CakeHR leave and PTO management for small businessesCakeHR is a human resources management software that helps with leave management and resources tracking. The company was started by Kaspars Upmanis and Norberts Erts in 2011 and is today based in London. CakeHR is privately held and has been invested in and mentored by Mat Morrison, Marketing Strategist and owner of MediaCzar.


Time off requests

The objective of CakeHR is to let employees collaborate and manage the company calendar and to handle their leave planning independently. Each employee in an organization gets their own account that they can log into and request for time-offs. Such requests are automatically forwarded to their manager for approvals and upon approval/rejection, the notifications arrive at the employee’s inbox.

Shared company calendar

One of the very useful features about CakeHR is the shared company calendar. This gives employee’s an instant view of the day-to-day, weekly and monthly leaves of all members in their team. All absence plans can be set to be automatically synced with your Google or Outlook calendars so that you do not have to specifically log into CakeHR to view the day’s absentee list – you have the option to either look at the details at a holistic level or dig into the details for any specific day.

Employee Self-Service

The good thing about CakeHR is that the onus is not on the manager to take care of the team’s time offs. This means that employees have instant access to frequently asked questions like sick leaves, casual leaves, etc. Additionally, employees can also choose to view the entire history of leave requests, approvals and accruals in one click.

Document Storage

Besides leave management, CakeHR also takes care of the other aspects of human resources like managing confidential employee information like their job contracts, bank account details, pay slip copies, etc. This provides HR personnel instant access to all the necessary documents relating to a specific employee on demand.

Besides this, there are also HR tools to upload specific company policy documents, prepare comprehensive HR reports, manage teams, set permissions, etc.


The price of the CakeHR software increases with the number of people in your team. While all features are available to all teams, the number of people determine the price of the product. The smallest teams can be as few as 1-15 employees while larger teams of more than 150 people require a contract based negotiated price. Here is the per month price for CakeHR for various team sizes.

Team size $ EUR GBP
1-15 $24/mo €18/mo £15/mo
16-25 $51/mo €40/mo £34/mo
26-50 $103/mo €79/mo £68/mo
51-150 $224/mo €173/mo £148/mo


Good features list: CakeHR can be more powerful than it seems from the outset. There are a number of minor features that can help your company build an impressive HR platform. This includes the ability to prepare custom time-off policies other than holiday or sick day, create custom holidays list that don’t count as time offs, set permission-level for access to viewing holiday calendar for other employees, create custom categories for documents, etc.

Responsive customer support: There have been reviews from customers for both pre-sales and post-sales support and CakeHR impresses in both cases. One customer writes that not only does the company respond to support requests quickly, they also constantly follow up with customers to identify pain points and areas of improvement. As a paying customer, there is nothing more you could ask.

Ease of use: There are a number of competitors in this space and in their endeavor to produce an extremely powerful tool, the products can end up being extremely complex. CakeHR is the opposite of that and according to multiple customers, it is extremely simple and easy to use. Everything that needs to be done; both as a user and as an admin, is extremely well laid out. To be clear, these are not new users ,but those that have stayed with this system for at least six months to a year.

Not optimized well for mobile: The product works on mobile. In fact, that is also advertised on the website. But according to at least one user, the product is not optimized well enough on the mobile. The customer however points out that it is still very much usable and the process of authorizing leaves via email requests work like a charm.

Limited functionalities: There are occasions where you will feel that the product is not comprehensive. For instance, if an employee quits, their profiles get deleted and not archived. This can be a problem if you have pending pay disputes to be cleared. Similarly, there are no alerts to employees when they are on the verge of losing all their PTOs. Giving employees a heads up when they are about to exhaust their leaves is a great way to ensure employees manage their leaves better. Finally, one another thing that a few users have complained about is the inability to make entries in bulk. If admins need to block several days in a week together, they need to be done manually one day at a time. This can be a serious dampener on productivity although I have not been able to confirm if this has been resolved as yet.

Non-English support: One last gripe from certain users is the lack of multilingual support. This is especially true if you are an European company with medium of communication that is not English. CakeHR currently supports only English and it can be a pain to use for an employee base that does not communicate in English. This may or may not be a deal-breaker depending on where your employees are located.

Overall, CakeHR is a wonderful and intuitive tool for employees to request and get time offs approved with little fuss. There are a few minor missing features, but in my opinion, none of them are major enough to warrant looking for an alternative. If the price seems right and you see that the product has the features you are looking for, CakeHR is something you can sign up for in a heartbeat.