You can either assign each person to a leave pool for a distinct daterange, or leave these fields blank to create a general association.

You can review the status of the leave pools for any week by going to Leave > Pools. This provides a grid that shows how many spaces are taken up in each leave pool for each session. Numbers in blue indicate how many of those spaces are occupied by requests that are still in the submitted stage.

Leave pools page

You can click on any cell in this grid to show the context pop-up.

Leave pool information is also visible when you are making or reviewing a leave request, in the impact table at the bottom of the leave request review page. Red warning messages will appear here if any days or sessions in the leave booking would exceed the limit of the relevant leave pool.

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