10 top tips to avoid falling into holiday hell

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As Ryanair demonstrated this week, failing to keep on top of employee holidays can have disastrous financial impact on a company, while also dealing a body blow to its reputation. Featured on Insider.co.uk

The airline “messed up” its planning for pilot holidays, forcing chief executive Michael O’Leary to table plans to force 500 pilots to delay a week of their holiday entitlement.

That’s not the sort of thing that kindles staff loyalty. As the joke currently making the rounds puts it:

Ryanair pilot: “Good afternoon everyone. We are cruising at 36,000ft, the skies are clear all the way to Madrid, and may I assure you that I hate my employer more than you ever could.”

In light of this, Primestaff chief executive and recruitment expert Danny McIntyre has provided these top tips for both employers and staff on how to avoid falling into holiday hell.

USE A HOLIDAY CALENDAR

Log all requested and authorised holidays on a simple annual timelline. This can be used as a reference when you get holiday requests to ensure everyone isn’t off at the same time.

BOOK IN ADVANCE

Try to book your holidays in advance where possible. The longer in advance you book, the more likely you are to get the time off. It’s also worth checking to see if your employer requires a period of notice for booking holidays. If there’s nothing in place, consider requiring requests at least twice the amount of time they are planning to take off – for example, two weeks holiday would have to be requested at least four weeks in advance.

STRIKE A BALANCE

Consider when your peak period in business is, and when it’s most quiet. When employees are requesting holidays, consider whether the business can cope with demand in their absence.

SOURCE SOME HOLIDAY COVER

Planning holidays in advance allows you to arrange adequate cover by pre-booking the best calibre candidates available for that time. Make sure you have access to the right staff to cover your holidays at the right time.

COMMUNICATE

It sounds obvious, but speak to members of your office/team about your potential plans so you get an idea of what dates are free.

PROVIDE A DETAILED HAND-OVER

Ensure adequate time is allotted for an efficient hand-over of workload before going on holiday. This way you can distribute jobs fairly evenly and spread the workload whilst you are gone.

CONSIDER A HOLIDAY BLACKOUT PERIOD

Some businesses are so busy during certain times of the year they cannot afford to have any staff shortages and institute holiday blackout periods. For businesses in the retail sector, holidays are the busiest time periods. If employees require holiday during this time, it must be planned and authorised well in advance.

FIRST COME FIRST SERVED

Consider having a first come, first served holiday policy. Make employees aware of the soonest point they can request holidays; this will help cap the number of people that can take holidays at the same time.

PLAN FOR HOLIDAY SEASON

Have a pool of temporary workers or part-time staff that can help out when your business picks up in the holiday season. Keep agencies such as Primestaff in the loop and call on us for help in any department.

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