Beta-Test | Automatic Deficit Hours | March 2022

This article provides all the information needed by Personio customers who are participating in the beta test for the new Automatic Deficit Hours feature. Thank you for participating in this beta test.

Click on the Follow button at the top-right of the application to receive an email notification that includes current information on the development progress and the individual beta phases.


The Beta Testing Procedure

The beta test is expected to proceed as follows:



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Invitation to the beta phase

  • You can join the beta test through the pop-up in your Personio account.

Start of the beta phase 

  • The functionalities listed below are activated in your Personio account.
  • The testing phase ends with the official release of the functionalities.


Scope of the Beta Test

The following functionality is available in the current beta phase:

Automatic Deficit Hours

This feature will create a negative attendance entry on a workday when no time was tracked. Configurations can be done individually per working hours schedule.


How to Activate Automatic Deficit Hours

To activate automatic deficit hours for a working hour schedule, follow these steps:

  1. Go to Settings > WORK HOURS AND ABSENCES > Attendance. 
  2. Create a new working hours schedule or click on an existing one. The working hours schedule will appear on the right of the screen.
  3. Click on Edit next to the working hours schedule name.
  4. Scroll down to the Overtime & Deficit Hours section. To track overtime, you must select the Yes radio button next to Track overtime. To track deficit hours, you must select the Yes radio button next to Track deficit hours?.
  5. A new setting option will then appear. To activate the feature, select the Track automatic deficit hours for days with no time tracked? Yes radio button.
  6. Click on Save Work Schedule at the bottom of the screen.


If you activate this functionality for a working hours schedule, it will impact past data. For example, if you activate it for Working Hours Schedule A, automatic deficit hours will be created for every work day in the past year that the employee to whom Working Hours Schedule A is assigned did not track time.

To avoid this, create a new working hours schedule with the activated automatic deficit hour feature and assign it to the respective employees from today on.

To be able to activate automatic deficit hours for individual working hours schedules, you need to either be a Personio a
dministrator or have access rights for the Attendance section. Access rights can be granted under Settings > ORGANIZATION AND PEOPLE > Employee Roles > [respective role] > Access rights > Account configuration > Attendance.


How it Looks in the Employee Attendance Tab

Once you activate automatic deficit hours for a working hours schedule, the following action will be applied for all employees to whom that working schedule is assigned.

At 02:00 am, our system will check all the days that an employee was supposed to work, according to their working schedule, since the working hours schedule was first assigned to the employee. If an employee was supposed to work on a specific day in the past according to their work schedule, but they did not track an attendance period or absence, a deficit hour will automatically be created for that day and the message No time tracked will display



How to Deactivate Automatic Deficit Hours

Automatic deficit hours can be deactivated at any time. If you deactivate the feature, all automatically created deficit hours will disappear from the Attendance tab of the employees to whom the working hours schedule is assigned.

To deactivate the feature, navigate to Settings > WORK HOURS AND ABSENCES > Attendance, click on the respective working hours schedule and select the No radio button next to Track automatic deficit hours for days with no time tracked?  



As a beta customer, you have the opportunity to actively shape the experience for attendances. The Automatic Deficit Hours feature that you are testing is in an early development stage and we would love to hear your thoughts about it. You will automatically receive a notification in Personio five days after you activate the feature via Settings. The sooner we receive your feedback the better, so that ideally we can analyze and further consider it for future improvements.

Schedule a Call with Us to Discuss Your Feedback


Frequently Asked Questions 

What happens to past data if you activate automatic deficit hours for an existing working schedule? 
If you activate automatic deficit hours for an existing working schedule, it will affect all past data for periods when that working schedule was active. For example, if employee A had a working schedule X assigned to them from January 1st until today, then for every day on that working schedule that the employee was supposed to work but did not, automatic deficit hours will be created. This means that there might be large changes to the employee's overtime balance if they have not tracked time for several days for which they were supposed to work. It is important to notify your employees ahead of time that these changes will happen.
What can I do if I do not want past data for a working schedule to be affected?
If you only want the automatic deficit hours to take effect from today on, we recommend creating a new working schedule, and activating automatic deficit hours for that new schedule.
What happens if I turn on automatic deficit hours and decide to turn it off later? 
If you change your mind regarding having automatic deficit hours activated for a working schedule, you can deactivate it at any time and the data will be completely reverted. If you deactivate automatic deficit hours, all the deficit hours that were automatically created for that working schedule will be deleted, and all overtime balances will return to what they were before you activated automatic deficit hours.
Do our employees still have to do the 0-hour workaround? 
No, once you activate automatic deficit hours for a specific working hours schedule, employees on that working schedule will no longer have to create a 0-hour period for those days for which they were supposed to work but did not. 
What happens to days that already have the 0-hour workaround? 
If you activate automatic deficit hours, deficit hours will only be created for days that are on the working schedule but have no time tracked. If there is already a 0-hour period tracked for that day, no deficit hours will be added for that day.
Why are the 0-hour days no longer appearing in my Attendance Report? 
Because you no longer need to create a 0-hour period, these will no longer be included in the Attendance Report.
What happens if I have an integration set up that automatically registers 0-hour periods?
Some of our integration partners, including ZEP, automatically register 0-hour periods. We will notify these partners of our new functionality, and it will be up to them to turn off their automated 0-hour periods. They will notify you if they turn off this automation. Even if they do not turn off the automation and keep registering the 0-hour periods while you have the new feature active, this will not have any impact in the system.
I have sick day absence types that do not track overtime, and now there are automatic deficit hours on every sick day. How can I fix this? 
You have a few options:
1. In the settings for that particular absence type, select the Yes radio button next to Consider time tracked during absences of this type as overtime?. If someone works for two hours on a sick day, it will then count as overtime. If someone does not work on a sick day, it will not then generate deficit hours.
2. You can create a manual adjustment to correct all of the deficit hours that are created on sick days.
3. You can deactivate automatic deficit hours.
What should I communicate to my employees?  
We recommend letting employees know that deficit hours will be automatically created on days for which they do not track time, and that they no longer need to use the 0-hour workaround. We also recommend letting them know that when this feature is first activated, there may be a change in their overtime balance as the deficit hours are created.
What happens when an employee returns from a leave period?
When an employee comes back from a leave period and the status changes from leave to active, deficit hours will be created for the period where the employee has not tracked any time. We would recommend booking an absence for that period where the employee was on leave to avoid deficit hours being created for past empty days.
Why are deficit hours tracked even though I have an absence booked on that day?
The most likely cause for this results from the absence type settings. Please check your absence type settings under Settings > Absence > [Respective Absence Type] > Validity Settings. There you will find the option “Consider time tracked during absences of this type as overtime?”. If you have set this option to No, then deficit hours are tracked as this option means your employees are required to track time during this absence. If you set this option to Yes, the overall target hours of the employees will be reduced and no time needs to be tracked. Please keep in mind that changes for active, used absences will affect past entries.
What if only recently employees need to track time?
As working hour schedules need to be set up right from the employee’s start day, we would recommend creating a new working hour schedule and assigning it to the day from where the employee needs to track time. Thereby you ensure that no deficit hours will be created for past empty days.



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