How to use the Primary department feature

Use the Primary department feature to ensure that your team leads view only the employee information that is relevant to their team members

Maud avatar
Written by Maud
Updated over a week ago

🎯 For admins who need to manage a Planday account with many departments and teams where the employees work across departments.
Before using this feature, see how to assign Access levels to your employees.
Primary departments is an optional feature. Reach out to our Support team who can activate it for you.

What is the Primary department feature?

By using the Primary Department feature, you can ensure that managers have access to the relevant information for the employees they manage, enhancing efficiency and data privacy within your Planday account.

Let’s assume that in your Planday organisation, you have multiple departments and teams. Each team is led by a manager who manages employees across different departments. However, it's important to ensure that team leads can only access the information of the employees they manage.

To address this, you can assign a Primary Department to each employee. This primary department will be shown with a star symbol in the employee profile. By using this feature, an admin with restricted access to a particular department will only be able to view information related to the employees assigned to that department as their primary one.

For example, let's say an employee works in both Departments A and B, with Department A set as their primary department. In this case, a manager who manages Department A will only have access to the data of employees whose primary department is Department A.

How to set up the Primary department feature

Assign a Primary department to each of your existing employees in Planday

  1. Via Quick edit

To assign a primary department to your employees via the Quick edit method, follow these steps:

  • Go to People > Employees (1.)

  • Click on an employee's name to open the Quick edit menu (2.)

  • Click on the star symbol next to the department name you want to assign as the employee's primary department (3.)

quick edit set primary.001.jpeg

2. Via Full edit

To do so, go to People > Employees > Hover over an employee's name and click the edit icon to the right or open Quick edit and click on Edit. Then, follow these steps:

  • Go to the employee’s Employment tab (1.) > Departments > Edit (2.)

  • Select the primary department in the dropdown (3.) and click on Save.

empl tab pri dep.001.jpeg

3. When you create a new employee

Going forward, when you create a new employee, you’ll need to choose a Primary department.

select primary department create empl.001.jpeg

If you receive an error message when attempting to save an employee profile with edits, please ensure that you have assigned a primary department to the employee.

Limit the access of your restricted admins to Primary departments

By assigning an Access level to an employee, you can control their access to certain departments. By using the Primary department feature, you can restrict their access to employee data tied to their primary departments.
To do so, go to People > Employees >Click on one of the admin’s name, then you’ll need to:

  • edit the relevant Access level 1️⃣

  • choose one of the selected departments and under Managed employees, choose the option Primary department members 2️⃣

  • Click on Save


Where in Planday can you use it - See examples

After assigning primary departments to your employees and adjusting your team leads' access levels, the team leads will have limited access to specific employee data in Planday. They will only be able to manage employees within their assigned primary departments in the following areas:

  • Employee profiles

  • Leave accounts and leave requests

  • Contracts

Employee profiles

For instance, let's say there's a manager who has admin access to department B and only to the employees with department B as their primary department. This means they can access and modify information of employees whose primary department is B.
If an employee belongs to departments A and B and A is their primary department, the team lead won't see this employee in the employee list.

Leave accounts and leave requests

When team leads go to Schedule > Leave accounts or Schedule > Leave requests, they’ll only be able to view the leave accounts / leave requests of the employees they manage.


Under People > Contracts, they’ll only see the contracts (awaiting signature, signed or expired) of the employees they manage.

Using the primary department when assigning shifts

Apart from these three areas, Schedule admins can also use the Primary department feature to schedule their managed employees. The employees with the primary department will be shown with a star in the dropdown list when the admins create or edit a shift.

primary department shift edit.001.jpeg

See related articles:

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