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Managing Annual Leave in The Summer

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Managing Annual Leave in The Summer

Summer is the season of sun, relaxation, and the battlefield for annual leave management. Time off is on the rise with changes to areas like parental leave. Balancing these with the familiar holiday requests isn't easy. In this blog, we aim to provide some ideas that complement fairness and ease. Let's navigate the leave rush and take the heat off those in charge!

When will an employee choose to take their leave? Are they absolutely sure what they are entitled to?

Protect your business by staying up to date with worker rights and also build an empathetic professional relationship to aid loyalty and ethos in your employees. Remember to acknowledge family orientated leave, maternity and paternity being the most obvious. Parents in your service for at least a year may be entitled to unpaid ordinary parental leave (up to 18 weeks per child). Summer holidays will mostly be the target for parents to book off! Also, be mindful of any part-time or flexible staff and their leave entitlement. Flexibility may prove essential when changing timetables to cover shifts of those who have answered the call of the Bahamas!

The policy

A clear, thorough policy can mean 23% fewer disputes - Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM)

Does your leave policy state how to ask for leave? It must be clear how the process works; time scales, and chain of command, for example. Make clear the notice period required to allow ample time for adapting task management in their absence. A notice period usually should be at least double the length of intended leave plus one day. Why not try introducing a minimum staffing policy? By taking into account how the company functions and the number of team members, you can safeguard against insufficient staff power by controlling how many are off at once.

Management Methods

First come first served is a classic example of allowing fairness and accountability for an employees’ decisions around leave. Grow an environment where you can avoid any tricky situations of picking one employee over another and one that grants management ample scheduling time. Place the power of action into an employees’ hands and make clear the criteria that must be met.

Apps like ‘edays’, are a great way to use technology when efficiency is a priority. Logging into a simple system removes any old fashioned or time consuming approaches such as forms or spreadsheets. Also, all self-contained with alerts, so there's no need to waste time checking separate calendars or input data elsewhere.

A group leave calendar, similarly to an app, can provide staff with a visual aid to make it completely transparent who has booked, requested or has pending leave. Colour coding can further enhance the process. Employees therefore have a reliable system and diminished error margin for any time off. Transparency also boosts morale and professional relationships.

Simple, transparent communication will always ensure a level playing field in the workplace. It absolutely applies to managing leave. Keep it equal so no one feels left out or ignored. Be sure to provide the same access and information to all employees if you want to avoid any difficult situations, so you can enjoy the summer too!