Human Resources

Special features

The Online Work/Leave System (OWLS) allows you to enter calendar notes to clarify entries that otherwise may be unclear. Notes are entered by the timekeeper and there is no limit to the amount of text that the note can contain.

There are many situations in which you may need to enter a note. For example, notes should be made in the following circumstances:

  • to clarify or explain a calendar entry;
  • when changes are made after a month has been submitted; or
  • when an employee “flexes” his/her schedule.

Once entered, notes created cannot be amended or deleted. To effect a change to an existing note, you will need to create a new note indicating that the previously entered text is modified as noted.

Notes are visible only within the month in which they are created, so to view a note from a prior month, you will have to navigate back to that month.

Your note will be saved in the Notes section of the calendar month in which the note was created.

Tips for the Content of a Note

  • State the reason for the transaction.
  • Clarify the source of balance change values.
  • Be specific.
  • Keep it short.

To create a calendar note, open the employee’s record and perform the following steps:

1. Click the "Notes/Adjustments" button at the bottom of the calendar page.

2. Click the "Create Note for Month" button.

3. Enter an appropriate note. 4. Click "Save Note."

If you forget to click on “Save Note,” the note will be lost.


OWLS can provide an at-a-glance yearly summary of an employee’s leave record. In order to show a summary, at least one month must be completed in the summary selected.

This is helpful for a variety of reasons, particularly for determining if an employee has worked the required hours for FMLA eligibility, and for producing a document that can be signed.

In order to generate the yearly summary, open the employee’s OWLS record, and take the following steps:

1. Click on the "balances" tab at the top of the screen. 2. Scroll down and click the "Show Yearly Summary" button.

This will generate a PDF. Click here to see an example of what this document will look like.

Print copies as desired. Only the months that have been submitted will be displayed. Months in progress will not show up in the yearly summary.


The Online Work/Leave System (OWLS) allows you to run a simple report for active records in your unit.

  • Timekeepers and Administrators can run an OWLS report for their Payroll Unit Code(s) (PUCs) that shows the leave balances of every active employee.
  • Supervisors can run an OWLS report that shows the leave balances of every active employee for whom they are designated as supervisor.

An OWLS report will allow you to do the following:

  • View leave balances as of a particular month’s end
  • Export the report to HTML or MS Excel
  • Sort the results by Employee Last Name or EID

Currently, the report feature reflects completed and submitted calendar months. When selecting a particular month, the list of names will reflect only those active employee records that have been submitted through that month.

For example, if you are running a report for June, and an employee’s record is updated only through April, that employee’s name will not appear in the report.

All report data is generated on a nightly basis. Any changes made to an OWLS record will not be reflected in the report until the next day.

To run a report, take the following steps:

1. From the OWLS log in page, click on "OWLS Report."

2. Select a PUC. 3. Select the month as of which you want the report generated. 4. Determine how you want the results ordered. 5. Indicate what format the report should be in. 6. Click "Run Report."

If you choose to create the report in HTML, the report will open in a browser window.

If you choose to create the report in EXCEL, a “File Download – Security Warning” should appear that asks, “Do you want to open or save this file?” Clicking “Open” will open an EXCEL file. Clicking “Save” will allow you to save the report to your computer.


To ensure the accuracy of work and leave records, it is necessary to conduct periodic reviews of these records. The review should verify the completeness and accuracy of the information recorded in the Online Work/Leave System (OWLS) against the appropriate supporting documents.

As long as the information entered in OWLS is correct, the leave accrual rates and the calculations will be correct.

Any discrepancies discovered while reviewing the record must be resolved in a timely manner. Steps taken may vary depending on the discrepancy. Errors may also require payroll adjustments to correct an overpayment/underpayment.

When Should We Audit Records?

The review can be done at any time – by the pay period, monthly, quarterly, every six months, or annually. Reviews must be completed at least once a year. A review must always be done when an employee transfers to another department, separates from the University, or goes on an extended leave of absence.

Who Should Audit Records?

A person other than the regular timekeeper should conduct a review of employee work/leave records. This individual should have a good understanding of leave rules.

The reviewer will need the inquiry-only “Supervisor” or “Administrator” access to OWLS in order to review records. If the reviewer is expected to make changes to the record and/or to record any audit notes, the reviewer will need to have “Timekeeper” access on a temporary basis. Otherwise, the regular timekeeper can enter changes and audit notes based upon the reviewer’s findings.

Guidelines for Reviewing a Work/Leave Record

When your department conducts its review of employee records, use the steps below as guidelines:

Check current information about the employee

  • Review the job code and classification.
  • Ensure the accuracy of the anniversary date and UW hire date.
  • Confirm the UW hire date.
  • Confirm the separation date, if this is a separation audit.
  • Determine if the employee is eligible for prior service credit. If eligible, ensure proper entries were made.
  • Review accuracy of probationary and/or trial service period dates, if applicable.

Gather supporting documents
Any or all of the following documents may be necessary to double-check entries on the work/leave record:

  • Leave requests
  • Time sheets
  • Overtime approvals
  • Exception Time Reports (ETRs)
  • Request for Payment of Year-End Unused Sick Leave
  • Time Loss Compensation forms
  • Other documents supporting leave such as jury duty summons, letters approving requested bereavement leave, and military orders.

Using these supporting documents:

  • Ensure that the documents are dated and signed by appropriately authorized person(s).
  • On leave request forms, ensure that the type of leave requested is clearly identified.
  • Note any changes in employment (e.g., transfers, promotions, reclassifications, and reassignments).
  • Confirm reimbursement of any year-end unused sick leave.
  • Look for any changes in FTE, service period and/or work schedule noted in OPUS and other supporting documents (e.g. leaves of absence, transfers, or promotions).
  • Check if an appropriate number of hours has been accounted for, based on the employee’s established work period and appointment type.
  • Verify overtime and compensatory time eligibility.
  • Refer to the UW Compensation Plan and applicable labor contracts for information regarding any overtime provisions that may apply to the individual employee’s appointment.NOTE: Excepted work period classified employees generally are not eligible for overtime. For excepted work period positions for which straight time compensatory time is authorized, documentation of directed, excessive, and extended work hours beyond the regular schedule should be recorded on the work/leave record and filed with the supporting documents.

Double check accuracy of work and leave hours posted.

  • Check that the appropriate work and leave designations were used.
  • For overtime eligible employees, check that actual time worked beyond the regular work schedule was recorded in the calendar.
    For overtime eligible positions, verify that the appropriate overtime rate code (straight time or time and a half) was assigned to the additional number of hours worked beyond the full-time schedule.
  • If shared leave is recorded, ensure that appropriate additions and subtractions to leave balances were made for donation or receipt of shared leave. Do the same for time loss compensation with Labor & Industry (worker’s compensation) claims.
  • Determine if there is leave of absence without pay (LWOP) for more than 10 working days (80 hours, pro-rated for part-time), including holidays.
    If there is LWOP exceeding ten (10) working days posted in the month (80 hours, pro-rated for part-time), including holidays, OWLS will adjust the annual leave accrual month accordingly. No sick or annual leave will accrue for the month.
    Additionally, you will need to ensure that a holiday has been marked with an “L” if it follows a day of leave without pay.
  • Ensure that FMLA-covered leave is appropriately recorded.

Check accuracy of overtime, compensatory time, and holiday credit payments.
This is especially important if overtime is being paid or if there is leave of absence without pay. UW Internal Audit recommends that if possible, a person other than the person updating the work/leave record should reconcile the budget and payroll documents with the work/leave record.

Documents include check registers, certification reports, Budget Activity Reports (BARs), Exception Time Reports (ETRs), time sheets, leave and overtime requests, Separation Payment Authorization forms, and Requests for Payment of Year-End Unused Sick Leave.

  • Reconcile overtime payments using BARs or Payroll History Screen in OPUS.
  • Make sure overtime, comp time, and holiday credit balances are paid off each year at the appropriate time.
  • In the notes section, record pay-out date and the ETR pay period end date.
  • Reconcile LWOP deductions on BARs or Payroll History Screen in OPUS.

For classified staff, make sure the employee did not exceed the annual leave balance 240-hour maximum.
If a classified employee’s annual leave balance exceeded the 240-hour maximum as of the employee’s anniversary date, check to see:

  • If the employee has voluntarily accrued hours beyond the 240-hour maximum. If so, hours not used by the anniversary date must be forfeited. The supervisor, employee, and timekeeper must be notified.
  • If there is documentation of an exception, authorized by Human Resources, review the duration of the extension to ensure that excess hours were used by the extended deadline.

Double check entries.

  • Make sure all calculations are accurate and that all leave has been recorded.
  • Resolve all fatal errors.
  • Verify appropriateness of entries that result in warnings.
  • Ensure that leave is used in the appropriate order (example: comp time should be used before annual leave).

Investigate and resolve differences.
If documents are not in agreement, discrepancies must be resolved promptly.

File supporting documents in a secure location.
File supporting documents (e.g. timesheets, approval of extension of excess annual leave) separately from the personnel folder and retain them according to the retention schedule.

If you have any questions about conducting an audit, or regarding any points in the checklist, please email

Correcting Errors Found During the Audit

If any discrepancies or errors are found during the review, the following steps may need to be taken:

Entering an Audit Note

To create an audit note, open the employee’s OWLS record, and follow these steps:

1. Click on the "Balance Change" tab at the top of the screen. 2. Click on "Audit note."

3. Enter the last date of the audit span. 4. Enter a note. 5. Click "Save."


UW Record Retention Schedule