The Best Leave Management Software For Your Organization

best leave management software

Looking for the best leave management software to use for your organization?

  • Flamingo App is our top choice. It comes with a simple, beautiful user interface, but also handles complex leave policies.
  • Flamingo App can import public holidays from 195 countries, synchronize with your calendar software, and more.
  • It’s free for small teams, and affordably priced for larger teams.

>> Learn more about Flamingo App here <<

And here’s the shortlist:

The best leave management software, based on our own experience

Based on my own experience working with portfolio companies here at Smash.vc, I understand that every business manages leave differently – different time off policies, different tools to track vacation, sick leave, etc.

And – plenty of early stage businesses don’t even have clear cut leave policies in place. This can lead to confused employees who feel hesitant to book leave, which can negatively impact employee happiness and morale.

I’ve had a look at many of leave management tools. This post outlines what I found…

The criteria

What’s important in a leave management software is ease of use, customizability, and a way to communicate leave with the rest of your organization, such as email alerts or a calendar integration.

In my opinion, the goals of implementing a leave management tool for your company include:

  • Reduce leave-tracking overhead for your managers or your HR department.
  • Get everyone in your company on the same page, on questions such as “Who is currently on leave?”, “When are they coming back?”, “Who is going on leave next week?”.
  • Clearly communicate to employees how much leave they have taken so far, and how much they have left this year.
  • Employee self service: employees must be able to send leave requests, without having to manually contact their HR manager.

One more thing – this post is written from our own experience working with startups and small businesses. If you’re an enterprise with 1000s of employees, the best solution for you may differ.

Read on for my top choices…

#1 – Flamingo App

Flamingo App is our top leave management system.

Flamingo is a beautifully crafted leave management solution. It’s built by a distributed team of software developers that couldn’t find a good way to track their leave – so they decided to build their own solution. (Rest assured – Flamingo also works well for traditional in-office teams.)

Flamingo convinces with smart features, such as automatic syncing of public holidays from 195+ countries, a calendar integration, and more.

It also includes all of the basic features you’d expect from a leave management software, such as flexible leave policies, automatic accruals, data export, and more.

Pros

  • Directly integrates with Slack.
  • Beautiful user interface to manage leave requests.
  • Supports complex leave policies.
  • Works with 195+ countries.
  • Google & Outlook calendar integration.
  • Daily & weekly leave reports (“Who is going on leave?”, “Who is coming back from leave?”).
  • Competitive pricing at $2 per user per month, and free for small teams.
  • Works for both remote and in-office teams.
  • Privacy settings – configure in detail who in your organization can see each other’s leave.
  • All features included in all plans.

Cons

  • Built for startups and SMEs, not for large enterprises.
  • As of December 2023, a Slack account is required to sign up.

Pricing

  • Free for up to 5 users, $2 per user per month after (includes free trial).

Flamingo is a great choice for most organizations, except large enterprises. Learn more about Flamingo App here.

#2 – Leave Management using Google Sheets / Excel

If you’re looking for a free leave management solution, Google Sheets or Excel has your back.

You can either build your own leave management system in Sheets, or use one of many free templates.

>> We like this free template. <<

The biggest benefit of managing leave in Sheets or Excel is that it’s free. A secondary benefit is that it’s very flexible – you can literarily do anything you want.

The downside is that there’s no automation, or guard rails. Using sheets for leave tracking purposes is cumbersome and a lot of work, and it’s easy to make data entry mistakes that mess up your entire system.

Pros

  • Free

Cons

  • A lot of work to manage.
  • Potential for data entry mistakes.
  • No automations -> can’t sync leave with calendar software, or send reports about people going on leave / returning.
  • No public holiday synchronization.
  • Very hard to make complex leave policies work.

Pricing

  • Free

In summary, we’d only recommend Google Sheets to very small teams (<10), or organizations that are very short on funding and can’t afford paying for a leave management system.

#3 – Bamboo HR

Bamboo HR is a fully fledged HR & leave management software solution, offering tons of features.

Bamboo’s software suite includes the following:

  • Payroll, time tracking & benefits
  • Hiring & onboarding modules
  • HR Reporting features (view leave balances)
  • Vacation, time-off and leave tracking
  • And more…

Pros

  • Lots of features and capabilities.
  • Manage all your HR processes from one place.
  • Customize approval process.

Cons

  • Overcomplicated for organizations who simply want to track leave.
  • Expensive.
  • Intransparent pricing.

Pricing

  • Bamboo HR doesn’t publish pricing on their website.

Bamboo HR is a good solution for any organization that wants a fully fledged HR application with dozens of capabilities. At the same time, it feels very bloated if your primary use case is leave tracking. If you’re looking for the best-in-breed leave management solution, we suggest you look elsewhere.

#4 – Leave Board

LeaveBoard is a leave management software that’s been around since 2017. It’s an all-in-one solution for booking & managing time off, vacations, and more. Further, LeaveBoard has a reporting module, and an employee directory.

Pros

  • Slack integration
  • Reporting module
  • Free for small teams

Cons

  • Complicated user interface
  • Built for startups and SMEs, not for large enterprises

Pricing

  • $1.35 per user per month, free for up to 9 users

Overall, LeaveBoard’s leave management software, is a solid, affordable solution.

#5 – Vacation Tracker

Vacation Tracker is a popular leave management solution. It integrates with Slack and Microsoft Teams, and includes a wide range of features.

Pros

  • Slack, Email & Google Workspace integration.
  • Supports complex leave policies.
  • Automatic public holiday integration for most countries.
  • Integrates with Google Calendar & more.

Cons

  • Confusing pricing – different plans with different features & prices.
  • No free plan.
  • Busy user interface.

Pricing

  • $3 per user per month (minimum spent $75/mo) for the Complete plan.
  • A basic version with less features is available for cheaper.

While the pricing & feature-set seems a bit complex, overall VacationTracker is a solid solution.

#6 – Calamari

Calamari is a HR solution that includes time tracking, document storage, employee directory and leave management software.

Pros

  • Lots of integrations – Slack, Microsoft Teams, Jira, etc….
  • Imports for public holidays from 110+ countries.
  • Support for more complex leave policies.
  • Mobile App

Cons

  • Many leave management features are only available in the more expensive plan ($4 per user per month).
  • No free version.
  • Built small and medium businesses, not for large enterprises.

Pricing

  • Calamari’s leave management solution with all features, such as unlimited leave types, and support for multiple countries, is $4 per user month.
  • A more limited leave management product is available for $2 per user per month.
  • A 15% discount is available when paying annually.

Final Thoughts

To wrap it up, I know it can be tough to find the right leave management software for your business. There are so many tools out there, choosing the right one isn’t easy.

Here at Smash.vc, we think the best leave management software is Flamingo App, which is easy to use, powerful and reasonably priced.

But regardless of our opinion, all leave management solutions listed above are solid choices.

I hope that sharing my own experience here was useful to you.

Last updated: December 6, 2023

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