How do you manage your staff holidays – especially at this time of year?
Everyone like to take holidays over the Christmas Break – but it can cause arguments, staff shortages and low moral within this staff.
If you allow staff to take holidays over the Christmas period how do you manage this? Is it the same people who put in for annual leave – or do you do it more fairly?
Allowing staff to have annual leave over the Christmas period can lead to problems – which as a manager will come back for you to sort out so make sure that you plan ahead – have a fair system in place and allow for the unexpected.
Does your Practice have a policy on Annual Leave at Christmas?
Our Practice had a policy that no one was allowed to take annual leave over the Christmas period (usually the week leading up to Christmas and the week after)
But, in extreme circumstances (such as a family trip aboard / other genuine reasons ) we would allow one person from each team to have Annual Leave – but this would be discussed within the tem and I would ensure that most people where happy with it – being the team worked well together this was never a problem.
But, if a person was allowed to take annual leave one year it would be agreed that they could not do it the following year.
What Are the Disadvantages of Letting Staff Have Holiday Over the Christmas Period?
Firstly you have to manage it fairly.
When I first started as a Receptionist the Practice did not have a policy about taking Annual Leave at Christmas – and the same people would put in for leave every year – this always lead to bad feelings amongst staff. Don’t let that happen at your Practice.
Another Practice that I worked in had a rota every year and one person had the opportunity of taking Annual Leave if they wanted it – and it would go to the next person on the list the following year. If you allow staff to take Annual Leave this is a fair way of dealing with it. Staff were allowed to swap between them one year for the next – but that was between them and was done fairly.
If you allow staff to take Annual Leave at Christmas time remember their hours need to be covered – which means that other staff have to usually end up doing extra hours – and it can often be hard to get staff to cover Christmas Eve / News Year’s Eve .
If you allow staff to take Annual Leave over the Christmas period and you have other staff covering their hours – what happens when another member of staff goes sick – and it does happen – how short would that leave you then?
Always think of the worst case scenario – you don’t want to be left with hardly any staff – which could be a very busy time.
Ensure that Staff are Aware of Your Christmas Annual Holiday Policy.
If you decide to change your Christmas Annual Leave Policy ensure that all staff are fully aware of the changes.
- Discuss at a Meeting
- Issue letters/memo giving the changes
- Add to the staff handbook
- Inform all new staff at interview stage that this is your Practice policy.
Hopefully by having this is place everyone knows exactly where then stand – and hopefully will not leave your team short-staffed at the most stressful time of year.