The summer holidays are nearly here – are you prepared?
The school summer holidays are nearly here. This time of year is often met with mixed feelings from parents – excitement at the prospect of spending more time with their children and perhaps enjoying a holiday, but apprehension at having to arrange time off work and make enough plans to amuse their kids for 6 weeks!
With this being the main period outside of Christmas that staff take time off work, we thought we would put together some advice on the key things that employers need to consider in relation to employee annual leave.
Preparation is key.
For employers, popular times for staff to take annual leave can be difficult and will require a degree of planning. This may involve juggling hours and arranging cover for staff members taking time off. Other staff may wish to change their hours in order to look after their children. In order to ensure you are not left short-staffed, leave plenty of time to make any necessary staffing changes. If you need to draft in any additional staff to cover the period, ensure to do this well in advance whilst following any relevant procedures.
Paperwork and policies.
One way to ease the planning for busy periods of annual leave is to have a company policy for managing holiday requests. Many companies require a minimum notice period appropriate for the period of annual leave being requested and for holiday requests to be signed off by a manager. Where clashes occur between staff in the same team for requested holiday dates, it is often sensible to have a ‘first come first served’ policy in place in order to remain fair to all staff members.
Staff who have school age children will often have the troublesome task of arranging childcare for the entirety of the summer holidays. Employers may wish, where possible, to be flexible concerning employees that have parental responsibilities and offer them the option of remote working or flexible hours to make it easier during this period of time.
Calculation of holiday pay.
Since a landmark decision in the courts last year, employers now need to take any regular payments staff receive for commission or overtime into the account when calculating their holiday pay. For salaried staff, the majority of employers will have made these adjustments already, but it is important to bear this in mind for any staff on short term contracts or those that are paid on a varying monthly basis.
A happy workforce is a productive workforce.
Whilst annual leave can cause a bit of a headache for employers, it is important to remember that annual leave is an entitlement and staff should be encouraged to take their allocation. Staff that are overworked or do not take time off may end up being less productive than those that have had periods of holiday to rest and recharge their batteries.