Guide: Substitute Approver

Everyone needs to take a vacation, even the Approvers. With that in mind, we’ve decided to introduce a Substitute Approver feature, that allows you to put someone in charge of leave requests while you’re away.

What is a Substitute Approver?

The Substitute Approver is a temporary role that can be assigned to any User in the company. This role can only be active when all other Approvers from a department are on leave, and it allows the Substitute to review and respond to any leave requests coming from that department while they’re assigned the role.

Who can be a Substitute Approver?

Since many department Approvers have a deputy or their right-hand person right there in the department, we decided to make all Users eligible to become a Substitute Approver. That way, you don’t have to make someone into an Approver in order to give them the Substitute role while you’re away.

Any Admin, Approver or User who has a scheduled leave at the same time as the Approver will not be available for the Substitute Approver role.

What can a Substitute Approver do?

Substitute Approvers can receive leave requests, leave request reminders and they can approve or deny any request that is sent while they’re assigned the role. Their role as a substitute stops when the Approver they were substituting for returns from their leave.

While they’re filling in for the main Approver, the Substitute cannot view the profiles, the leave history or the leave quotas for the Users they’re approving.

Who can assign a Substitute Approver?

When requesting a leave, the last available Approver in their department will have an option of assigning the Substitute Approver.

If an Admin or their Approver adds a leave for the Approver, they will also be asked if they want to assign a substitute in case they are the last available Approver in that department.

To make this easier to understand, let’s use an example:

Alan is an Approver in the Accounting department, however, he is a User of the Design department, where Alice is an Approver. When Alice wants to add a leave for Alan, since he’s the only Approver in the Accounting department, Alice will have an option of setting someone as Alan’s substitute while he’s away.

If you're an Admin looking to learn how to assign a Substitute Approver, please take a look at this article: How Does an Admin Assign a Substitute Approver?

In case you're an Approver looking to go on a leave, you can assign your Substitute by following these instructions: How Does an Approver Assign a Substitute Approver?

Can a Substitute Approver be changed?

Yes, the Substitute Approver is set through a leave request, so the Approver that requested a leave, their Approvers and the Admins have an option of editing the leave, the same way you would want to edit the time for that leave request.

To see how you can edit a Substitute, we have instructions in this article: How Do I Edit a Substitute Approver?

What happens when there are multiple Approvers in the same department?

When you have more than one Approver in a department, the need for a substitute is significantly reduced. The only time the Substitute Approver field becomes available is when the last available Approver requests a leave. If there are other Approvers in the department available, the field won’t appear on the leave request page.

What happens with the leave requests?

Leave requests sent before the Approver went on a leave

When a leave request is sent, it can take up to 10 days to expire. During those 10 days, we send 3 reminders to the Approver based on our link to leave reminders flow.

With that in mind, if the main Approver goes on a leave before responding to a leave request, the next reminder will be sent to the Substitute Approver.

Leave requests sent while the Approver is on a leave

While the Approver is on a leave, all requests are sent to the Substitute Approver.

In case the Substitute Approver doesn’t respond to the request before the main Approver returns from a leave, the next reminder for that leave request is sent to the main Approver.

Edited leaves and leave requests

While the main Approver is away, any edited leaves or leave requests are sent to the Substitute Approver, just like the new leave requests would be.

Approver vs Substitute Approver

If you’d like to know what the difference between the Approver and the Substitute are, you came to the right place. Approvers have a permanent role in the system, and the role is designed to suit department Managers, Team Leads and in general anyone who handles leave requests for a group of employees in the company.

We’ve had in mind that Substitute Approvers could sometimes be deputies, senior employees or just general Users in our system. While they should take care of the leave requests, they shouldn’t be able to see private information of other Users, like their leave quotas.

What’s the difference?

If you’d like to learn what can Approvers do, you can read this article: Guide: What Can an Approver Do in Vacation Tracker?

Substitute Approver is a temporary role and it can only be used when no other Approvers are available in the department. Since any User can be assigned as a Substitute, they don’t have the permissions to open other User profiles, so they can only respond to the leave requests other Users send (either through a notification they receive via Slack, Teams or email, or through the Vacation Tracker Dashboard, in the Pending Leaves list).

Do Approvers still receive leave request notifications while on leave?

Yes, Approvers will receive all leave requests their Users send even while they’re away. That way, they will be able to review all requests and responses from the substitute when they return from their leave.

Can a Substitute Approver refuse the Substitute Approver role?

No, at this time, only the Admin and the Approver can decide who’s going to be a Substitute. This can, of course, be changed by following the instructions on how to edit the Substitute Approver:
How Do I Edit a Substitute Approver?

To learn how you can set an Approver in Vacation Tracker, you can take a look at this article: How Do I Set an Approver within Vacation Tracker?

Looking to learn more about the Admin and Approver roles? Guide: Administrator vs Approver Role

Want to know how you can request a leave? How Do I Request a Leave?

Updated on: 20/03/2024

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