If you are new to Breathe or to your role, this handy HR user guide will tell you all that you need to know about the basics for a successful account set up.

Working patterns

What is a working pattern in Breathe?

Working patterns are the pre-determined days that a person is expected to work across a one-week period. Don’t confuse this with a roster– a working pattern is simply used for reference so that absences are logged correctly.

Why are working patterns needed?

A working pattern is needed to identify the deductions that need to be made when someone books leave or takes a period of sickness. You can create as many working patterns as you’d like. For example, you’ll need separate working patterns for full-time and part-time staff.

Our top tips:

  • Make sure you’ve created a working pattern that reflects the days that a person works. If they book leave against a day that is not in their working pattern, a deduction of 0 will be made.

  • If you have multiple people who work the same pattern, you don’t need to create a separate one for each. You can assign multiple people to one working pattern.

Adding your people

You can people individually or bulk import your people's information to save you time.


What are permissions on Breathe?

Permissions allow you to give (or limit) access to specific areas of the system.

There are various permissions available to you and your people within Breathe. These are:

  • Admin: The highest permission with overall control of the account.

  • HR: Can see all information, with the exception of remuneration.

  • Finance: Can see information related to remuneration, including pay. Can’t see a person's personal information.

  • Line Manager: Line managers will only be able to view information relating to their direct team. This information depends on the applied settings, which you can change by going to Configure > Settings > Permissions and approvals > Change what line managers can see and do.

  • There is also the functionality to assign leave approvers to your people within Breathe. This person will receive leave requests.

Why are they needed?

Permissions are needed to create a hierarchy of control within your account, and limit who is able to see sensitive data and make changes.

Our top tips:

  • Before an admin user leaves, make sure they transfer their admin permissions across to another HR user.

  • You’re only able to have one admin user per account, but you can have a ‘super user’. This is simply HR and finance permissions in one.

  • Struggling to change someone’s status to ‘pending leaver’? They might be your account admin. To check this, scan your people list for an ‘A’ in the status and permissions column. Admin users will need to transfer their permissions to another HR user before you can make them a pending leaver.

  • Can’t assign a line manager? You will need to be either an admin or a super user.

Assign line managers and your people status

You may want to assign line managers to your people so they have someone to report to. Only admin or super users (HR & Finance permissions together) can do this.

Line managers can be assigned via a person’s profile: navigate to More > Permissions, then click the pencil icon, and you’ll see the line manager section on the right-hand side.

Please note: if the person you’d like to make a line manager isn’t showing, it means that they haven’t been given line manager permissions.

What does 'people status’ mean?

Do you have a mix of employees, contractors and volunteers? This little tool means you can differentiate your people and categorise the different types of workers. Once you’ve selected a people status for each of your team, this will be reflected in their Breathe profiles.

Our top tip:

You can assign people's status individually. All you need to do is search for the individual that you’d like to change, either using the search function on the top right of your account or by selecting them from People > Our people.

Knowing your Breathe calendar

What is the calendar?

One of Breathe’s key features is the leave calendar. The calendar allows you to view any absence over a one-month period, all in one place:

The names of people with an absence in that month will be listed on the left, with their absence displayed horizontally. There are different colours to indicate what type of absence it is, using the key as reference.

Why is it needed?

Whether you’re a manager or member of the HR team, there are times when you’ll need to know when people across the business are away. The calendar gives you a handy, digestible summary of who’s out and when, giving you the freedom to plan ahead.

Our top tips:

  • If a user isn’t showing, it’ll be because they don’t have any leave booked. Users will only show on the calendar if there is data to display.

  • Public holidays will only show if a user has booked something in during this time. Otherwise, it will remain in the system but won’t show on the calendar.

  • You can't change the colours in the calendar.

Company documents

What are company documents?

These are business-related documents that you need your people to read, including policies and procedures. They may be relevant to all your people or just a select few. You can upload these to your company documents module within Breathe and store them centrally for easy access.

Why is it needed?

Just like Dropbox and Sharepoint, the company documents area gives you the ability to store and share files within your account.

You can assign specific audiences by department or division, or you can list individuals that you would like to read the document.

You can also make the document read-required. This will send an email notification to the listed people including a deadline for completion, where set.

Our top tips:

  • Breathe doesn’t use a folder system, as our mission is to help you move away from filing cabinets, physical or virtual. Instead, you can create tags, e.g. “company handbook”, for your documents. You can then search your documents to find what you’re looking for.

  • Your team will be able to access and view company documents assigned to them to read from the tile icon on their dashboard.

  • If someone doesn’t get round to reading the document by the required date, you can give them a gentle reminder by clicking on the paper plane icon.


Within your account you have a modules section. Here, you’ll be able to control what’s displayed on your account and what your people can access.

All modules displayed on the left of the modules page can be switched on and off when you like.

To access this, head over to Configure > Settings > Account > Modules. Here you can decide which modules you think will work best for your organisation and tailor Breathe to your needs.

Other helpful tools


If you want to spread some good vibes around your team, why not use the kudos feature and let someone know that they’ve done something great. It’s a great way to say “thanks” and put a smile on their face.

Company Suggestions

Company suggestions is an area in the system where your people are encouraged to make suggestions on what they would like to see in the company.

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