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What should I do with clashing shifts and leave on the rota?
What should I do with clashing shifts and leave on the rota?

A guide to how to handle shifts overlapping with sickness, holiday and other leave in RotaCloud

James Denham avatar
Written by James Denham
Updated over a week ago


RotaCloud allows you to add leave on the same day a shift is already scheduled. This article explains how to handle these clashing shifts, whether to assign them to new employees, delete them, or leave them assigned to the same employee.

Clashing Shifts

If an employee has any shifts scheduled during the period for which leave is being added, you'll encounter the 'Clashing Shifts' menu just before adding or approving the leave.

A screenshot of the Clashing Shifts menu, showing 3 shifts that clash with Leave that's being added. All options for what to do with the shifts are shown.

The Clashing Shifts menu lists all of the employee’s shifts that occur on the days of the leave. You’ll be given several options to handle the shifts:

Do Nothing

The shifts will be left on the rota, assigned to the current employee.


The shifts will be unpublished, but still assigned to the current employee.

Move to Open Shifts

The shifts will be moved to the Open Shifts row, and will remain published. Employees will be notified and the shifts will be immediately available to claim.

Move to Open Shifts & Unpublish

The shifts will be moved to the Open Shifts row but will be unpublished. They can be edited, moved, or published again from the Rotas page.

Permanently Delete

The shifts will be deleted, and will be shown in your Deleted Shifts list.

Select your desired option, and click ‘Add Leave’ to make the changes.

How should I decide on how to handle these shifts?

Should I delete the shift that’s on the rota?

As a general rule, we recommend the following approaches:

  • If the employee was intended to be working on that day (e.g., short notice sickness or unauthorised absence), the shift should remain on the rota. This allows you to record the difference between what was scheduled and what actually happened.

  • If the shift is being covered by someone else or if the business was aware of the leave in advance (e.g., sickness cover or planned holiday), then the shift can be moved to another employee or deleted.

You can remove or keep shifts if you like. However, bear in mind that deleting shifts may result in the loss of information about what the employee was 'supposed' to be doing on that day.

Seeing more information with Time & Attendance

If you are using the Time & Attendance package, you’ll be able to record and report on non-attendance in greater detail.

In the event of non-attendance, shifts that were not clocked into will be marked with a warning triangle on the Attendance page, and hourly-paid staff would not be paid for those shifts.

When Leave is added to a date, the warning will be removed, and you’ll be able to see the Leave next to the scheduled shift that was intended:

A screenshot of Leave showing on an employee's timesheet. The presence of Unauthorised Absence removes the warning flag that typically appears when a shift has not been clocked into.

Furthermore, the missed shift will contribute to absence reports specific to the Time & Attendance package, including the Attendance Patterns and Scheduled vs Actual reports.

Half days

If the employee is working on the same date as the Leave, such as if they’ve taken a half day, the shift should remain on the rota alongside the Leave. The shift times can be adjusted to be a shorter length.

A screenshot of a half day appearing on the rota. The half day of holiday is for the morning, and the shift takes place that same afternoon.

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