Blog post

Staff Holiday Planner

Struggling to manage who’s off on annual leave – and when?

This graphic might help you create and publish a fair policy and implement a system to make sure everyone has their fair share of time off to relax and remain refreshed to do their job.

Smooth operators

Having a great system and clear guidelines on requesting time off in place can streamline your process and lessen the burden on time-off approvers and enhance the experience for employees booking their holidays.

A good system will also log all the days taken and allow easy reporting on balances, give a good visual overview of who is out and when – plus work in tandem with wider HR software functionality.

This is especially vital in small businesses where time is more at a premium and compliance obligations have a higher relative cost.


Staff Holiday Planner System

A solid staff holiday planner system will instantly save time and money and lower tension amongst your team.

That said, good policy is still required, so here are some tips on implementing smart staff time off procedures:


Publish an Annual Leave Policy

  • Whatever you do, be fair and consistent and carefully investigate Working Time Regulations (WTR) or similar legislation in your country. Be clear on if any compulsory cover involves extra pay or overtime rates and how such cover would rotate fairly.
  • Clarify pay conditions relating to regular hours for paid leave.
  • Clarify the maximum period of time off. E.g. 2 weeks unless otherwise approved.
  • What is your policy on Time off in Lieu(TOIL), carrying over annual leave from year-to-year?

Everyone deserves regular, stress-free breaks to maintain their appetite and satisfaction levels and ultimately productivity. If you are unsure of your current policies or making new policies, examine the law and your current contracts carefully and also check and clarify procedures relating to holidays in the previous year not taken due to sick or maternity leave.


Make your Staff Holiday Planner visible – Share Time-Off Requests

Having an easy-to-view outlook of who’s off and when can smooth operations without the need for tedious, complicated spreadsheets and give the team an overview of the year ahead without guesswork or the need for the subterfuge and illicit conversation at the water cooler to gin intelligence of who’s planning to be away during busy times.

  • Visible-to-all holiday schedule, then your teams can make informed decisions about when to book their annual leave for.
  • A shared staff holiday planner will put a lot of the onus onto employees to take responsibility for avoiding clashes with colleagues and enable smoother planning.
  • A transparent overview also allows managers to have a fair overview when approaching time off requests.


Plan ahead for staff cover

With some notice from a good system offing a clear overview you can plan ahead for part-time staff to cover busy time and hopefully save the significant costs of last-minute cover.

  • Plan backup for your backups!
  • Consider flexible working arrangements, even if they are temporary, where possible to allow some work/life balance with their family if they get the short straw to cover during a busy period.
  • If you must, offer incentives to employees to volunteer to cover.
Staff Holiday Planner was last modified: September 27th, 2023 by Adam Coleman

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