Managing employees annual leave after the end of lockdown is a challenge that many companies are facing. Handling the annual leave entitlement of staff is just one of the post-lockdown challenges, as the whole return to work process takes shape. The government are encouraging returns to the office where possible and you may find yourself overwhelmed with employees’ annual leave quotas.
People will probably be carrying over annual leave whilst on furlough and some members of staff will have more days remaining than others. You might encourage people to make their annual leave request sooner rather than later. However, you could have issues when receiving multiple requests for the same time, particularly as there may be a lot of days to use in a short period of time. This is where carrying over annual leave may help. Here are our tips for managing employees annual leave requirements after lockdown.
Review your employees annual leave policy
Flexibility is almost a necessity when it comes to looking at your existing holiday policies. Your organisation should look to adapt post-lockdown, to ensure that every annual leave request can be handled accordingly. Of course, employees will be entitled to the holidays set out in their contract, with the furlough period not counting towards the allowance. However, you might look to change this in future by implementing a short to medium term rule of not accruing additional holidays for each year of service.
Plan for busy periods
Managing furloughed workers who have a considerable amount of annual leave entitlement could be a tricky job. This can be more challenging when factoring in employees annual leave with some busy periods for your organisation. Some companies will have cut costs to avoid redundancies, but this will only pay off if they can achieve a maximum output from busy periods such as Black Friday and Christmas. Therefore, an updated business plan for critical times should be near the top of your return to work list.
Communication is key for your employees annual leave
It has been an uncertain period for people all over the country, particularly furloughed workers. Those who are returning to the working environment will need to be successfully re-integrated. Part of this will be ensuring a consistent and regular communication line. Members of staff will need to know about job role changes, business updates and any updates to the company holiday policy. Employees’ annual leave requirements will differ as some workers might not be ready to return straight away, and some staff might want to carry holidays over to 2021. Therefore, a two-way communication process is recommended, to ensure that the working environment is as normal as it can be at the earliest opportunity.
Treat all workers the same
There should be no priority or favouritism when it comes to both furloughed workers and workers who were not placed on the job retention scheme. All employees are equally important to ensure a positive working culture remains over the coming months. This is also the case for annual leave. Some people will obviously have more days to use than others, and some people may look to book holidays sooner than others. This is why implementing and communicating policies is crucial to ensure fairness and transparency.
Seek the advice of senior management
There are of course additional challenges to consider, alongside working out how to manage staff holidays. Keeping businesses afloat is the ultimate priority and this may also involve successfully enhancing existing external relationships. Therefore, you should not be afraid to seek further tips and advice from members of the senior management team. Gaining opinions from other people can help you to communicate different matters to all employees, particularly when it comes to updating annual leave policies.
For more tips, you can check out our hirer blogs as part of our Info Hub! You can also check out some of our other tips for leave queries leave queries.
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