With holidays abroad once again on the rise, how can employers manage annual leave effectively?

With travel restrictions lifted and the possibility of enjoying a few weeks in the sunshine, explore our 5 key considerations for managing annual leave.

1. How can I reduce the administration involved in calculating annual leave?

When it comes to managing annual leave requests there are many benefits of implementing a HR system. One benefit is utilising a system to give employees the ability to check the company holiday calendar before submitting their requests to their line manager. HR software reduces the administration time and hassle for HR and business owners to manually track annual leave.

2. What annual leave entitlement do employers need to provide?

For many employees, a considerate annual leave entitlement is seen as a top perk when considering whether to join or stay at a company. With many businesses recognising the need to retain their team, many businesses now offer 25 days annual leave plus bank holidays. The minimum entitlement full time employees must be offered is 28 days leave (5.6 weeks); this can be inclusive of bank holidays.

3. What to do if an employee is unable to return from holiday as planned – the options

Long airport delays have been reported across the UK in May. It’s worth considering and communicating how your business will manage any unforeseen events as the holiday season approaches.

Planning ahead will help employees to understand what process they need to follow. For example, if there is a delay on their return home. In the event that an employee is unable to return, there are a number of options to consider.

  • Firstly: Are you able to agree an extended period of leave, either paid or unpaid?
  • Secondly: Do you need to re-distribute some of their work and update the wider team on when your employee is expected to return?
  • Finally: On their return to work, schedule some time to make sure they are fit to return and help them to catch up on their workload and priorities.

4. How do I manage bank holidays for part-time workers?

Contrary to popular belief, there is no statutory right to time off for bank holidays. Whether you include bank holidays as time off or not, will depend on what is written within your contracts of employment. However, where possible and subject to the business requirements, most UK employers do include bank holidays in an employees annual leave entitlement.

For part-time workers, it is important to that they have comparable terms to full-time workers on a pro rata basis. To ensure this is fair, it is advisable to calculate part-time employees bank holiday entitlement pro rata. This is regardless of whether or not the employee usually works on the day that the bank holiday falls.

5. How do I calculate annual leave for employees with an irregular work pattern?

With an increase in flexible working, irregular working patterns are becoming more common. For those that work different hours each day, annual leave entitlement can be expressed as a number of hours per year.

We hope you have found these key considerations useful for how your business can manage annual leave.

If you would like some further advice and guidance on managing annual leave, please don’t hesitate to get in touch with one of the team.