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Who is impacted by/must record their absences in the Absence module?

  • The Absence module applies to employees in the SCFA, BCGEU, Exempt, and PPWC employee groups. Employees that are only on a TEC contract or work-study are not required to use this module. 
  • The Payroll department uses the reports generated from the Absence module to support your payroll run. It is important that your absences are submitted in advance of payroll processing for accuracy. 

Absences are accessed by logging in to Unit4. Review step-by-step instructions here.


What are the types of Absence requests?  

  1. Planned Absence Request/ Scheduled Absence Request:
    • This is the typical absence request, such as a planned vacation. The list of options in the absence module is tailored to your employment group. 
    • A standard absence request is received before the last day the pay period.
    • An employee will submit this request through the Absence module.
    • The employee's supervisor can approve or reject this absence request. 
  2. Unplanned Absence Request/ Retroactive Absence Request: 
    • A retroactive absence request is received after the last day of the pay period.
    • An employee will submit this retroactive absence request through the Absence module. 
    • The employee's supervisor can approve or reject this absence request. 

How do I submit a request for time off?

Absences are accessed by logging in to Unit4. Review the Absences section in go.selkirk for step-by-step instructions on submitting a leave request in Unit4.  

When is my absence request due?

In order to be included in the current payroll period, and therefore, deducted from one's vacation bank, the absence must be submitted by a certain date each payroll period. We have provided schedules (see Pay Periods and Submission Deadlines) to help you follow those dates.  If you miss the due date, it's not a problem! You are still able to submit the absence request, and it will be included on your next period's payslip.

How far in the future can I request an absence?

The absence module will be open for one year beyond the current date. For example, as of June 1, 2020, you will be able to plan for an absence to June 1, 2021.

Why can't I see different types of leaves, such as compassionate care, when I try to submit an absence request?

  • At this time, the following list of absences are required to be submitted through HR, with no change to the current process:
    • Sabbaticals Leave
    • Professional Development
    • Sick Leave (SCFA & BCGEU)
    • Short Term/Long Term Disability Leave
    • Voluntary workload reduction (VWR)
    • Compassionate Care Leave
    • Maternity, Parental & Adoption Leave
    • General Leave (Paid/Unpaid) - Exempt
    • Unassisted Leave
    • Deferred Salary Leave
    • Public Duty Leave
    • Exchange Leave
  • A future release of Unit4 in the Autumn of 2020 will cover these extended leaves forms, as there are extra considerations for these leaves. These leaves will not be accepted in the Absence module.

What if I currently submit bi-weekly absence reports? Will these still be required?

  • Employees currently submitting absence reports to payroll (i.e. non-timesheet driven employees) will no longer be required to do so.
  • Submit all absence requests (planned, unplanned) through the Absence Module.
  • Employees who currently submit timesheets will continue to do so, and will need to include absences taken even when they have been submitted via the Absence Module.

If we are submitting absences in the Absence Module, will we still be required to submit timesheets?

  • The Absence Module is for planning purposes, whereas Timesheets record hours worked and absences taken, and feed into the Payroll system. Employees who regularly submit timesheets will be required to use the absence module for planning, as well as report their hours of work and absences on the time sheets. 
  • Timesheet functionality release is anticipated for June. Until then, the current timesheet process will continue.

Why did I receive the error message "Failed to save - personal work schedule doesn't exist" when submitting an absence request?

  • You are receiving this message because the contract for your current position is ending and no future contract to continue has been submitted for that position. Please contact your supervisor and/or HR.

Why is there no position available for me to select when submitting an absence request?

  • You are receiving this message because you don't have a contract extending beyond August 21st.  Please contact your supervisor and/or HR.

How do I modify an approved absence request?

  • Review Modifying an Absence Request for step-by-step instructions on removing a request for time off that was previously approved. Note: if the absence has already taken place, you will need to reach out to your payroll officer via email for an adjustment.

How do I delete an approved request?

How do I respond to my Supervisor's request for 'additional information'?

  • To respond to a request for 'additional information' from a supervisor, go to  “My Employment”  >   “Start Pages” , and click on " Absences" .  Make the appropriate changes to the relevant request.

I'm an employee holding multiple positions. When requesting time off, I must submit a request for each position.  As a result, the system multiplies the total hours requested by the number of positions I hold, so looks like I'm requesting more time than I actually am.

  • When selecting "Full Day", for two or more P/T positions, the summary will display the sum of hours requested multiplied by the number of positions (i.e. 1 day = 7 hrs, 2 days absence from 2 P/T positions  = 14 hours).  Don't worry! These balances do not transfer directly to your Payroll.  Rather, Payroll runs a report to cross reference against the actual FTE of each position and applies that value of actual hours to your payroll and balances. 

As a PPWC employee, what absence types will I be able to select?

As a BCGEU employee, what absence types will I be able to select?

As an SCFA employee, what absence types will I be able to select?

I'm a SCFA or BCGEU member, how do I report my sick time?

  • SCFA and BCGEU do not have a sick balance that needs to be adjusted for normal sick days taken. However, for regular ongoing employees, disability leaves will allow up to a 30 day sick leave per occurrence per the Collective Agreements. If you need to schedule a Sick Leave, you may use the "Sick Leave BCGEU" or "Sick Leave SCFA" option, respectively, in the Reason drop down menu.

As an exempt employee, what absence types am I entitled to?

I don't have a vacation bank because I am paid vacation each period, but I want a non-sick day off. Which code do I use?

  • When you do not have accrued vacation balance, please use the Absence code LWOP - Leave Without Pay.


I am a PPWC Employee and need to submit my timesheet. How is this impacted by the Absence Module?

The absence requests submitted in the absence module are not reflected on your timesheet.  You still need to fill in your timesheet with all the applicable time codes. 


As a Supervisor, how will I know when an employee has requested time off?

What benefit does the Absence module provide to Supervisors?

  • People Planner provides supervisors with an effective planning tool, providing visibility of departmental planned absences at a glance, making the approval process much quicker.
  • Supervisors will receive notifications within the system to alert when an absence request has been submitted. The notification includes the employee's current balances to help inform the supervisor prior to approval. Once approved, the absence will automatically be logged into People Planner to help track and plan coverage.
  • Supervisors will also receive notifications when an employee wants to cancel or reschedule a planned absence. This will support the planning of resources. 

As a Supervisor, how will I know if employees are exceeding their balances or if they will have enough vacation accrued to cover the request before the date occurs?

  • The absence request notification that requires supervisor approval will state the employee's actual balances that are current as of the most recent pay period to help aid the decision for approval. 
  • Supervisors and employees requiring assistance with calculating vacation accrual may contact the appropriate Payroll Officer.
  • Supervisors may generate a report detailing employee vacation and leave balances  for their area within U4BW. 

As a Supervisor, how do I designate a substitute to review and action absence requests in my absence?

As a Supervisor, how do I action a request for time off?

As a Supervisor, how do I approve or reject individual requests?

  1. Click on 'Advanced mode' at the bottom of the request approval screen.

  2. In the new view, you may amend each line individually, using the smaller buttons directly below the line items.

  3. Once you're done, scroll to the bottom (i.e. below 'Details') and 'Save'.

As a Supervisor, how do I know if an employee has removed previously approved time off?

  • See the instructional article "Setting-up People Planner" for instructions on how to view approved absences for your employees.


How does People Planner work?

People Planner is a visual way of viewing the approved absences for your employees. People Planner shows the planned absences for a time period, and will support you in making staffing decisions. For more information, review the step-by-step document "Setting-up People Planner".

Can I track non-absence items (i.e. backfill coverage, assignments) for my staff in People Planner?

  • Supervisors have the ability to track items not captured by the absence module (i.e. HR approved Leaves, Gradual Returns To Work, assignments) for their staff in People Planner in order to provide total visibility of staff deployment. Review the step-by-step document "Adding Assignments In People Planner" to learn more.

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