Does your annual leave policy need an overhaul for 2021?

Tuesday, 29 Sep 2020




With 2021 on the horizon, many businesses are putting plans in place for the next twelve months. While companies often focus on client and customer goals, it’s important to pay attention to internal policies – including how your business manages annual leave.

Keeping the holiday calendar running smoothly can take a surprising amount of effort and energy. So why not cut the time it takes to coordinate leave in 2021, by finding a better way to track staff holiday entitlements and process leave requests?

Annual leave: things to think about

The end of the calendar year is a great time to take stock on what is and isn’t working with your annual leave policy. Many businesses endured difficult trading conditions in 2020, so your company may choose to enhance holiday packages for 2021, in lieu of bonuses or pay rises.

Before you move into the next holiday year, here are some questions to consider:

  • Are you offering staff enough time off, or should you be increasing their allowance for 2021?
  • Will all employees be offered the same number of days’ holiday, or will long-serving staff be given extra time off as a loyalty reward?
  • Should public holidays be included in people’s total holiday allowances, or will you offer those as additional leave?
  • Will staff be able to carry over any unused leave from 2020, and will you let them move unclaimed holiday from 2021 into 2022? If so, how much?
  • Can staff accrue time off in lieu (TOIL) alongside their annual leave entitlement? Will there be any restrictions on the amount they can earn, and how they use it?

Many different public holidays celebrated all around the world

All of these points will need to be written into your 2021 holiday policy, which should be shared with the whole team before the end of the holiday year. This way, everyone will know exactly where they stand for the next twelve months, and may even have additional time off to look forward to!

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Managing change

Coordinating staff holiday requirements is a challenge anyway, but it can become even more complex if you’re making changes to your annual leave policy. It’s easy for new details to get forgotten, or for an increase in holiday entitlement to create calendar clashes when team members want the same time off.

A lot of companies currently ‘make do’ with spreadsheets or word documents to coordinate holiday requests. However, this can be very time consuming – and lead to frustrating mistakes. To avoid carrying bad habits into 2021, perhaps you should think about investing in leave management software?

Online holiday planning tools like WhosOff take the time out of coordinating time off, by centralising leave management processes. Every team member can be allocated the right number of days off, based on your policy, including any time they are carrying over. This way, everyone starts off with the correct holiday allowance for 2021.

Putting everyone on the same page

Introducing a digital holiday planner improves the way time off is requested, approved and managed. For example, online notifications can be sent to HR or management when someone wants to book holiday, cutting down on paperwork and email traffic. And when a request is approved or denied, an update is sent directly to the employee.

Coordinating all holiday requests centrally also cuts back on calendar clashes, as businesses can set rules around how many people in the company or department can be off at the same time. And every team member can view the latest version of the calendar online, so they can check availability before requesting annual leave; it quite literally puts everyone on the same page.

See WhosOff through the mobile apps

Plan your 2021 holiday calendar through WhosOff

As we wrap up 2020, WhosOff is encouraging businesses to try our online holiday planner for free before the new holiday year begins. We’ll show you how easy it is to manage company leave online, and give employees view-only access to your holiday calendar.

WhosOff makes it simple to enforce your annual leave policy, and streamline the way holiday requests are submitted, approved and recorded – so you can hit the ground running in 2021.

Want to find out more? Book a free WhosOff demo today.

Photos by Artem Saranin/Aleena Koval/Pixabay/cottonbro/picjumbo.com of Pexels.com

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By Tony Bushell

Title: Does your annual leave policy need an overhaul for 2021?
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