As the summer approaches, there will be an influx of annual leave requests flying through the door but, with many small businesses it can be hard to keep things running smoothly in the absence of employees.
So how can you manage this?
Ensure there is an annual leave policy in place
For both legal and organisational purposes, one of the first things your business should have is an annual leave policy as all employees are entitled to take time off every year. Once the policy is set, you must make sure there is a documented version of it to avoid any back-fall or confusion.
What should you consider when creating an annual leave policy?
- UK statutory holiday entitlement (including bank holidays) is 28 days – if a standard Monday to Friday job
- As an employer it is your choice to offer pay for extra days as an employee benefit/incentive
- Will there need to be a minimum of employees off at one time?
- Is a time period needed for staff to request their annual leave in advance?
First come, first served
In many businesses, if employees cannot take time off at the same time (this is usually if they work in the same departments within the business) then it is important to make it clear to employees that when booking time off it will be based on a first come, first served basis and this is for many reasons such as;
- Avoiding conflict between staff members
- Not leaving yourself short on staff
- Being organised!
In many industries such as retail, hospitality and leisure it is common to allow members of staff to swap their shifts between themselves – as long as they are capable of doing their job role. There are many bonuses that come with this as it offers more flexibility within the team and also shows staff initiative as they organise amongst themselves.
Finally, be organised!
When it’s time for an employee to take time off it is crucial that their workload is prepared, done in advance (if applicable) and been given to someone else in a handover who is able to do their job. You do not want business to slow down just because someone is off, nor do you want them to stress while taking their annual leave.