Having some serious issues with triggering a workflow in SP Online (2013).

We have built a vacation request system, consists of a list titled Leave Requests than lives in the Human Resources site.

Permissions are configured as so:

  • HR site permissions: HR group has EDIT permission over whole site. All other staff do not have permission to view the HR site
  • Leave Request list permissions: Unique (not inheriting - so staff can't see any of the HR site except for the Leave Request list), all staff have CONTRIBUTE permission to the list, item-level permission set to "Read items that were created by user" and "Create items and edit items that were created by the user" to make sure they cannot see other staff members requests.

The workflow has been created in SPD, and is set to start whenever a new item is created.

When I, as the Site Owner, create a new item, the workflow is triggered and runs as expected. When any other user creates a new item, the workflow will not trigger.

While troubleshooting I have tried giving staff Full Control of the list and even then the workflow will not trigger. I have also tried giving staff Edit permission over the Workflow library for the subsite, still will not trigger.

Kind of at my wits-end on this one. I'm sure it has something to do with staff not having any permission at sub-site level, but they have permission on the list specifically, so by my understand this should work!

Is there something I'm missing?

1 Answer 1


Your users may need Contribute access to the Workflow History list siteroot/lists/Workflow History/AllItems.aspx

If users only have read permissions at the site level, but Contribute in the list/library, they may end up not being able to start workflows because they can't write to Workflow History.

A similar issue may crop up if the workflow creates tasks and the user doesn't Contribute access to the Tasks list.

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