Despite confusion over the traffic light system and related rules for international travel, latest figures estimate that five million UK holidaymakers are booked to travel abroad to “amber list” destinations for the summer. That figure, together with those who are opting for ever more popular “staycations”, could mean a headache for HR professionals who are trying to manage summer absences as a whirlwind of holiday requests flood in. Read on for our Summer Holidays and Handling Absence Requests advice.
As lockdown rules start to ease, managing your headcount could mean a looming crisis for HR managers – you need to successfully keep track of staff absences and holidays while ensuring you adhere to your employees’ rights to leave.
It is important for companies to have a strategy in place for dealing with multiple requests as colleagues compete for the most desirable holiday dates. Ideally, employers should have existing written guidelines on the process of requesting and taking annual leave, which may involve limiting time off to a maximum of, say, two weeks or having a period of notice you have to give for holiday request. And how do you deal with multiple requests, particularly in smaller businesses? If there are certain people/departments your business cannot do without at the same time, you have to manage their expectations and ensure they are aware of what will influence – or deny – their holiday requests.
A policy should also detail the right of the company to refuse requests for holiday if it does not suit the needs of the business, and who has precedence in requests for the same dates. If there are disagreements among your staff, you will have to act as the final arbitrator and, while holidays will always be an emotive issue, the clearer your rules are from the beginning, the easier it will be on the HR team managing these absences.
Other top tips include:
Use your HR system to track absences easily – find out more about our cloud based HR platform here.
Ask employees to book absence as far in advance as possible and where possible, support flexibility – read our latest article on this holiday management here
For confidential advice on any HR matters, including Summer Holidays and Handling Absence Requests, we provide the opportunity for a 15 minute support call with Director Suzanne Hurndall – book straight to calendar below:
With specialist expertise in leadership, change management, strategy, acquisition, workplace culture, transformation and discrimination, Suzanne is passionate people leader motivated by unlocking the potential of people, teams and organisations through teamwork and collaboration.