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We all love taking a break from work and leaving the office for a long weekend or couple of weeks holiday can be good for your mental health. So, with the main July/August holiday season approaching, it’s important as an employer to make sure your business isn’t left understaffed. It may also be worth thinking about getting some temporary cover in place for peak periods. This will ensure your staff on their return are not restressed from coming back to a massive load of work.

Do you have an annual leave policy for staff holidays?

To get the best results for everyone involved, we encourage managers and bosses to do some much needed holiday planning. Obviously, the summer months are a popular time for staff holidays and many businesses are faced with managing numerous annual leave requests for the same days and/or weeks. Having a comprehensive annual leave policy will let your employees know everything they need to do and can expect around requesting annual leave.

What should be included?

Your annual leave policy should include the following as a basic minimum:

  • Basic annual leave entitlement
  • Whether holiday entitlement increase with years of service
  • Any restrictions on times of year when leave cannot be taken
  • When the holiday year runs from and to
  • How holiday entitlement is calculated if an employee starts or leaves part-way through a holiday year
  • How to request annual leave
  • How far in advance employees should request leave
  • How much leave can be taken in any one period
  • Whether employees will be required to take specific days off in the year
  • Number of employees that business can cope with being on leave at the same time

With your policy in place, you now have two ways to deal with any staff shortages during peak holiday times:

  1. Current resources
  2. Temporary cover

Utilise current resources

It’s obviously easier to use your current employees to cover periods of annual leave, as they already know your business’s policies and procedures and have been trained to your standards. But remember they might need additional training, so you will need to build that into any planning as well. There will also need to be handover periods before going on leave and afterwards when they return.

Hire seasonal workers

But sometimes using existing employees may not be practical or possible. That’s when you need to look at hiring seasonal workers. Our advice is to start recruiting for them early. The more time you allow for hiring and training the better and of course you will hopefully get the pick of the candidates. If you’ve had previous ones that were great, then we recommend that you contact them in the first instance before looking for new workers.

For extra help… bring in the processionals!

However, if you need more help, then reach out to professional recruiters. They can do as much or as little as you require. Everything from writing the advert/job description, evaluating applications, skills assessment, interviewing, processing relevant paperwork, onboarding and training. We also recommend that if you regularly hire seasonal staff that you think about training them for multiple roles withing your business. Then you will have more choice if a permanent employee is unable to work due to illness or for other reasons.

For help with recruitment, policies and general HR advice, please get in touch today.

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