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.