Work hard, play hard: giving your staff time off

  • Leave and Absence
Peninsula Logo

Peninsula Group, HR and Health & Safety Experts

(Last updated )

Read our article: 'Work hard, play hard: giving your staff time off'. Contact us today for more information about our Employment Law, Health & Safety, and HR services.

Jump to section:

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


Got a question? Check whether we’ve already answered it for you…

Related articles

  • Recruitment Guide


    Britain's biggest businesses are being urged to recruit prison leavers

    Government has launched a national campaign to encourage Britain’s biggest businesses to recruit prison leavers in order to reduce re-offending and expand the economy

    Peninsula TeamPeninsula Team
    • Recruitment
  • sick leave


    Prime Minister sets out reform measures to tackle 'sick note culture'

    Almost 11 million fit notes were issued last year, with an overwhelming 94% of those signed “not fit for work”. And that, Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has said, is a problem that must be tackled with more help for people to get the appropriate support they may need to remain in work.

    Peninsula Team Peninsula Team
    • Leave and Absence
  • Sickness leave


    Reform to SSP and fit notes proposed

    Given the high rates of sickness absence in the UK, there have been recent calls for reform of both the Statutory Sick Pay (SSP) system and the fit note process.

    Peninsula TeamPeninsula Team
    • Leave and Absence
Back to resource hub

Try Brainbox for free today

When AI meets 40 years of Peninsula expertise... you get instant, expert answers to your HR and Health & Safety questions

Sign up to our newsletter

Get the latest news & tips that matter most to your business in our monthly newsletter.