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Holiday Management Guide

Rayaan Shire 08 Jul 12:34 3 min read
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Managing employee holidays is considered a tricky task in HR departments - and for good reasons. Employees often want to take leaves on occasions where it’s not suitable. Moreover, multiple employees could want to take time off simultaneously, which is not feasible for small- or medium-sized businesses.

Managing holidays is a challenge for most organisations, especially smaller ones. But it doesn’t have to be. With the right pieces of knowledge, you can make sure managing holidays is never a problem in your organisation again.

Here’s a brief guide to help you effectively manage your employee’s holidays.

First things first; why are holidays important?

Any immature HR department could think of completely forbidding holidays in its organisation, thinking holidays aren’t necessary. But that’s not the case; holidays are crucial for employees to maintain their work-life balance.

If employees don’t get time off from work when they need it, they may suffer from stress and anxiety. It will leave them with a lousy productivity factor, and they will underperform. Put, even if you think you’re making the most out of your employees by not letting them take holidays, you are getting the opposite.

How long can the holiday duration be per year?

Granting holidays isn’t just your organisation’s good gesture; it’s a necessity by law. You have to give a specific minimum holiday duration per year to your employees to stay away from potential lawsuits.

While the precise holiday duration may vary from organisation to organisation, the requirement by law for an employee who works five days per week is 28 days. Simply put, you have to grant 28 days of per-year holiday to a full-time employee of your organisation. If the employee works for fewer days per week, you can calculate the exact holiday duration by multiplying the number of workdays by 5.6. For example, if an employee works three days per week, their per-year holiday duration would be 16.8.

However, note that 28 days is the maximum legal duration of holidays per year, even if an employee works six days per week.

It can be challenging to calculate the holiday duration for each employee manually; there are many ways to calculate how long it should be without doing everything manually. Using a free tool, such as our free holiday entitlement calculator, can be a great way to save time and work out exactly how much time off each of your employees is entitled.

Creating a detailed holiday policy

A detailed, transparent, and easily accessible holiday policy is crucial for any organisation. It provides your employees with easy-to-access, valuable information about holidays and saves you from potential legal issues.

There are several things you need to address in your policy. But here are a few noteworthy vital points.

  • Communicate how many days off can your organisation allow per year. Keep legal information in mind while constructing this point.
  • If there needs to be a minimum buffer duration between holidays, make it clear in your policy.
  • If your business is seasonal or there’s a huge customer demand at a particular time of the year, include it in your policy and forbid employees from taking leaves on such occasions.
  • If you want to prevent more than a certain number of employees from leaving at one time, specify it in your policy.
  • Depict the process of granting holidays, so there’s no accusation of unfair treatment from your employees.
  • Some companies require their employees to notify them about upcoming holidays several days earlier. The number of days could be adjusted according to the policy of the company. Figure out if your business could benefit from implementing such a point in your approach - and if it does, do implement it.
  • Some big companies for example in Germany require their employees to book all their time off in January for the whole year. While that sounds very systematic and professional, it can cause a series of problems for the employee. It doesn’t take into account the unexpected holidays they might have to take later in the year; weddings, birthdays, public events, and others. However, you can put your creativity into this system to develop your policy.

Rely on a holiday management system

If your organisation takes care of employees’ holidays manually, you’ll eventually end up in complex situations that are hard to overcome. For example, it would be harder to keep a record of which employee is leaving at what time of the year. Employees may not spread out their holiday rush at the end of the year, which is, of course, a severe problem for your organisation.

To keep an accurate record of who’s doing what and when using an automated holiday management system. Such a system, like OfficeSimplify automates the scheme of granting and maintaining records of holidays in your organisation and provides you with up-to-date pieces of information to make decisions.

In most companies, the HR department manages employee holidays. However, a modern and better system would let each employee’s respective manager handle their time offs. That way, managers would have a clear understanding of when an employee plans to take a holiday, letting them plan for deadlines and take care of tasks effectively.

As managers are the ones who have a deep knowledge of what an employee is working on at any given moment, they are the best people to make informed decisions about when to grant leaves and when not.

After an employee’s holidays have been set up and approved, everyone who could be affected by it should be informed about the time off beforehand. You can even develop each department’s holiday calendar, making it incredibly easy for managers and leaders to keep track of every employee’s upcoming holidays.

Keys takeaways

Many organisations, especially smaller ones, find holiday management a severe challenge. But it doesn’t have to be that way.

With the right strategies and tools up their sleeves, organisations can streamline their holiday management processes and prevent any unforeseen complexities.

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