How to manage diminishing staff levels from holiday leave over the summer months

Peninsula Team

August 03 2012

We, as employers, are perhaps all too familiar with the seasonal issue of holiday leave during peak times of the year. Summertime is always going to be a peak time of the year for taking holiday leave – the kids are off school and this generally is the only time for people to go on holiday with their children. Diminished staff levels can be detrimental to the business - the last thing that any business wants is to be left in a position of disappointing their all too valuable customers in the current economic climate.

So, what ways can we avoid things like this happening?

The first thing to remember is that, whilst holiday leave can be both a statutory and contractual entitlement (the minimum amount of leave in a year being 5.6 weeks) - you, as the business owner/ manager, have to right to refuse to allow an employee taking a holiday at a certain time of year subject to your contractual provisions. Should you wish to do this, you should also consider the effect that this may have on employee morale.

Strategic Allocation

If you find that you struggle with diminished staffing levels at peak times of the year, you may wish to introduce a first come, first served basis for the allocation of holiday leave. Of course, you will need to calculate how many employees from a particular department or job role you can afford to have off at any one time, communicate this to the affected employees and stick rigidly to it.

Set Holidays

You, as the employer, can dictate times of the year when the Company closes. These are sometimes known as “annual shutdowns”. In doing this, you are therefore ensuring that the “shutdowns” are taken at times that suit your business and that employees are taking all of their statutory entitlement to holiday leave. Of course, this option will not be applicable to all industry sectors.

Agency Staff

There are numerous temporary work agencies that can provide you with staff on a short term basis to cover your needs. The thing to remember with this option is that you will of course have to pay for the temporary staff as well as the holiday pay for the employee.

Should you wish to implement one of the above options for your business, please contact the advice line for guidance on how to correctly complete the processes.

If you require any further information on the process of redundancy please do not hesitate to contact the advice line on 0844 892 2786.

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