This article explains how to add worker unavailability so the system doesn't schedule them for appointments when they're not available.
Depending on how your system is set up, it may be a prerequisite to define a worker's availability before you can schedule them for appointments. If your system is configured this way:
- the scheduling function only allows workers to be scheduled within the times they're defined as available, and
- any time not covered by availability records is already treated as unavailable.
This means you won't need to add unavailability for those periods. The system already knows not to schedule the worker for appointments then. However, you may like to use unavailability when the worker's usual availability is interrupted, for example, if they'll be out of the office for personal reasons.
This article explains how to:
- set an unavailability period, and
- if applicable, add recurrence to an unavailability.
To set an unavailability period for a worker:
- Open their worker record.
- Click on the Availability tab.
- Click on the New button.
- Complete the fields in the Add Availability form as explained below.
|Client / Worker||The worker name should be prefilled here.
If not, click in the field, then search for and select their name.
|Dates and Times||Use the calendar picker to select the Start and End Date, then choose the Start and End Times from the dropdowns.
The times are in 15-minute intervals. If these don't suit, you can type in an exact time, for example, 9:10 AM.
If you're creating a recurring unavailability, the date and time you enter here should be for the first day only; you'll set the recurrence pattern and frequency later.
|Description||You can type in a brief description of the unavailability, for example, Out of office for medical appointment.
This is limited to 40 characters. This text is only visible if you open the availability record; it's not shown in the calendar or availability matching tool.
|Recurrence||Defaults to Does Not Repeat, which means the system will create a single unavailability only. To create a recurring series, use the Repeat drop-down to select how often it recurs, then complete the additional fields that appear.
Recurrence options are explained in the Add recurrence section below.
- If you have multiple unavailabilities to add, click on the Save and New button to save this record and continue adding more. Or, click on the Save button now to save and close the popup.
This creates an unavailability record with a system-generated ID number, for example, AV-0018. The system opens the saved record in a new tab so that you can check that the details are correct. If you added a recurring series, you won't see all the days and times here; they'll be listed back on the Availability tab of the worker record.
- To go back to the worker record, click the text link of the worker's name.
- Open the Availability tab again to see the unavailability record you just added. You may need to click View All to see the entire list.
If you open the Appointments tab on the worker's record and go to the day and time for which you added the unavailability record, you'll see that their calendar shows a block marked as unavailable.
The system will prevent the worker being scheduled for appointments during this unavailability period.
How to set up the recurrence depends on the worker's unavailability pattern. In some cases, you may need to create multiple unavailability records, each with its own recurrence.
- If their unavailable days and times are consistent, you could create the recurrence pattern from the one unavailability record. For example, they'll be out of the office for medical appointments for the next three Tuesdays between 9am - 10 am.
- If they are unavailable at different hours on particular days, you'd create separate unavailability records, each with its own recurrence. For example, they're attending a series of external professional development workshops for the next month. They'll be unavailable for on Thursday afternoons between 5pm - 6pm and Friday mornings from 9 am - 11am. In this scenario, you'd create two unavailability records each with a recurrence, one for the Thursday hours and another for the Friday hours.
To add the recurrence:
- In the Repeat drop-down, set the frequency of the availability. The table below explains the options.
|Does not repeat||This is the default value. This creates a single unavailability only, no recurrence.|
|Daily||This creates an unavailability at the specified times every day, including on weekends.
Use the Custom option if you want to create repeat unavailabilities on specific days only.
|Weekly on...||This creates a repeating unavailability each week on the day you've selected, for example, each week on Tuesday.|
|Monthly on the first/second ...||
This creates a monthly repeating unavailability on the chosen day and week number of each month.
This option changes based on which day and week of the month your first availability is set on. For example, you could create a repeat unavailability on the first Monday or third Wednesday of each month.
Choose specific days or frequency patterns not covered by the other options.
For example, by entering 2 in the Repeat every field then choosing the appropriate Frequency, you could create a repeat unavailability that occurs once every two days, once every two weeks, or once every two months.
When you select the Weeks option under Frequency, you can choose specific days of the week. This is how you create repeat unavailabilities at the same times on different days, such as 4 pm - 6 pm every Monday - Wednesday.
- From the End On drop-down, choose how to end the unavailability series.
- If you choose Date, click in the Until field and select the date when the recurrences should finish.
- If you choose Set Number of occurrences, type the number of recurrences into the Number of Occurrences field.