In this article [a three-minute read] we take a poolside dip into the best practices associated with managing holiday absence.

With the sun finally arriving and temperatures rising thoughts will be turning to annual holidays. It’s a time when HR is preparing for periods when staff numbers will be variable across all areas.  We thought it might be helpful to share a few pointers to help keep the business working to its full potential.

  1. Company Policies: Establish clear and comprehensive policies regarding holiday entitlement, requests for leave, and approval processes. Double-check that these policies are up to date, easily accessible, and any changes are regularly communicated to all employees.
  2. Fair and Equitable Allocation: Implement a fair and transparent system for allocating holidays, considering factors such as potential conflicts when an employee makes the request first but a seniority card is played retrospectively removing the first allocation. Ensure that the process is consistently applied to avoid any perception of favouritism or bias. [See 6. Managing Conflict below]
  3. Planning and Communication: Encourage employees to plan their holiday requests well in advance, allowing for better workforce management and minimizing disruptions. Set clear deadlines for submitting requests and communicate the holiday planning process effectively to all employees.
  4. Staffing and Workload Management: Evaluate the impact of employee holidays on staffing levels and overall workload. Plan for adequate coverage during peak holiday periods and ensure that workload distribution is balanced to avoid excessive strain on remaining employees.
  5. Employee Well-being: Encourage employees to take regular breaks and time off to maintain their well-being and work-life balance. Promote the importance of disconnecting from work during holidays to facilitate relaxation and rejuvenation. The Right to Disconnect,  a legal right established in several European countries, however, is not under consideration at this time.  With many workers supporting a Right to Disconnect, there would be no harm in introducing such a policy within your own organisation and staying one step ahead of the competition.
  6. Managing Conflicts: In cases where multiple employees request the same holiday period, establish a fair process for resolving conflicts. Consider factors such as previous holiday patterns, the urgency of requests, and the impact on the team’s operations.
  7. Record-keeping and Tracking: Maintain accurate records of holiday entitlement, usage, and balances for each employee. Use appropriate HR software or systems to facilitate tracking and ensure compliance with legal requirements.
  8. Legal and Regulatory Compliance: Stay up to date on employment law related to holiday entitlement, carry-over, and pay. Ensure compliance with statutory requirements and contractual obligations, avoiding any potential legal issues.

Review and update on a regular basis. Regularly review and evaluate the effectiveness of holiday management processes and policies. Seek feedback from employees and managers to identify areas for improvement and implement necessary adjustments.

By considering these factors you can be sure to have a firm position on the essential aspects of holiday leave and rest easy when it comes to your own, well-earned break. Implementing a consistent approach to managing holiday absences will help create a positive work environment and maintain smooth operations throughout the year.

Get in touch with us.

This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.