The Great Bank Holiday Staff Shortage!

The Great Bank Holiday Staff Shortage!

It’s easy to forget, as we endure the remnants of the winter weather, that Easter is fast approaching. And in the world of Holiday Tracking, that means one thing: lots of holiday-savvy employees are going to try to book 16 days’ holiday for the price of 8!

Mixed in amongst these people, you’ve probably got parents trying to balance child care and taking holidays to spend time with their kids over the Easter period. That’s a lot of people looking to take holidays, but you’ve still got a business to run, right?!

So let’s take a look at three things you should be doing to ensure you don’t end up in an egg-streme situation this Easter. Sorry.

Have a Robust Entitlement Policy and Communicate It

At times like this it’s not always possible for everyone who wants the day off to have it. This is where a considered and well communicated policy can help you mediate the situation. Making your position clear in advance should ensure everyone knows the situation and leaves less room for argument.

A first-come first-served holiday request process is the easiest to implement and can be easily orchestrated using an online service such as The Holiday Tracker. By improving visibility of who’s on holiday when, your employees can check to see who else has booked holidays before trying to book their own.

Plan Accordingly

You hopefully won’t be left without enough cover, but at these times of year, you will no doubt have the most amount of staff off at the same time.  Make sure each team is aware who’s off and that they have a suitable plan in place to cover any responsibilities that can’t wait until the absent team members return.

Know Your Legislative Rights

What if you’re not planning on closing on bank holidays? Employees do not have a statutory right to take bank holidays off. As long as it’s stipulated in the employee’s contract, you can require them to work if needed. Also you’re not required to pay overtime for working on a bank holiday. You can choose to if you want to, but either way, it should be stated in their contract of employment.

Part-time workers are entitled to the same terms as the rest of your employees, but on a pro-rata basis. So if an employee works 4 day weeks, then they’re working 80% of a normal week, so they’re entitled to 80% of the bank holidays. This can be tricky to work out if employees change working patterns throughout the year – The Holiday Tracker works this out automatically for you, taking into account an employee’s start date, work patterns and even termination date when they leave.

You can include bank holidays as part of an employee’s statutory annual leave (28 days for full-time employees in the UK), or you can count them as additional holidays if you want to. At the risk of sounding like a broken record: make sure it’s documented in their contract either way.

For more details, checkout the Gov.UK article on holiday entitlement:

In Conclusion

Make sure you’ve thought about how your business is going to handle these situations, that it’s documented in a policy or your employment contracts, and that it’s communicated properly.

Enjoy your Easter weekend.

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