Your HR toolkit for managing staff holidays and absences this summer

Peninsula Blog

May 31 2022

As summer rapidly approaches, prepare for the sunshine to bring some dark spots for your company. As temperatures soar, so will the potential for holiday clashes and staff absences.

Stay on top of your HR this summer with these key essentials…

1. A holiday policy

Around this time of year, expect staff to bombard you with holiday requests. Some are likely to come in at short notice and you may end up with a few clashes.

To avoid this, you need to manage holiday requests in a way that is fair and consistent. A watertight holiday policy will help you manage staff expectations and cover your back if someone breaches it.

In your policy, outline:

  • what staff should expect when they request leave
  • how much notice staff need to give when requesting leave
  • the steps you take to make the process fair - e.g., is it first-come first-served?
  • the rules around staff taking leave at the same time – if you’re a client-facing company, you might need to limit the number of workers who can take leave at the same time so you can meet customer demand
  • time frames where staff must take leave – you’ll need to outline the dates your company closes on e.g. bank holidays
  • time frames where staff can’t take leave – certain periods of the year (e.g. Christmas) might be particularly busy for you so you can ask staff not to book time off around then
Need to set up a holiday policy?

Your HR documentation experts will craft up watertight HR policies to keep staff in line and protect you from legal risk.

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2. HR software

Trying to manage staff holiday requests and absences manually can be a recipe for disaster. You might lose track of who’s taking leave and when. You might accept conflicting requests without realising. Staff could be off work without permission…

Rid yourself of stress and doubt with BrightHR software. Efficient, speedy, and secure, a tool like this will make managing staff simple.

With BrightHR you can:

  • keep track of and quickly access your tasks, requests, and processes
  • manage holiday requests on the go – sign off holiday requests at the touch of a button, wherever you are
  • avoid clashes – the software will flag up conflicting requests, so you won’t end up with an empty workplace by mistake
  • keep a record of holidays and absences all in one place
  • create shareable rotas in an instant
  • keep confidential information stored securely
Save time and stress with BrightHR

Manage your HR safely, securely, and speedily on the go with BrightHR.

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3. A flexible working policy

During the school holidays, it might be a struggle for staff to come into the workplace full-time if they have childcare responsibilities. They might make annual leave requests to stay at home to be with their children. But you might not be able to accept these requests if they lead to problematic holiday clashes and you don’t have enough staff in work.

Around this time of year, workers may struggle with a 9-to-5 schedule. So, you might end up with last-minute absences, high levels of work-related stress, and even resignations if staff feel like they can’t manage their work/life balance…

Avoid the risk of clashes and being short-staffed by introducing a flexible work schedule. If you and your staff can come to a working arrangement that suits everyone, it’s less likely you’ll see increased or last-minute absences.

Examples of flexible working might include:

  • reduced hours
  • working from home
  • hybrid working – so your staff can split their time between remote working and the workplace. This means they won’t need to burn through their leave (and take time away from their duties) if they need to stay home, like if they need to sign for a parcel
  • flexitime – allowing your staff to start and finish at their preferred time (within limits), helping you plan around absences during the school drop-off or rush hour

Another bonus is that staff will have more time to enjoy themselves outside of work. So, you’re likely to see higher levels of retention, morale, and productivity.

It doesn’t even have to be permanent – you could introduce a temporary period of flexible working over the summer.

If you can’t allow flexible working, be careful about rejecting requests. You’ll need to justify your reasons for it or your worker might make a claim for discrimination.

And if you grant one worker flexible working, you should do the same for others or your staff might accuse you of favouritism.

Need to introduce flexible working?

Get 24/7 advice from qualified HR experts.

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4. Expert advice

Sometimes, staff might put you in a difficult position. What if you reject a holiday request but your worker takes the leave anyway and you can’t get hold of them? What if you have a company dress code and your staff come in wearing flip-flops and shorts? And what if you catch someone posting evidence of bad behaviour on social media whilst they’re on holiday?

If you have an issue with staff conduct, it’s best to seek professional advice. You don’t want to waste unnecessary time and resources on an issue that might be a simple quick fix. In the same vein, you don’t want to put yourself at legal risk if you fail to manage a situation correctly…

Whatever the issue, HR experts can walk you through the steps you need to take to stay safe and successful.

Protect your business with expert advice

Access 24/7 expert advice to help you overcome any HR challenge.

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Avoid staff struggles this summer

Cut the paperwork and overcome any HR challenge with unlimited support from the experts. Whether you to lay down the rules of booking leave or deal with unexplained absences, your employment law experts are just a phone call away. 

And when you join Peninsula, you get access to BrightHR; your online tool to manage holidays with all the efficiency and none of the stress.

Just get a free quote today to get started.

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