The Summer months are one of the busiest periods for planned absence. Last November we published a blog post called Managing Festive Holidays Fairly and Effectively, in which we advised that you gather your employees holiday requests early and grant holidays fairly, making sure everyone has got a fair deal.
However, it is harder with Summer Holidays as people book them anything to 12 months to a week in advance!
You should have a clause in your handbook or contract that states that no holiday is guaranteed and must be approved by a line manager before any holiday is paid for. Try to stick to this rule, and that way you can manage expectations. Encourage your employees to communicate; they know better than anyone who can’t be absent at the same time. If they are working together to work out holidays and come to you with a proposal of who will be off when, it will make the situation a lot smoother.
We also advised in the Festive Holidays blog to ensure that all employees have two weeks holiday saved from their annual entitlement to cover Christmas. However, you cannot force anyone to go on holiday if the office isn’t closed. If an employee does not want to go on holiday, meet with them and ask them why. It might not seem like an issue, but if an employee works from January to July without much time off, they will be tired, stressed and their performance at work will begin to suffer. People need time off, try to explain this and encourage holidays as much as possible. If the employee is worried about being away from the office, work with them to create an effective handover plan (come back next week for more information of effective handovers) and reassure them as best you can that everything will be fine! Even a long weekend can make the world of difference.
If you would like more advice on summer holidays, please contact us. Our blog theme for July and August will be Managing Summer so come back every week!