Daniel Martín
By Daniel Martín on July 06, 2022

How to manage Employee Holiday Requests

The unpredictability of staff absences can make it a challenging HR task—and a very costly one. 

A new study by Westfield Health revealed that absenteeism cost UK businesses 14 billion in 2020. Other reports predict that this cost will increase to £21 billion in 2020, and £26 billion in 2030. 

When it comes to time-off, a balance must be struck: the need for understanding employees and your business needs. Through absences management, you can measure time-off, and understand how it is affecting your business. 

 

Content

  1. Managing Holiday Requests. Best Practices.
  2. How Do Holiday Request Forms Work?
  3. Time of Tracking Excel.
  4. Is there a better way to manage staff holidays? Absences and Holiday Management Software.
     

The unpredictability of staff absences can make it a challenging HR task—and a very costly one. 

A new study by Westfield Health revealed that absenteeism cost UK businesses 14 billion in 2020. Other reports predict that this cost will increase to £21 billion in 2020, and £26 billion in 2030. 

When it comes to time-off, a balance must be struck: the need for understanding employees and your business needs. Through absences management, you can measure time-off, and understand how it is affecting your business.

 

1. Managing Holiday Requests. Best Practices.

 

There are a few things to keep in mind to keeping track of employee holidays: 

Your approach should comply with relevant laws.  

According to national employment regulations, full-time UK workers are legally entitled to at least 28 days' paid annual leave. 

Part-time workers, on one hand, are entitled to at least the same 5.6 weeks' paid holidays. Obviously, it will depend on the number of days they work. If they work 2 days, they would get at least 11.2 days' time of a year. 

An employer has the right to choose to include bank holidays as part of a worker’s statutory annual leave.

Other aspects of holiday entitlement are: 

  • Workers can request holidays at the same time as sick leave
  • Workers have the right to get paid for time off
  • Workers have the right to build up holiday entitlement while off work sick, on maternity, paternity and adoption leave. 

 

Help your organisation manage holiday requests fairly. 

Holidays are one of the things that almost all employees value most. With so many workers looking to take time off, and the additional complication of COVID-enforced restrictions, it may not be possible to keep everyone happy when it comes to granting annual leave requests. 

A study from officebroker.com revealed that workers never share their intentions for fear of co-workers booking the same holidays. People rush to book holidays. This could lead to disputes and controversy amongst member staff. Consider, as an HR Manager, a full-scale shutdown when your company has seasonal downtime, set priority over staff, a rota system, or set a notice period for requesting annual leave. Avoid playing favourites.

Annual leave policy

A clear leave management policy forms part of the employment terms and conditions, so the HR Manager is legally obliged to inform employees about them. 

An absence management policy often includes: 

  • Rules for notifying managers about absence. 
  • What do you expect from peak periods.
  • If specific employees have holidays cannot clash
  • Company close-downs
  • If some employees have priority over others
  • If employees have access to software to request their own holidays
  • If you tracked or control Employees' holidays by an HR Software. 

Make sure you communicate your annual leave policy as soon as they are hired, so they know their rights and what to expect from the company. An HR Software makes easy to employees to access and spot that information. 

Plan well ahead

Absences management could turn into a nightmare if HR can't cope with conflicts. An HR Software offers a good solution to managers so they can see exactly who is off, when and in which area. Managers can minimize negative impact on the business if they spot patterns, conflicts and bottlenecks on the horizon. 

HR Managers and line managers could keep track employee absences and encourage team members to take their time off early 

Give a good reason to refuse. Be firm but fair. 

Managers have employees understand that not everyone can be on holiday at the same time, and there needs to be enough people around. Make sure they know how to explain their decision clearly, and they deal with disputes fairly and treat all employees the same. Remind we are humans!

Track your employee absence requests. 

HR system let employees plan and request their absences and see all of them at glance. This means they can plan their absences and reduce the chance of inter-personnel grumblings. 

Having a holiday management system offers a real solution for managers to know who is off, when, and to spot any issues or conflicts. It lets automate all the processes and reject or approve any request at the organization's convenience.

 

2. What is a Holiday Request form?


A holiday request form is a simple template that employees fill out details when they want to take some of their time off. They might fill it out either on paper or online, and a  manager will review the request and approve or deny the request. 

The form will ask employees to fill in their information usually includes: 

  • Name
  • Department
  • Job title
  • Days of holidays they want to take
  • Start Date / End Date
  • Date of request

Then, once it's been submitted, employees pass the form to line managers who are in charge of approving the request. They can keep track of annual leave requests, and create a record of requests that were approved or denied. 

Holiday forms can be particularly helpful when managers want to see if two or more employees request the same holiday time. Also, they can keep track of all the approved holidays per employee and date.  

OpenHR, an HR Software, removes the need for paper forms. It allows you to automatic and organizes staff annual leave entitlement information.

 

3. Excel Time off Tracker 

 

Excel templates are still one of the preferred tools for many human resources departments to track and analyze absences and holiday requests. It makes scheduling much easier and can also help you see if other employees have already booked time off. 

Although it may seem useful, it is not always a more efficient tool to manage processes, so it lacks many of the functions you are demanding: 

  1. You must be aware of each of the requests that you would receive by mail (or by any other means) and have to constantly update the document manually. There is always a risk of human error (duplicities, input errors, oversights in the update,...). 

  2. The employee will not be able to view or select all types of absences (including vacations) directly on their calendar. This will lead to poor Employee Experience and inefficient workflows.

  3. Non-Responsive Web Design. A spreadsheet cannot be updated or consulted by the user at any time. Its usability is very low.

Non-Personalized system. Searching will become slower and slower due to the amount of data you need to manage. A pace that a company in full expansion cannot afford.

 

4. Is there a better way to manage staff holidays? Absences and Holiday Management Software.

 

But if your company wants to go further and help employees manage their own time off requests, absence management software is the best alternative.

With a holidays management system like OpenHR, HR could improve Employee Experience in the company. 

  • Employees could view and request absences from an intuitive and agile platform They will be able to consult all this information at any time and on any device, and they will be able to request the hours of absence they need. 

  • Managers can deny employees' requests through a workflow adapted to the organization. Every time the manager receives a new request, they will receive a notification that will make it easier for them to approve or deny it, taking into account any issue that may arise.

  • Work teams will be able to carry out autonomous absences management

  • HR could communicate all the information to employees through OpenHR. 

  • The system automatically calculates holidays and shows how many days employees have used vs how many they have left. 

  • Create specific reports by employee, office or work teams, such as Absenteeism rate. 

Advanced Time Management with Time Tracking and Shift Management. 

 

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