Companies should expect and begin to prepare for a surge in holiday requests following the announcement of the ‘roadmap out of lockdown’ last week. At oneHR, we would suggest the best way to prepare for this is to have HR software in place to help effectively manage the influx of holiday requests.
Despite the current ban on holidays in the UK and abroad, holiday companies have reported a surge in bookings since the roadmap announcement on 22nd February. TUI reported that bookings for foreign trips jumped 500% overnight. In addition to this, the owner of Hoseasons and Cottages.com said that they had sold a record 10,000 breaks. Therefore, employers should expect to be inundated with annual leave requests over the next few months. Since the announcement of the roadmap out of lockdown, we have experienced a 312% increase of holiday requests on oneHR.
Important Roadmap Dates
- 12th April – Self-catering accommodation allowed to open
- 17th May – Hotels open and the absolute earliest date that International travel may be allowed.
- 21st June – All restrictions to end
It is important to note that the dates are indicative and subject to change if necessary.
Many employees have put off booking any holidays up until the announcement. But employees, like us all, are desperate to get away, so holiday requests are likely to come flooding in around those dates. An effective system will be needed to manage these requests to prevent HR from getting overloaded.
HR Software Benefits
- Easily access data to keep track of your employees holidays and see who is off when
- Avoid clashes of holidays with other employees
- Takes the responsibility of managing leave away from HR as requests are sent directly to the line manager. This reduces admin for HR, meaning they can spend their saved time on other tasks that will benefit the business.
- Track trends and build reports
- Accessible 24/7 from wherever you are
Some companies, especially smaller ones, tend to still be using a paper-based system. Holidays are recorded on bits of paper or on a spreadsheet which typically sits on one person’s computer. This way of managing holidays has many drawbacks.
- Slow and complicated
- Mistakes can creep in
Plus, if your company is currently working remotely it may be even more difficult to manage without online HR software. You will not be able to see these people in person for them to request holidays or hand over a sheet of paper with the requests on it. Instead, holiday requests could be lost within hundreds of emails that an HR manager may receive in a week.
Making it fair
It is imperative that your company’s booking system is fair. It will be a busy period for holiday requests and there’s pressure for a fair system in place to allow everyone the opportunity to take a well-deserved holiday during this time. This should be done with the business in mind. Business operations must not be harmed by the influx of holidays, and so it is crucial you manage holiday requests correctly.
We would advise that you lay out clear guidelines on booking annual leave in your company policies, to ensure that everyone is aware of how to book.
Be aware that some employees may ‘pull sickies’ if holiday requests are not accepted or do not have enough holidays. Watch out for this, especially on or around the dates for restrictions being lifted. Warn employees beforehand that taking ‘sickies’ will be regarded as misconduct.
How can oneHR help?
Our Holiday Manager and Calendar at oneHR can help to solve all your problems when managing the surge of holiday requests.
- It gives employees a clear view of their holiday allowance and team calendar to help avoid clashes when requesting leave.
- Easily see which employees are off and when
- As an employer, this will save you time, confusion, and help you to avoid human-error when managing leave.
- Receive email notifications when your staff request leave – this can easily be accepted or declined on the software.
- Leave requests are visibly displayed to line managers on their accounts so that they do not forget about or ‘lose’ the request.
- Online HR Software – meaning that it is accessible 24/7 no matter where you are, making managing your staff from home much easier.
- Track trends easily with the clear overview of leave and absence that the holiday calendar provides. This will help to proactively manage your staff and address any issues highlighted.
If you have any further questions or queries about the content above or would like to request a demo for oneHR, please don’t hesitate to contact the oneHR team today.
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