Work hard, play hard: giving your staff time off

  • Leave and Absence
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Part-time staff. Full-time staff. Casual staff. Staff on night shifts. And staff who work on commission. Having a varied workforce helps you run your business. It can also make calculating annual leave entitlement a real test for you. Here’s how to make sure your staff get the right amount of annual leave.

Write an annual leave policy

Tell your staff how annual leave works in your business. With a written annual leave policy, both you and your staff know how to request time off. Make sure you cover:

  • Exceptions to your policy during your business’s peak times, so there are enough staff over busier times like Christmas or during school holidays.
  • Notice periods for example, one week’s notice for a day off.
  • Limits to how many people can be off work at the same time.

Calculating holiday pay and working out days off

Different workers have different contracts and hours, so their annual leave entitlement might not be the same. If you calculate your staff’s annual leave wrong, they won’t be happy. That’s why you need to make sure your HR and payroll departments work together so staff aren’t underpaid when they take time off.

Encourage your staff to work hard & play hard

To get the best out of your staff, they need time to unwind and relax. So when they return to work, they’re ready to get back to business. You don’t want your employees to think they can’t take time off because they’ve got too much work to do. Keep an eye on staff workloads, and see whether you need to share tasks around the team. They’ll be grateful for some well-deserved holiday time. Encourage your employees to use their annual leave before the end of the year, and outline whether they can carry any days over or they might risk losing them.

Absent staff still accrue annual leave

Your staff don’t need to be at work to accrue annual leave. Employees who are on leave can still accrue holidays, including staff on:

  • Long-term sickness leave
  • Parental or dependant leave
  • Maternity, paternity or shared parental leave

In cases where staff haven’t been at work and aren’t able to take their annual leave, you should consider letting them carry over their unused holiday. If staff have been off work because of maternity leave or sickness absence, not allowing them to carry over leave will be discriminatory.

Make annual leave entitlement easy

Maybe you want HR software that does the maths. BrightHR automatically calculates your employees’ annual leave so you don’t have to. Get your free demo now


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