As we edge closer to the end of the holiday year (for some) and with the festivities fast approaching, you’ll need to keep the holiday cheer going following the ruling that employers must ensure their workforce have the opportunity to take at least four weeks’ paid holiday (pro-rated for part timers) each year.
‘Use it or lose it’ is no longer the lawful stance to take, so you must inform employees and workers of their right to paid leave and encourage them to take it. Failing to do so will allow them to carry over up to four weeks leave into the next leave year.
Here’s a few proactive steps you can take to encourage your people to use their entitlement:
• Clarity – ensure employees and workers have accurate written information (in good time) of their paid entitlement and how they apply for it
• Policy – clearly state that the right to carry over holiday will be lost if they don’t take at least four weeks prior to the end of the holiday year
• Educate – build holiday discussions into your induction, on-boarding and team meetings
• Due diligence – regularly review team holidays and send out reminders to those who have accrued leave remaining
• ‘Jingle bells’ – set reminders to notify you of anyone who’s not taken or booked holiday to take at least four weeks’ leave – at least three months’ before your leave year ends
• Communicate – if you notice a pattern of unused leave, chat with individuals to understand if there are underlying reasons for this
• Exits – add a clause into your contracts to allows you to force an employee or worker to take their unused holiday during their notice period, or ensure an appropriate payment in lieu is paid to cover any holiday accrued
We hope you won’t need to, but if worst comes to the worst you can insist employees take their holidays, formally if necessary. Now go forth and get your teams ‘rocking and rolling’ with their requests – ‘tis the season to be jolly after all!