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Open shifts, Shift requests and Shift swaps for Schedule managers
Open shifts, Shift requests and Shift swaps for Schedule managers

Learn about these dynamic scheduling options and how to manage these changes on the Schedule.

Saad Saeed avatar
Written by Saad Saeed
Updated over a week ago

What is an Open shift?

On Planday, it is possible to create shifts without assigning them to specific employees. These types of shifts are called Open shifts.

Open shifts can be helpful if you want to plan a Shift where employees can request work based on their role, skill set and preference.

How to create Open shifts?

To create an Open shift, proceed like you would when creating a Normal shift, but do not assign it to an employee.

In the Employee view, create an Open shift in the top row of the Schedule. If you create the Shift in an employee's row, you can select Open shift as the first option from the employee drop-down list.

The Open shift will be the default selection when creating a Shift in the Groups or Positions view.

Once an Open shift has been created, it appears highlighted in red 🔴 on the Schedule. Only employees assigned to the corresponding Employee group can request the Open shifts created for those roles. The Shift remains open and un-assigned until an admin or a Schedule manager approves the request.

Swaps, Hand over and Sell shifts

Employees can Swap, Hand over or Sell their shifts amongst colleagues within the same Employee group and Department. Shifts remain assigned to an employee until a colleague and manager confirm the action.

  • Swap - allows an employee to exchange their Shift with another colleague and take one of theirs with mutual agreement.

  • Hand over (transfer) - enables an employee to give away a shift directly to a colleague with mutual agreement.

  • Sell - allows employees to request their colleagues to take over their shift. Shifts marked for sale appear as Open shifts to colleagues. The shifts on sale show as yellow in the schedule.

Note: Before the request reaches you, the action must be confirmed by the colleague (for swap or handover), or the on-sale shift must be requested (for handover).

Optional notification settings

By default, Planday will notify you of each request so no action can be taken without your consent.

If you want to set up how staff can swap or book shifts specifically, or if and when your confirmation is required, navigate to Settings > Schedule section > Swap Settings.

It is advised to exercise caution and careful consideration when making alterations in this area.

Note: To ensure that a manager always approves open shift requests, swaps, or handovers, put a high number, like 50000, in the three fields highlighted above. If no manager approval is needed, simply put 0 in these fields.

How to process shift approval requests

To do this, navigate to the Pending Requests section from Schedule > Pending Requests.

You can also get there directly from the Pending actions widget if it is added to your Planday dashboard.

Planday EN Screenshots for HC.001.png

You can switch between the Swap requests (Swaps and Handovers) and Shift requests (Open Shifts Requests) sections. You can filter by departments via the drop-down list to narrow it down further if needed.

  • Swap Requests - Click the pencil icon ✏️ (Edit) on the right of the action's row. In the edit window, you can optionally assign a Shift type to the Shift in question and Approve or Reject it.

  • Shift requests - In the Assigned Employee column, click Assign Employee. You will then see employees who have applied to take over the Shift, listed in the order in which they applied. If there is more than one, select one by clicking their name and confirm with Assign.

Even if you have already assigned an Open shift to an employee, you can see who has applied for the shift in the schedule afterwards. This is helpful if you still need to make a last-minute change.


Approving shift requests via the Planday app

Pending actions can also be handled in the Planday app. You can see them under the Requests widget.

Swap requests

In the example below, a Shift swap is approved: To do this, tap on Swap and handovers, select the request and tap on Confirm or Reject. ⬇️

Planday EN Screenshots for HC.001.png

Approve requests for shifts on sale

‎shift request sale.‎001.jpeg

⬆️ The example above shows you how to process a shift request for a shift on sale.
From the Overview screen, tap on Shift requests. Then, select the request for the shift on sale (1.). Tap on Employee (2.)to choose the employee you'll give the shift to (either one of the employees who booked the shift or another employee who's available for this shift).

Approve Open shift requests

‎shift request open shift.‎001.jpeg

⬆️ The example above shows how to process a shift request for an open shift.

From the Overview screen, tap on Shift requests.

  • Select the request for Open shift (1.).

  • Tap on Employee (2.).

  • Under Employees who booked the shift, you see which employees have applied, the first application being on top of the list (3.).

After you've chosen the employee, confirm by saving the shift with the new settings.

Enable or disable notifications based on Shift requests

Under Settings > Your organisation > Notifications, you can set who should be notified in case of Swap approvals (and handovers) or Shift requests (Open Shift request).

Read more about setting notifications on shift changes or requests here.

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