With the government’s latest programme for lifting lockdown restrictions, many businesses will re-open their doors in the coming months. With that comes several challenges, not least how to manage the mounting holiday requests from their employees.
Our latest blog is your checklist to successfully ensure you’re fully prepared for managing expectations and re-opening your business.
- Keeping track of who is entitled to what.
Your employees will have continued to accrue and use holiday even whilst on furlough. It’s important to keep track of who has a holiday that may conflict with your re-opening. GOV.UK has a calculator that allows you to calculate how much statutory holiday your workers are entitled to (Calculate holiday entitlement – GOV.UK (www.gov.uk)
- What if key staff are on holiday when you want to re-open?
If there are any key staff members you need to have present, this needs to be communicated early to ensure they are available when required. Consulting with your employees and explaining how vital it is that they are present can help with flexibility on dates. It is worth considering whether your opening date clashes with any school holidays as many parents will choose these dates to take off as holiday.
- Honouring requests and when to limit them.
As a business, you will have your own set of policies on what holiday entitlement is allowed and whether it can be carried over into the next year. If you need all your employees to be working for the first few months of re-opening, this will need to be communicated with enough time to allow them to make adjustments.
- Prioritising requests fairly.
Holidays can cause disagreements between employees and employers, especially during the summer holidays when those with children may want to take time off. As an employer, it is important to be fair to all employees when a request comes in. You may already run a ‘first come, first serve’ policy, but communication may be required if you need a particular employee to be in on a certain day/week.
Remember, every individual has different circumstances and having a chat with your staff can be the difference between being annoyed and the decline of mental health.
- The balance between running a business and staff morale.
As an employer, it is important to keep up morale, particularly during these unprecedented circumstances. Many of your employees will be facing external challenges outside of work that may be affecting their mental health, be it money, redundancy within the family, stress, anxiety, illness or even bereavement. This is a crucial time to be as flexible and accommodating as possible; this will pay off in the long-term by providing a safe and happy workspace to return to.
This is a challenging time for everyone, business and employees alike. It is a time to be more flexible and creative with how you manage processes, and now more than ever, it is important to communicate with your staff expectations regarding holiday entitlement.
If you would like assistance putting systems in place to support your employees and communicate with them, contact us directly at SFB Consulting on 01279 874676.