As many employees return to the physical workplace, whether full-time or part-time, it is worth considering the stress and wellbeing implications because of the pandemic; bearing in mind those employees who may have suffered loss because of Covid-19. Offering the right support and making employees aware of the different types of leave will enable your workforce to access the right support when they need it.
How can HR best manage Employee Leave Policies
For some employees, they may need reasonable time away from work, beyond that of statutory holiday entitlement and sickness. For some, that time is spent caring for a member of the family, and for others it’s to deal with an emergency or handle private matters outside of the workplace. Recent debates in the media have highlighted the demand for more variety of leave, including for menopause or for grandparents who are also caretakers or guardians of grandchildren.
For Businesses, it is important to remember that by supporting the individual circumstance an employee, the business will benefit from a more dedicated, productive and loyal workforce who feel valued.
Different types of leave should be available for employees as part of an overall toolkit to help improve the wellbeing of staff as and when they need access to more time off work. Leave itself isn’t the solution to their problems but it can help when an employee experiences a change in their personal lives and they require time to address it.
There is no ‘one size fits all’ when it comes to employees needing unexpected time off work, so it is better to have a policy in place that applies to a range of ‘leave’ circumstances. Employees want to be supported by their employers, so it’s important to remember that situations will differ from individual to individual because we don’t know their frame of reference.
Therefore, it’s essential that employee leave forms part of an overall Wellness Action Plan so employers can make fair and consistent situational tests when requests for time off are submitted. The most important question to ask as part of this plan include what adjustments can be made to support that employee, for example by offering extended lunch breaks, shorter working days, a change in the working environment, and by letting the employee know that they are entitled to some time off per Company Policy when they need it.
When leave forms part of a Wellness Action Plan, it means that employers can offer care in their employees’ time of need and provide wellbeing check-ins when an employee is absent. Any situation that requires unexpected time off will undoubtedly impact mental health and wellbeing, so having this document in place means managers can support and signpost their team to ensure that their workplace is a safe space with added security and support.
Communication needs to be kept two-way and asking in advance how colleagues wish to be supported will ensure they are aware of the different forms of leave available when they need to access them.
To discuss any employee leave related issues with a member of the team, contact our HR experts here.
[First seen here on WorkingWise.co.uk]