Sick leave not reducing

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Posted 1 year ago

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Rav, Community Manager

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Hi Catherine,
The first thing I'd recommend is checking the setup of your sick leave item.

Also, has it worked properly on previous occasions?
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Debbie Williams

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HI All,
I have never been able to get any leave; annual, sick or LSL hours to reduce.  We use timesheet functionality to enter hours worked each week.  We run our payroll monthly.  We are using Reckon Accounts Premier.  The available hours for each category accrue correctly, but there seems to be no way of linking the sick leave or annual leave hours taken from timesheets to the available accrued hours.  Do we need to use a specific service item in timesheet to link the two together?  This has frustrated me since we started using QuickBooks and subsequently Reckon for 20 years.  We have an external Excel spreadsheet where we tally the figures and update the individual hours every month prior to running payroll.  It is very slow and laborious, not to mention the possibility of data entry errors

Hi Debbie

When setup correctly, all leave hours & Time in Lieu will accrue/deduct each pay run accordingly.  If this is not working for you, something is wrong with the setup.

A few things to check ...

On the RA Timesheet:

  • Ensure you use the correct Payroll Item, when recording employee hours (eg standard or Leave) 

On each Employee's Leave Details tab :

  • Make sure you have each employee's Accrual Period set to "Every hour"  (This ensures if their hours change - eg from FT to PT - their leave still accrues proportionately)
  • Check you have the correct accrual rate entered in Hours accrued per hour paid - For a 38-hr week, the hourly accrual for AL is 0.07692 & half that (0.03847) for SL
(NB: Due to rounding, RA will default the AL rate to 0.07694 & the SL accrual rate to 0.03833)   The LSL accrual is 0.01667 (however, this is for WA so not sure where you're located)  Obviously, if you are under an Award that allows for more/other leave, these can also be calculated back to a "per hour" accrual rate)

Based on 4 weeks (20 days) entitlement per year, on a 38-hr week, paid fortnightly, the AL formula is:

Total leave hours allowable per year / total pay periods per year / total hours per pay period (eg 150 / 26 / 75 = 0.07692 hrs per hr)

You can adjust this formula for 4-wkly or monthly pay periods accordingly.

Obviously, if you are under an Award that allows for more leave &/or other leave types, these can also be calculated back to a "per hour" accrual rate using the formula above.

  • Ensure the Maximum number of hours field is blank (& NOT "0.00")
  • Check the Year begins on, Day & Begin accruing time on fields (usually, set to the employee's start date)

On Payroll Items:

  • Ensure Include in "every hour worked" leave accruals checkbox is TICKED on all relevant Payroll Items (eg standard Pay Items incl Leave Items & Allowances)

Once you've got the accrual/used working on each employee's Pay:

  • Enter each employee's total available hours from your spreadsheet (according to the Hours available as of xx/xx/xxxx)
  • If necessary, update each employee's Hours used this year field


  • When you process a pay, make sure your Pay Period Ends date & Payment Date are correct.  (These may be the same, but usually pays are processed after the hours have been worked)
  • In the Pay window, make sure the Do not accrue time checkbox is UNTICKED

Hope this helps :)

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Debbie Williams

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HI Shaz,

Thanks for such a detailed response.  Your first point is "ensure you use the correct Payroll Item".  What item should that be?  Is there a special one that should be used to link it back to the leave hours?  Currently we use an item called Non Billable:sick leave, or Non Billable: annual leave.  As mentioned in my first post, we use timesheets, so we need to be able to track the leave hours taken (for our company, not against one of our clients) but ensure it is non billable, not just simply unchecking the billable box at the end of the timesheet row.

We are situated in NSW.  We have the Accrual Period to be "every pay".


Hi Debbie

I think you might be confusing the timesheet's "Service Item" with the timesheet's "Payroll Item".  The Service Item picks up Items from your Item List & is completely separate/independent to Payroll.

The Payroll Item is what carries the hours through to your Payroll area (where you "Pay Employees")   For the hours to come across & work correctly, you must use actual "Payroll Items" setup as previously detailed.

Personally, I never use "Every Pay" as the employee's Leave Accrual because accrual is based on hours worked so if anyone's hours change, their accrual won't pro rata as it should.  Accrual "Every Hour" eliminates this issue.

The only result of not ticking the "billable" checkbox is that the detail is not held in the "Add Time/Costs" area (for adding to invoices).  It has no effect on the company's financials.

I hope that helps. 

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Debbie Williams

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HI Shaz,

We have both full time employees and contractors working for us.  The full time employees have their payroll item as salary and as such do not have their pay determined by the number of hours they work, thus the "use time data to create paycheques" is NOT turned on for them.  For our contractors, that facility is turned on to generate their pay based on how many hours they have worked.  Their payroll item is set to the daily rate they are paid.  As they are contractors we do not need to record any sick or annual leave for them.

So my question is, how do we record the sick or annual leave for our salaried staff members as we do not track the number of hours they are working?

Thanks in advance for you help.  Your comments thus far have been greatly appreciated.

Hi Debbie

You stated previously that you use Timesheets so it was my understanding that you meant those within the software.

OK, if you are using Salary Payroll Items, you need to setup Salary Leave Items for when your applicable staff take Leave:

Create a New Payroll Item (Payroll Item Type: Wage > Wages: Annual Salary >),  which will bring you to this window: 

This is how you tell RA that the Item you're creating affects Leave so that it deducts from the Leave balance(s) accordingly.  Setup up one for each Leave Type eg one for SL (listed as "Sick Pay"), one for AL (listed as "Holiday Pay") & one for LSL

Follow the setup prompts on each window - Link to your Payroll Salaries & Wages (or subaccount if broken down further) Expense account.  At Tax Tracking Type, they should all be linked to "Gross Payments", both PAYGW & State Payroll Tax apply so ensure these are both ticked & lastly make sure on "Inclusions" that you tick the checkbox & select the appropriate Super Funds to ensure Super also calculates on these Leave Items.

Most importantly, when paying an employee Leave, you MUST use the applicable Leave Item otherwise RA doesn't know it's Leave that's being paid & therefore doesn't deduct it from the balance.

You will need to enter the applicable hours on the employee's Pay because the employee's default balance records for available & used leave are in hours.  This doesn't alter their salary - RA will calculate the remainder of the pay to total up to their usual salary amount. 

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To further this, I was wondering if anyone knew how we can allocate different sick leave payroll items to all deduct from Personal Leave? For example, I want to have sick leave with certificate, sick leave without certificate, carer's leave and bereavement leave all deduct from their personal leave balance. i can see above shows me how to set them up, but they are already set up, but don't seem to be linked to sick leave. Is it possible to link them without having to set them up new?
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I’m wondering the same as Kate I have set up sick leave and sick leave without cert however my sickleave without cert is not getting deducted off personal leave yet it’s set up the same as sick leave. Can anyone advise how I can fix this I’m using Reckon desktop

Hi Kate & EJ

Any Leave Payroll Items must be setup correctly to start with in order to link to their particular accrual area.  Unfortunately, one of the setup windows in that process is only visible in the initial setup so it’s not possible to correct it if it’s that part that’s incorrect.


Sick Leave/Carers Leave – with or without a Certificate - all falls under “Sick Leave” – This accrues as an employee works & can be successfully tracked via separate Payroll Items providing they are setup correctly as above.


Bereavement /Compassionate Leave on the other hand, is an additional NES entitlement (as per the Fair Work Information Statement) of “2 days paid compassionate leave for each permissible occasion & 2 days unpaid carers leave for each permissible occasion” 

These leave types don’t actually “accrue” & therefore don’t deduct from anywhere when paid either.  The paid compassionate leave is just paid in addition to the employee’s usual hourly/salary pay.


Hope that helps :)


Shaz Hughes Dip(Fin) ACQ NSW, MICB

Reckon Accredited Professional Partner Bookkeeper / Registered BAS Agent (No: 92314 015)

Accounted 4 Bookkeeping Services

Ballajura, WA

0422 886 003

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Thanks Shaz
I will set up a new one and test it, then make the old code inactive. Hopefully that resolves it!