Santa’s busy stocking his sleigh but are businesses ready for last minute annual leave clashes?

23 November 2017 – New research by hotel chain Jury’s Inn reveals that 82% of workers still have annual leave to take, despite the New Year being only six weeks away. It found that a third of UK employees still have at least ten days left to use.

With Christmas fast approaching this could spell disaster for companies who have not been monitoring their employees’ annual leave throughout the year, and could leave managers panicking how to fill the skills gap left by annual leave clashes at what is for many businesses the busiest time of year.

HR Managers will also find themselves under pressure as they will be constantly interrupted with last-minute annual leave queries. They will be asked to make judgment calls about who can take annual leave and then berated by angry staff if they feel a decision is unfair.

Adrian Lewis, Absence Management Expert at Activ Absence says, “With so many UK workers yet to take their holiday, this will inevitably cause businesses and HR departments real headaches in the run-up to Christmas and it could be a costly problem to solve. If businesses haven’t managed their annual leave effectively, they could be short staffed and have to pay for temporary staff to fill in the gaps.

“A surprising number of big businesses still rely on spreadsheets, wall planners and paper forms to manage annual leave and this doesn’t help. Errors can easily be made and it can lead to conflict amongst staff and stress for HR teams.”

“It doesn’t have to be this way. Technology exists that enables easy staff holiday planning and centralised systems so that everyone can see who is off. This avoids annual leave clashes, saves money and ensures a business can plan their rotas and resources effectively.”

“Such technology is particularly useful in the run-up to holiday periods as it enables employers to define trigger point alerts such as automatically prompting staff to book leave if a set level is accrued, thus preventing a build-up of annual leave. It can also alert a manager if an annual leave request is likely to create a staff shortage.

“Essentially it can be like having an extra person in HR that spots the things a busy line manager might miss.”

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