Employee Holidays

Member Article

5 tips for effectively managing employee holidays

Managing staff holidays can be tricky in a small business or team. With only a small number of people, covering holidays is more difficult. However, employees often want to take their holidays in the same week, particularly in school holidays, half-term weeks and over Christmas and new year. So how do you handle this?

Here are 5 tips to help you to manage your staff leave and avoid common employee holiday related issues:

1. Have an annual leave policy which sets out the rules for requesting holidays. Typical rules contained in annual leave policies include:

  • the basis for approving holidays (typically done on a first-come, first-served basis)
  • limiting holidays to 2 weeks maximum at one time (unless there are exceptional circumstances like a wedding and honeymoon)
  • specifying whether holiday can be carried over from one year to the next, and if so, how many days
  • specifying any particularly busy times for your business where staff are not able to take holidays
  • setting out your company’s right to reschedule holidays or propose alternative dates where business needs dictate

2. Sharing employee holiday schedules with your team is one of the easiest and effective ways to avoid holiday scheduling difficulties. This empowers employees to take responsibility for avoiding holiday clashes with their colleagues. Tools such as Onetouchteam can automate this for you and allow your employees to see their colleagues’ booked holidays in their personal calendar.

3. Where you are having issues with staff not taking enough holidays and wanting to carry them over to the next year, consider setting a deadline for when your employees must have submitted all their holiday requests. So if your holiday year runs from January to December, you could have a rule that all holidays must be booked by the end of September. That way you avoid the mad rush to take holidays just before year-end and won’t need to have difficult conversations about carrying holiday over.

4. For periods where most of your team want to be on holiday at the same time (e.g. between Christmas and new year), the usual first-come, first-served basis for approving holidays may not be the fairest way of managing it. Instead, you might want to consider pulling names out of a hat or rotating who gets to be off each year. For the days in between Christmas and New Year, if your business is not busy over that period, you might consider shutting the business down and making it mandatory for your employees to take holiday on those days.

5. Think about how you will cover employee absences. Cover could be provided by other employees or by hiring someone on a temporary basis. For holiday cover to work effectively, encourage the person going on holiday to write a detailed ‘handover’ work report covering tasks in progress, tasks remaining, agreed deadlines, key contacts and so on. This is especially important if they’re in the middle of an ongoing project.

By Stuart Hearn, CEO of www.onetouchteam.com

This was posted in Bdaily's Members' News section by Onetouchteam .

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