Tracking the Impact of COVID-19 on Your Organization in Workday®

Now that we’re over seven months into COVID-19, we have more evidence on the most effective ways to track the impacts on your organization. One of the biggest lessons learned to date is that the original design to track these time offs needs to be strategic, in order to receive the intended results. Below are the most effective ways that organizations have tracked COVID related time offs and potential considerations that may lead you to choose one option over another:

1. Create Time Off Reason Codes

A simple option would be to add reason codes to your time offs to show that the time off  is because of COVID. These time off reasons can then be tracked and referenced in reports.


  • We cannot trigger different approval steps or conditions based on time off reasons in Workday. So, if your organization needs different approval flow for COVID related time offs, one of the following options could be more appropriate.
  • Once added to your existing time offs, reasons cannot be inactivated (if, in the future a COVID designation is not desired). The issue has been long debated in the Workday community, here’s a link to the current brainstorm (for Workday Customers)

2. Create an Independent COVID Related Time Off Plan

A new time off plan specifically for COVID related requests could be a suitable option if giving employees a separate balance of time to use for COVID requests should not affect their balances for other time off plans like PTO and Sick Time.


  • Because this is a newly created plan, there will potentially need to be payroll considerations made to ensure this new time off is paid appropriately.
  • This new plan would have its own stand-alone balance. So, if your organization is not looking to give a stand-alone balance of time to be used for COVID and you’d prefer employees use their PTO or Sick, the final option would be your best solution.

3. Create Additional Time Off Within Existing Plans

The third and final option is what we have seen the most used to address tracking of   COVID related time off. This option refers to creating additional time offs related to COVID that can be included within existing time off plans. For example, a time off could be added to your organization’s PTO or Sick Time plan and employees could select the COVID time off whenever the time off is COVID related.


  • When requesting a COVID time off within an existing plan, this will decrement the balance of that plan. There will potentially need to be payroll considerations made since these are newly created time offs.
  • If in the future these COVID time offs are no longer needed, they can be inactivated by adding a new effective date and adjusting eligibility to make employees ineligible for this time off after a certain date.

Please contact the Commit team if you are interested in learning more about these options for COVID time off configuration!

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