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How To Manage Staff Holidays

As spring approaches, people’s minds turn to planning their summer holidays. Managing holiday requests can be challenging for a business, especially if employees request the same week off. How do you plan ahead so that business is not disrupted?

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

1. Develop a Holiday/Annual Leave Policy

In order to effectively manage staff holidays, the first port of call would be to develop an Annual Leave Policy which employees can refer to when they are seeking approval for time off.

The parameters set in such policies typically include:

  • Primarily how approval is based, i.e. first come, first serve basis
  • Key periods of time when the business is busy and holidays cannot be booked
  • A set length to which holidays are limited to, unless exceptional circumstances deem otherwise
  • Whether or not holidays can be carried over, and if so is there a limit to how many

2. Share Staff Schedules

If there is a set holiday schedule that everyone in the company has access to, then employees will be able to make an informed decision when booking their annual leave.

A shared staff schedule will empower employees to take responsibility for avoiding any holiday clashes with colleagues and can plan their leave accordingly.

3. Rotate Popular Holidays

For major holiday periods such as Christmas and New Year, the first come first served method might not be the fairest way to allocate employees time off.

To combat periods when it is likely that all employees would like to be off, consider rotating who gets to be off each year.

If there is a conflict and your employees work shifts, why not think about offering one employee to work the morning and the other work the afternoon shift.

4. Plan Cover

If you have a business that operates during key holidays, or you are aware your employees will be away during a busy month, consider keeping a pool of part-time employees that you can avail of when you need the extra help.

Students offer a lot of benefits to employers as they can work during holidays; it is a good idea to keep in touch with these part-timers so you know their availability in advance.

Alternatively, if your business can not take on students, think about other employees within the team who would be able to cope if the workload was spread amongst them for a temporary period of time.

Also remember to meet with the member of staff going on holiday asking them to leave a detailed handover to you and the other employees responsible for completing their work.

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