Who goes on holiday and when?…. by @KarenYoungHR #IndieRetail

If you own a small retail business, you will know that you probably work 6am to 10pm and then some. Your hours of opening will vary depending on what you supply and where you are based. There could well be the issue of opening 6 – 7 days a week, with a late night openings as well for good measure.

The trick to managing holidays is forward planning and a clear policy

So what do you do when everyone wants to go on holiday but can’t? and do you then spend the rest of your time with your fingers crossed that your other employee doesn’t get struck down with a virus or bug?

The trick here is that forward planning is key and you may need to look at how you either flex holiday, pay some holiday and segregate holiday and some examples are;

  • If you know that there is a quieter time in the year, then enforce a one week shut down.
  • Allow your employees to take ¼ or ½ day holidays, that way there is less of an impact on your time.
  • Try and budget to buy some holiday back at the end of the year if they haven’t used all their holiday or alternatively flex their finishing or start time for a few weeks, until all holiday taken.
  • Don’t allow more than one person to be off at anyone time and ensure that you impose a reasonable timescale, whereby if you haven’t been given at least 2 weeks notice for example, that you have the right to decline the request.
  • If you want to and you can, allow them to carry over a couple of days holiday to a quieter time and ensure that they take time then.

Ensure that they take their quota per quarter so you aren’t left with someone having 12 days to take between the time of October – December and if you know that December is manic, then advise them that by the time for example 1 November arrives, that they must have no more than 4 days holiday remaining.

Holiday planning, recording and management – extra effort, worth it in the long run!

Whilst you don’t want to appear unreasonable, you still have to ensure that all the business hours are covered and if that means forward thinking diary planning and management then so be it. It will be worth in the long run.

Don’t be praising your employee for ‘always being there’ as you’ll shoot yourself in the foot come December.

The example of allowing ¼ or ½ days means that it is such a short period of time to manage and most definitely means less to worry about at the end of the year.

Statute says an employee who works 5 days a week is entitled to 28 days including Bank Holidays, but it doesn’t say that you can’t tell them when to take them (within reason of course).

Get into some good habits – know where you are at and what’s coming round the corner!

If you can get into the habit of carrying out a quarterly review of who has what holiday entitlement remaining, then you can start planning to get them to take it so you don’t have a headache at the end of the holiday year.

Be fair, be open and be flexible with how your employees take holiday and you’ll get the maximum input in your business.

This blog was written by Karen Young, founder of HR Innovate; Karen is an HR expert and advisor  who has previously held senior roles in HR in major retail organisations including Dixons Stores Group.


About Clare Bailey

Clare Bailey, The Retail Champion (formerly Clare Rayner), is one of the most well-known and respected retail experts in the UK. With unrivalled knowledge in retail, high streets and consumer matters, she offers unbiased, independent content – whether engaged as a professional speaker, for broadcast media, or for a written feature. Clare is a business woman, entrepreneur and founder of several small businesses. Having been born into a family of successful business owners, it was inevitable that she’d eventually jump off the corporate treadmill and step out on her own! Today her brand portfolio includes The Retail Champion, The Retail Conference, the Future High Street Summit and the Support for Independent Retail campaign. In addition, she is co-founder of Mobaro Retail UK and a non-exec director of Beed Virtual Assistant Services. Having started her career as a fast-track store management trainee for McDonalds, she went on to work with leading retailers such as M&S, Dixons and Argos. She moved swiftly into management roles before being headhunted into senior consulting roles with global software giant SAP, and international management consulting brand, Accenture. Her corporate background in senior retail, consulting and technology roles, coupled with her experience of creating and running her own business, has enabled her to be equally capable whether consulting to global brands or micro businesses. This unique blend has not only positioned her as a leading expert in all things retail, but has enabled her to add meaningful commentary and insight to the debate around the future of the high street, and, how technology is driving fundamental change in the way consumers, and businesses, interact. Clare has become an influential voice in her field, which has resulted in her becoming a regular media contributor and sought-after conference speaker. Often seen on Good Morning Britain, BBC Breakfast, Sky News, and Chanel 5 (to name a few), Clare speaks on a myriad of retail, high street and consumer issues – but is particular adept when it comes to explaining the context behind retail trading results, newly released data, and government stats, in a palatable and informative manner. In addition to broadcast and conference speaking, Clare is the proud author of two best-selling business books published by Kogan Page - The Retail Champion: 10 Steps to Retail Success, published July 2012 and How to Sell to Retail: The Secrets of Getting Your Product to Market, published February 2013. She has provided contributions to various academic texts, including Retail Marketing Management (published by Pearson). With an engaging, conversational yet informative style, Clare writes for press and content agencies, providing features, articles, blogs and opinion pieces as well as contributions to white papers and reports. However, when the situation demands a more serious style, Clare can deliver - In 2016 she wrote an extensive report for a major insurance and risk law firm, as a retail expert witness, to support a public liability suit. She found that project particularly enjoyable as it played well to her strengths – assimilating large amounts of data and information, identifying the key points and articulating that in an understandable manner. When not on TV or speaking at conferences, Clare’s “day job” sees her supporting consumer-facing businesses through her consultancy services. When asked to describe what she most loves about retail consulting it is typically the opportunity to “dig deep”, getting “under the bonnet”, in order to leverage the business data to uncover the insights that lead to “lightbulb moments”. She also loves working on business change programmes that centre on improving the processes and systems to increase profitability by supporting more rapid, better informed decision making, improving the customer experience, or simply by become more efficient and streamlined. In this respect she considers herself a “business engineer” with a brain that works like a relational database! Due to her years of experience, her logical, objective approach, her quick, rational thinking, she is known for being able to cut through complexity, seeing right through to the crux of issues, finding creative solutions that others may have overlooked. As if all that wasn’t enough, Clare is a working mum, juggling a home life in rural Lincolnshire with her partner, their 5 kids, 4 cats, and geriatric Labrador! For all enquiries, contact Clare directly on 01727 238890 or email champion@retailchampion.co.uk.
This entry was posted in Blog-a-day for Indie Retail, Independent Retailer Month 2011, Retail Strategy. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s