Guides & Advice

Holiday requests: managing the festive season

Published: 16th December 2020
Area: Corporate & Commercial

The Government’s ‘Christmas window’, allowing three households to ‘bubble’ between 23 – 27 December, has provided the UK with some festive cheer to cap off a challenging 2020.

However, with many employees wanting to make the most of this time, pressure has been put on employers to manage an influx of holiday requests while keeping business running as usual.

So, what do employers need to keep in mind?

Implement a company holiday policy

With the announcement, many employees will want to change their holiday plans. However, this leaves employers having to balance holiday and flexible working requests with the need to have enough staff and resources.

To reduce the pressure this causes, the company holiday policy may need to be reviewed. Should a business be at its busiest over Christmas, a holiday policy that puts certain restrictions on booking this time off may be the best choice.

No matter what policy is in place, it’s important to clearly inform every employee of its contents to ensure everyone is on the same page.

Don’t jeopardise the relationship

Putting the relationship between employee and employer at the top of the list is much better for business in the long run. Talking holiday requests through with individuals will foster a culture of fairness and consistency, which is especially important where holidays during the festive season are concerned.

Precautions post-festivities

When returning to work, having a positive relationship with employees is key to avoiding unplanned absences, whether COVID-related or not. Clarifying employee rights on leave due to illness, as well as company sickness policies, will ensure that the workforce knows their rights and obligations, with the aim being to avoid any disciplinary proceedings.

Another thing to bear in mind post-holidays is a potential increase in the likelihood of positive cases of COVID-19 in the workforce. By following Government guidelines and putting some creative ideas in place, such as work ‘bubbles’ or staggering returns to the office, businesses can reduce this risk and protect their employees.

Your employees’ health and safety is key

Taking care of staff is paramount, especially in the present situation. So, whether that means having to prepare for the possibility of a rise in infections, set out a clear holiday policy, or maintain open lines of communication, organisations must balance the wellbeing of their employees with business as usual if they are to overcome Christmas in the times of COVID-19.

We’re here to help

If you’d like advice on effectively managing resource during key periods of your business year, or need support with any employment-related issue, speak to a member of your local employment team.

From inspirational SHMA Talks to informative webinars, we also have lots of educational and entertaining content for life and business. Visit SHMA® ON DEMAND.

Our free legal helpline offers bespoke guidance on a range of subjects, from employment and general business matters through to director’s responsibilities, insolvency, restructuring, funding and disputes. We also have a team of experts on hand for any queries on family and private matters too. Available from 10am-12pm Monday to Friday, call 0800 689 4064.

How can we help?

Our expert lawyers are ready to help you with a wide range of legal services, use the search below or call us on: 0330 024 0333

SHMA® ON DEMAND

Listen to our SHMA® ON DEMAND content covering a broad range of topics to help support you and your business.

Fire and Re-hire – the controversy and the law

21 Apr

Matt McDonald, Partner
Fire and Re-hire – the controversy and the law

So why is fire and re-hire controversial, and what do employers need to consider […]

Agriculture: Partnership Agreements

22 Apr

Peter Snodgrass, Partner & Head of Agriculture | Jennie Wheildon, Legal Director
Agriculture: Partnership Agreements

This bite size webinar is intended help you firstly identify a partnership and then […]

Build to Rent & Retirement Living

27 Apr

Louise Drew, Partner & Head of Building Communities
Build to Rent & Retirement Living

Our panel will discuss the differences and synergies between the markets and lessons that […]

AEEC (Association of European Energy Consultants) Spring Conference Decarbonising by 2050

29 Apr

Andrew Whitehead, Senior Partner & Head of Energy
AEEC (Association of European Energy Consultants) Spring Conference Decarbonising by 2050

Join us at the AEEC Spring Conference on 29 April 2021 to hear more […]

National Design Code: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

24 Mar

Richard Cooke, Associate Director | David Pendle, Associate Director
National Design Code: Beauty is in the eye of the beholder

Design is currently a hot topic of debate, with the Government consulting on a […]

When does a mental health condition become a disability? Managing mental health in the workplace

17 Mar

Matt McDonald, Partner
When does a mental health condition become a disability? Managing mental health in the workplace

We will cover: Recognising mental health issues in the workplace, what employers can do, […]

Agriculture: Agricultural Tenancies and Tenancy Reform

11 Mar

Jennie Wheildon, Legal Director | Peter Snodgrass, Partner & Head of Agriculture
Agriculture: Agricultural Tenancies and Tenancy Reform

Peter Snodgrass and Jennie Wheildon are in conversation discussing how to identify the difference […]

Covid-19 vaccine – what employers need to know

10 Mar

Matt McDonald, Partner
Covid-19 vaccine – what employers need to know

In this webinar, Matt McDonald – partner in our employment team – will discuss […]

Our Latest Thoughts

All the latest views and insights on current topics.

Uber v Aslam: a win for workers

12 Apr

Employment

Uber v Aslam: a win for workers

Read article Right Arrow

What are the true costs of redundancy?

9 Apr

Employment

What are the true costs of redundancy?

Read article Right Arrow

Are employees with long COVID entitled to compensation?

8 Apr

Employment

Are employees with long COVID entitled to compensation?

Read article Right Arrow

Discrimination | Vento bands for injury to feelings awards increase from April 2021

6 Apr

Employment

Discrimination | Vento bands for injury to feelings awards increase from April 2021

Read article Right Arrow

Five changes to employment law that HR managers need to be aware of from April 2021

1 Apr

Employment

Five changes to employment law that HR managers need to be aware of from April 2021

Read article Right Arrow