AccountRight Plus and Premier, Australia only

Most employees are entitled to a certain number of days of annual leave, personal leave (such as sick leave) and other forms of leave that they can take during the year. If you're unsure what leave your employees are entitled to, the FairWork website is a good place to start.

In AccountRight you track the hours and days they are entitled to take, using entitlement categories. When paying out the entitlement, you'll use a wage category (whether the employee is hourly or salary based). The hours you enter against the wage category will automatically offset the entitlement balance owing to the employee.

Wage and entitlement categories highlighted on a pay

In the example above, the employee has taken 7.6 hours of annual leave during the pay period. The Annual Leave Accrual entitlement category shows the number of hours the employee has accrued over the pay period. At any time, you can also view an employee's entitlement balances.



Let's step you through how to set up a leave entitlement.


Set up an entitlement category
  1. Go to the Payroll command centre and click Payroll Categories.
  2. Click the Entitlements tab.
  3. If the entitlement you want to set up already exists, open the category. Otherwise, click New and give the entitlement a name.
  4. Set up how you want to calculate the accrual of entitlement hours. You have three options:
    Calculation basis set to user entered per pay period

    > User-Entered: If you want to enter the hours to accrue in each employee’s standard pay, or manually enter hours accrued when recording the pays, select the User-Entered Amount per Pay Period option.

    > Percentage: If your employees are paid on an hourly basis, select the Equals [x] Percent of option.

    You need to specify a percentage rate, which will be multiplied by the hours worked in the pay period, to determine the number of entitlement hours accrued.

    The National Employment Standards specify that as a minimum, full-time and part-time employees get 4 weeks of annual leave, based on their ordinary hours of work. Also, the minimum personal leave entitlement is 10 days per year for full-time employees, or pro rata of 10 days for part-time employees, depending on their hours of work.

    If your employees are entitled to 4 weeks of annual leave per year (or pro-rata for part-time employees), the percentage to use is 7.6923%.

    If your employees are entitled to 10 days of personal leave per year (or pro-rata for part-time employees), the percentage to use is 3.84615%.

    If your employee entitlements are different to these, see our FAQ below on how to calculate the right percentage.

    Have more questions about minimum leave entitlements? See the Fair Work website.

    Select the category to base the calculation on from the Percent of selection list. We suggest you select the Gross Hours option and then click Exempt to choose the categories you don’t want the entitlement to accrue on.

    For example, say your employees work a 38 hour week, and occasionally work overtime. You need to exempt any categories that are paid in addition to the employee’s standard 38 hour working week, such as overtime hours, holiday leave loading. But don’t exempt categories that are paid instead of their normal hours, such as annual leave or personal leave, otherwise the accrual will not calculate correctly.

    > Hours: If your employees are paid a salary, select the Equals [x] Hours per option.

    To calculate the correct number of entitlement hours, you need to specify a fixed rate that should be accrued each Pay Period, Month or Year, regardless of the hours worked by the employee. No matter which option you choose, the total hours accrued per year will be the same, so choose the calculation that’s easiest for you to work out.


    Say your employees are entitled to 4 weeks annual leave per year, and they work a 7.6-hour day (38-hour week). You would enter: 

    • 152 hours per year (4 weeks x 38 hours) or
    • 12.67 hours per month (152 hours / 12 months) or 
    • the rate per pay period, which you calculate by dividing the entitlement hours by the number of pay periods. For example, if your employees are paid fortnightly, you would enter 5.846 per pay period (152 hours / 26 pay periods).
  5. Link a wage category to the entitlement:

    Each entitlement category must be linked to at least one wage category. In the Linked Wages Category field, select the categories that you’ll use to record the hours taken by employees for this entitlement. When recording a pay for an employee who has used their entitlement, for example, by taking a holiday, you allocate the hours taken using the linked wage category, and the employee’s accrued leave balance will be automatically reduced.

    For example, when setting up a Personal Leave Accrual entitlement category, you could link the Personal Leave Pay and Personal Leave Pay (No Cert) wage categories (or whatever categories you've set up for this purpose).When an employee takes some personal time off, the Personal Leave Accrual balance is reduced by the hours you enter in those linked wage categories.

    Linked wage categories selected for entitlement category

  6. Select who the entitlement applies to:

    Click Employee and select all employees who are entitled to this leave, and to whom the rate or percentage you've entered applies.

    Linked employees window with employees selected

    If you have:
    • entered a percentage, only select employees who are paid hourly
    • entered a fixed rate, only select salaried employees. 
    • chosen to enter a user-entered amount, select all the employees for whom you've specified entitlement hours in their standard pays.
To record leave taken

When processing a pay run (Payroll command centre > Process Payroll > Employee Pays step), open the employee’s pay and enter the hours taken during the pay period in the Hours column of the wage category as a positive amount (if you use timesheets to track leave hours, the hours will be filled in for you).

Annual leave entered on pay with leave tracking information window shown

Click the arrow that’s next to the leave’s wage category. Here you can enter some notes about the leave that was taken. You can also enter the start and end date for the leave taken in the period (but if the employee took several non-consecutive days, just note down the details in the Notes field).


How do I calculate the entitlement percentage?

Here’s the formula:

Percentage = (Total hours entitled to in a year / Total number of working hours in a year) x 100

Example 1: Annual leave entitlements

Say your employees work 38 hours a week and are entitled to 4 weeks annual leave per year.

To calculate the accrual percentage: 

Total hours entitled to in a year = 152 (38 hours × 4 weeks)
Total number of working hours in a year = 1976 (38 hours × 52 weeks)

(152/1976) x 100 = 7.6923%

Example 2: Personal leave entitlements

Say your employees work 7.6 hours a day and are entitled to 10 days personal leave per year.

To calculate the accrual percentage:

Total hours entitled to in a year = 76 (7.6 hours × 10 days)
Total number of working hours in a year = 1976 (38 hours × 52 weeks)

(76/1976) x 100 = 3.84615%

Check your leave calculation using the Fairwork Leave Calculator

I have part-time employees as well. Do I need separate entitlement categories?

Not necessarily. If your part-time employees' entitlements are pro-rata of the full-time entitlements, the percentage used will be the same. This is illustrated in the example below.

Assume that your full-time employees work a 38-hour week and are entitled to 4 weeks (152 hours) of annual leave per year. You also have part-time employees who work a 19-hour week and are entitled to 4 weeks leave equal to 76 hours.


Percentage = (Total hours entitled to in a year / Total number of working hours in a year) x 100


For the full-time employees:

Total hours entitled to in a year = 152 (38 hours × 4 weeks)
Total number of working hours in a year = 1976 (38 hours × 52 weeks)

(152/1976) x 100 = 7.6923%

For part-time employees:

Total hours entitled to in a year = 76 (19 hours × 4 weeks)
Total number of working hours in a year = 988 (19 hours × 52 weeks)

(76/988) x 100 = 7.6923%

How do I get leave balances to reset at the start of the payroll year?

Deselect the Carry Remaining Entitlement Over to Next Year option in the Entitlement Information window.

What if some employees are paid hourly, and others are on a salary?

You’ll need to set up separate entitlement categories - one for hourly-based employees and another for salary based. For hourly employees, specify a percentage rate, and for the salary employees, specify a fixed rate per pay period, month or year. 

Then click the Employee button in the Entitlement Information window to select the employees.

How do I record employee opening (carry over) balances?

If your employees already had entitlements owing to them when you started using AccountRight’s payroll features, enter the opening balances in their card.

Go to Card File command centre > Cards List, open an employee card > Payroll Details tab > Entitlements. Enter the opening balances in the Carry Over column.

Carry over leave entered on employee's card

How do I print leave hours accrued in the pay period on payslips?

Select the Print on Pay Advice option in the Entitlement Information window.

I’ve recorded pays with incorrect leave hours. How do I fix the leave balances?

Either make the adjustment on the employee’s next pay, or record a pay for $0 that only includes the leave hour adjustment. (If you only need to do this for one employee, select the Process individual employee option in the Pay Period step of the Process Payroll assistant.)

In the example below, we want to adjust the employee’s holiday leave balance by 5 hours. Notice that all hours and amounts on the pay are zero, except for the entitlement's Hours column.

Pay employee window with zero value and -5 entered against leave accrual category

A few more tips:

  • Enter ADJ in the Cheque No. field, so you can identify it as an adjustment.
  • Enter a description of the adjustment in the Memo field.
  • Set the Pay Slip Delivery Status to Already Printed or Sent, so that it doesn’t appear in email and print lists.
  • When recording the $0 pay, you'll see a message that you're about to void a cheque. That’s OK in this case.
How can I track leave taken, so I can process it in the next pay run?

We suggest you use timesheets. You can include the hours you record on the timesheet (Payroll command centre) in the pay run.

Example timesheet with 2 days annual leave and 1 day personal leave

How do I set up holiday leave loading?

You don’t need to set up an entitlement category to handle holiday leave loading. A wage category for this purpose is set up by default in your company file - it’s either named Annual Leave Loading or Holiday Leave Loading. It’s set up as an hourly wage category with a pay rate of Regular Rate multiplied by 0.1750, as shown below (if you use a different rate, just replace it).

Example annual leave loading wage category

Click the Employee button to assign this category to employees who are eligible for the leave loading.

When you enter the holiday pay hours on an employee’s pay, enter the same number of hours for the holiday leave loading category, as shown below.

Example pay with 15.2 hours entered against leave loading category

How do I process pays that include leave paid in advance?

If you’re processing a pay that includes their standard pay, plus leave equal to additional pay periods, select the Pay leave in advance option in the Pay Period step of the Process Payroll Assistant. You can then select the number of standard pays you’re processing for the employee (0 or 1) plus the additional pay periods of leave.

Can I delete an entitlement category?

You can only delete an entitlement category if it hasn't been used in an employee's pay.

  1. Go to the Lists menu and choose Payroll Categories.
  2. Click the Entitlement tab.
  3. Click the zoom arrow to open the entitlement category to be deleted.
  4. Go to the Edit menu and choose Delete Entitlement.