It can be difficult managing holidays during the festive period. You might (as we do) have it in your contracts that employees must reserve two weeks of their annual holiday entitlement to cover the company closing.
However, if you don’t shut down for two weeks at Christmas, how do you make sure that everyone gets time off and they receive the same amount??
Set the expectation early that employees will not normally be able to have two weeks off for Christmas. Consider even putting in your contracts that, although employees can have the bank holidays off (e.g. Christmas Day and New Year’s Day) they are not guaranteed anything over and above that.
To make sure that everyone gets a fair deal, you could operate on a first come, first served basis. However, this could exclude employees who may be off sick, busy with other projects or don’t have regular access to a line manager.
It would be better for everyone to ask them to get their requests in by a certain date (e.g. end of November) and then allocate holidays based on the requests you have received. Try and make sure that everyone gets the number of days that they asked for even if you can’t fit in exactly what they want. You may also want to look at previous year’s holidays and allocate accordingly for example, if Mr Smith was off for New Year last year he should not expect the same this year.
You won’t be able to give every employee the holidays they want but you will be able to be fair and consistent, this should ensure a peaceful working environment.
If you would like some more information about managing holidays, please contact one of our consultants on 01506 238745.