Set Up Paid Time Off (PTO)

Benefit to the OnTheClock User

PTO is the same as Paid Time Off. There are 4 categories of PTO available: Vacation, Holiday, Sick, and Personal. You may use all of these or some of these depending on your policy. You may rename the columns to better fit your policy.  Give employees a set number of hours off, or let them accrue paid time off over a period of time, approve and track usage. 


Setting up PTO   Renaming PTO categories
Sick Time Accrual FAQ
PTO Carryforward    Related Topics


To Set Up Paid Time Off From a Browser

  1. Log in as the administrator.
  2. Click “Employees” at the top of the screen.
  3. Select the employee to adjust PTO.
  4. Click “PTO Settings” 
  5. Select which to add, “VAC”, “SIC”, “HOL” or “PER”.  Set up for all four is the same.
  6. Select in the drop-down menu one of the below options.
    • Allot X hours per year: Hours are given at the start of the period for the entire period.
    • Accrue X hours per regular hour worked: Hours are given after each regular hour is worked at the end of the day. Does not give hours for overtime hours.
    • Accrue X % of regular worked hours: % is given after each regular hour is worked at the end of the day. Does not give hours for overtime hours.
    • Accrue X hours per pay period: Hours are given after a fully completed pay period. If the “Start Accruing On” date is in the middle of a pay period it will not accrue for that pay period.
    • Accrue X hours per every hour worked: Hours are given after each hour is worked at the end of the day. Gives hours for the total of hours worked each day, including overtime hours. This works for the mandatory California sick time requirement.
  7. Note the “Allot”/”Accrue” field changes depending on which option you choose. Enter either the hours given to the employee or the corresponding amount of hours to receive as they work based on your rule.
  8. “Start Accruing On” may be any date, employee hire date or fiscal year for example.
  9. “Stop Accruing On” could be a year, depending on your policy.
  10. “Previous Balance” can be entered as total hours carrying over from the previous system or year, as a positive or negative number.
  11. “Max Hours Per Year” limits the amount of accrued hours between start and stop dates.

For more information:

  1. Is The new unlimited PTO format for You? Click here to go to our “Unlimited PTO: The Ultimate Guide” page, where you can review to see if you want to use the Unlimited PTO.
  2. Need Help Creating Your Paid Time Off Policy? Click here to go to our “How to Create A Paid Time Off Policy “page, where it will help you in creating your PTO policy. 

Set Up Sick Time Accruals based on 1 Hour for X Hours Worked

Some states have sick time leave laws where they give the employee 1 hour for X hours worked. 

  1. Go to the employee icon and select an employee.
  2. Click on the tab “PTO settings”.
  3. Go to the heading SIC and select the rule “Accrue X hours per every hour worked”.
  4. Take the state rule you wish to apply, and divide it by the hours worked. Example: 1 hour for every 30 hours worked. Divide 1 by 30 and you get .03333333.
    1. We recommend rounding this to the 4th decimal to 0.0334. This will give the employee 1.0020 hours for every 30 hours worked rather than .9999 hours if you did not round up.
  5. Enter the value into the accrue box. Example: 0.0334
  6. If the State’s law caps the maximum hours that you need to give, then put that amount in the “Max Hours per Year” box.

NOTE: Your sick time accrual law can be different based on your state, this is just a general example. To learn more about Sick Time Laws in your area, you can check out hr360 here.


To Carry Forward Balances for a New Year (see 4:13 in video)

  1. Log in as an administrator.
  2. Click on “PTO” at the top of the screen.
  3. Select “PTO Renewal”.
  4. Select whether you want to update the employees due “Now”, “Within 30 days” or if you want to see “(All) (All employees).”
  5. All of the options above work the same way to complete renewing PTO.
  6. Next, click the red buttons next to the employees to update, and turn them green. 
  7. Then choose the "Proposed PTO Values for New Year".  “Yes”, “No” or “Some Hours”. “Some Hours” will require you to enter a number.  
  8. If you would like the employees to all be automatic “Yes” or “No” or “Some Hours”, click “Yes”, “No” or “Some Hours” nearest the heading "What is Your Policy for Carrying Forward Hours?" and you will see all of the checkboxes are highlighted at once making it quicker.
  9. Click the “Roll Forward PTO” button.
  10. Click the “Export PTO Balance” button to get a report to view.
    • This will show the employee #, name, type of paid time off, the balance, how much was used, how much is left and the paid time off rule the employee is set for.

Rename Paid Time Off (PTO) or Other Time Card Headings (see 10:20 in video)

  1. Log in as the administrator.
  2. If the provided headings don’t fit your business need, you may rename by clicking “Settings” then select “Time Clock Settings”.
  3. Click the “Advanced Settings” Tab.
  4. Enter a different name in “New Name” for your viewing in “Time Cards”.
  5. Enter a different “Export Name” if you would like to change how it shows on reports to payroll.
  6. Click “Visible” from red to green for those you would like to see in the “Time Card” screen.
  7. Click the “Save Settings” button.


Frequently Asked Questions

Q: Can I carry forward the remaining balance (unused hours) for an employee?

A: Yes, you can enter any carry-forward hours in the “Previous Balance” field. Any hours added here will be given in addition to the allotted or accrued hours.


Q: I set a “Max PTO,” but the summary is showing more hours available than the max I set.

A: The “Max PTO” only applies to accrued PTO. Anything added as carry over (“previous balance”) hours will be added on top of the accrued/allotted hours. For example, if your employee carries forward 10 hours of Vacation but their max accrual is 120 hours for the year, the system will continue to accrue until 120 hours is reached but you will see 130 hours on your summary because of the previous balance does not count towards the yearly accrual. 


Q: How can I adjust for the previous balance being added on top of my set max hours? 

A: To adjust your accrual amounts to not exceed your max in OnTheClock, adjust the Max PTO amount. For example, if you carry forward 10 hours and your max is 120, set the max to be 110. This way, the accrual will stop at 110 hours + the carryover hours, leaving your total accrual at 120 hours in the summary. 


Q: Can I download my PTO balances for all employees at once?

A: Yes. From the “PTO” dropdown at the top of the page, select “PTO Renewal.” On this page, click “Export PTO Balances” to download the report with each employee’s remaining balance. We strongly recommend that you download this report before updating PTO records.


Q: Where can I see PTO balances from a previous year once I’ve updated the PTO year for an employee?

A: An administrator can view this information by going to “Settings” > “Time Clock Settings” > “View Raw Activity Log.” Here, use the “Employee Record Updates & Deletes” filter at the top (you may also need to un-check the “All” filter option) to make finding this information easier.



Click on the Links Below for Other PTO Related Topics

Approving Paid Time Off (PTO) Requests

Add a Paid Time Off Request (PTO) for or by an Employee

Check Paid Time Off (PTO) Balances

Add Pre-Determined Holidays and Days Off with Bulk PTO

Making Corrections to the Time Cards and Manual Entries

Paid Time Off (PTO) Calendar



Employees, click here to learn about requesting time off


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