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Confused About UKG Cascades? Here's How to Keep It Simple!

Confused About UKG Cascades? Here's How to Keep It Simple!

The concept of a Cascade configuration is not complex, and the general concept has been in UKG products for quite some time. However, figuring out how to assemble your Cascades can be copiously confusing.

What's a Cascade?

By definition, a cascade is a succession of stages, operations, processes, or units. In the UKG product suite, the stages or operations refer to Accrual Takings or balance changes. In this post, we'll carefully consider the collection of cascading configuration items and how they interact with one another.

Dare to ride the Cascading wilds? Great! Buckle up, and let's go!

Types of Cascades

First things first, let’s clearly define the different types of UKG Cascades in both UKG Workforce Central (WFC) and Workforce Dimensions. 

1. A Cascading Policy is a Pay Policy configuration item used to allow an employee or manager to enter an amount of time, which in turn cascades through available Accrual Balances.

For example, you may have a Cascading Policy for Time Off that draws down Accrual Balances that expire prior to drawing down Non-Expiring Balances.

2. A Balance Cascade is an Accrual Policy configuration item that is used to manipulate Accrual Balances, such as Cascading unused hours out of one policy and into a different policy or Pay Out Balances.

3. A Leave Rule Cascade is similar to a Cascading Policy, except that it will generally have multiple, concurrent Cascading Branches, to track paid, federal, and state-mandated Leave times. 

When using a Cascading Policy, it's important to remember that a A Pay Code used in a Cascading Policy can be used in only one Accrual Policy in an Accrual Profile. Using the same Pay Code in the takings area of multiple Accrual Policies in the same profile will cause incorrect Cascade behavior and balances will not be correctly debited. 

A cascading Pay Code must be totalized, meaning the results of the Pay Code edit will not be seen until the timecard actuals are totaled. This value is 10 days by default, therefore Pay Code edits beyond 10 days in the future will not appear in the timecard. You may opt to increase the number of days into the future that timecards get totalized if this is problematic.

Also, to prevent the Cascading from trailing off into nothing, be sure to configure an Overdraft Policy and Pay Code and select that Pay Code in the “Apply Uncascaded Balance To” field. This will prevent Pay Edits that exceed available balances. Build Me Up, Buttercup

Leave Rule Cascades have considerations similar to Cascading Policies. Leave Pay Codes should be selected in the Takings area in only one Accrual Policy within a profile. Leave Takings totalize the Cascade at the time of entry and results in Pay Code edits in the Schedule or Timecard. When sent to the Timecard, they appear immediately, even if they extend beyond the future totalization time frame. 

Please note that a Tracking Balance should not be used in more than one node in a Leave Cascade. For example, if you are using a tracking Pay Code for unpaid time off, a separate Accrual Tracking Policy should be created to track these takings. Do not include the unpaid time off tracking Pay Code in the takings area of your Leave tracking policies which are used to track non-FMLA leave takings.

Balance Cascades are used to change Accrual Balances and result in balances moving from one Accrual Code to another, Pay Code edits, and simply changing a balance by a defined amount with a defined periodicity. This is very similar to an Overflow Accrual, where hours exceeding a limit are rolled from one policy into another.

A Balance Cascade provides more flexibility than an Accrual Profile configuration, such as paying out a particular amount across more than one policy or transferring a balance and making a Pay Code edit. Balance Cascades are the newest addition to the UKG cascade collection and are quite useful, however, they can disrupt Cascading Policies and Leave Rule Cascades—so proceed with caution.

When a Balance Cascade is used to draw a balance down to zero, Cascading Policies and Leave Rule Cascades consider the Balance Cascade as if it has happened, even if the date of the Balance Cascade is in the future, causing incorrect cascading results from Cascading Pay Code edits or Leave Takings. 

As always, UKG provides a cacophony of cascading controls, which, while considerably comprehensive, can prove completely consternation causing. So, proceed with care. Breathe. Contemplate your Cascade configurations carefully and hopefully, you won't run into any issues. 


  • One and only one. A Takings Pay Code used in a Cascading Policy or Leave Rule Cascade should be used in only one Accrual Policy in an Accrual profile. If you want to reduce multiple balances, consider using a  Negative Grant based on the Takings Pay Code to curtail the additional policies. 

  • Keep it simple. Leave Rule Cascades should not use different Takings Pay Codes that draw down the same Accrual Balance in the same rule. Additional tracking Accrual Policies can be used to ensure a one-to-one relationship between the Accruals and Takings Nodes in a Leave Rule Cascade. 

  • Configure creatively. Balance Cascades can disrupt Cascading Policies and Leave Rule Cascades. Consider using Balance Limits to overflow hours into a second Accrual Policy and use a Balance Cascade to modify the overflow balance instead of the original balance. Creative use of expiring grants to “expire to” can also resolve this. 

Taking the time to understand and use Cascades is a powerful way to optimize your UKG platform to reflect the unique needs of your workforce.

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