The holiday season is fast approaching and with two bank holidays and a school half term on the horizon, people are looking to get their leave booked in, the problem is, we all seem to want to be off together!
Here at HR Rev we are a small team, so have to think and plan ahead regarding holidays and with only a small number of people covering, it can be more difficult to manage.
How do we handle this? Here are a few of our top tips:
- Make sure you have a holiday policy which sets out the rules for requesting holidays. Some typical rules 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, honeymoon etc)
- specifying whether holiday can be carried over from one year to the next, and if so, how many days
- specifying particular busy times for your business where employees are not able to take holidays
- the company’s right to reschedule holidays or propose alternative dates where business needs dictate
- Sharing the employee holiday calendar with the team is one of the easiest and most effective ways to avoid holiday scheduling difficulties. It empowers employees to take responsibility for avoiding holiday clashes with their colleagues.
- If you are having issues with employees not taking enough holidays and wanting to carry them over to the next year, think about 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.
- 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-serve 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, you may want to consider shutting down and making it mandatory for your employees to take holiday on those days.
- Think about how you will cover employee absences. This could be provided by other employees or by hiring someone on a temporary basis. For holiday cover to work effectively, encourage the employee going on holiday to write a detailed ‘handover’ report, covering tasks in progress, tasks remaining, agreed deadlines, key contacts etc. This is important if they are in the middle of an ongoing project.
If you need any further guidance call us today, or take a look at our key features guide to the breatheHR cloud-based software system below, designed to take the hard work out of managing your employees and tame your HR chaos!