Add a staff absence

You can use staff absences in Arbor to record whenever a staff member is not attending work for any reason. This could include (among others):

  • Sickness
  • Maternity Leave
  • Sabbaticals
  • Legal proceedings
  • Bereavement Leave

When a staff member is assigned as the teacher of a class, logging an absence for the staff member will then highlight any lessons requiring cover in Arbor's Cover area, allowing you to schedule replacement staff.


You'll need one of these permissions to view and add staff absences. If you don't have the permission, you'll need to ask your admin team to give you permission using these instructions.

  • Staff Profile: All Staff: Basic HR Administration
  • Staff Profile: Cover: Administer
  • Staff Profile: Absences: Administer and Staff Profile: Absences: View


Before adding an absence

First, make sure you have set staff working periods for accurate staff absence statistics

You'll also need to check the staff member does not already have a recorded absence that will overlap. Arbor will not allow you to schedule staff absences that overlap.


Adding an absence

You can see absences for one staff member on their Staff Profile, or you can see all staff member's absences in bulk by going to School > All Staff > Absences.



To record the new staff absence, click the green 'Record New Absence' button to create a new staff absence. In the slide over, choose the staff member(s) to record the absence for, the type of absence, start and end date/time, and approval information. 

Top Tip: If you want to create an ongoing absence, just delete the end date and time! Please note that you won't be able to schedule an ongoing absence if the staff member has any future planned absences.



Once you've added all the details, just click the green Create Staff Absence button.




You will then be taken to the Absence Details page which will list the lessons that need covering. You can then assign staff to cover these lessons. You can find more information about assigning cover here.

  • You can click each period requiring cover to assign it.
  • Alternatively, you can do this in bulk if the staff member will be off for a longer period of time, from the Cover section of Arbor. Click here to see how to add cover in bulk.



Seeing an issue?

There's an error

Please see this article: Why can't I add an absence for a member of staff?

The absence figures aren't right

Please see these articles:


Editing the absence

If you need to edit any of the information or add a document to a staff absence (such a sick note), after the absence has been logged, just go to School > All Staff > Absenceand click on the staff absence.

You'll be able to edit any field where you see an arrow symbol or delete the absence.




Can staff request their own absences?

Please see this article.

Can we add a new staff absence type or category?

Please see this article.

Why does working days and hours lost change when I edit a staff absence?

Please see this article.

Can I record an absence against one contract?

Absences are linked to working hours, not to contracts. Since you can only set one set of working hours for all contracts, each absence is recorded against the staff profile, rather than a staff member's individual contract. 


What's next?

If you've recorded an absence, this may flag a class as needing cover. You can see how to do this here: How can I manage cover?

You might wish to see your overall absence statistics. You can see Staff Absence Statistics or find your overall staff absence percentage.

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