In a small business it can often be difficult to juggle your employees time off. With only a small number of staff, covering an absent employee’s work load is something that you might struggle with. Equally, when it comes to peak holiday times in the year such as school holidays, the summer and Christmas and new year, all your staff want to take time off at the same time. What is the best way for you to handle all of this?

Implement an annual leave policy

If you have a policy in place for employees to follow there are parameters to stick to when approving their annual leave. Typical rules in such policies can include:

  • Leave is approved on a first come, first served basis
  • Specify whether you allow any holiday entitlement to be carried over, and if so, is there a limit on this and when it needs to be used by?
  • Identifying key times when the business is busy and creating a company blackout so that staff can’t take time off during this period
  • Limiting holidays to a set length (unless there are exceptional circumstances)

Share your schedules

By allowing all staff to see when their colleagues are off work it allows them to make an informed decision when booking their leave. Breathe contains a central calendar which means you’ll always know where your team is. The calendar provides a central hub ideal for creating a smooth office workflow. You can also sync the Breathe calendar with your everyday Google or Outlook 365 calendars with our open developer’s API so you can monitor who is in and when.

Rotate in-demand holidays

For times such as Christmas and new year when we would all like to be off of work, the first come, first served method may not be the fairest way to award leave. Consider rotating who gets to be off each year so that it is fairly distributed. Monitor your business activity over this time as it may not be necessary for you to stay open. Equally you could make it mandatory for your employees to take holiday on the days between Christmas and new year to save you the stress of making sure the phones are covered.

Plan cover ahead of time

Think about who or how you’re going to cover your employee’s workload when they are on annual leave. The last thing that the employee wants is to be leaving you in the lurch when they head off on their summer holiday. Consider if there are other employees within the team that the workload could be spread amongst or are you going to have to look to hire in temporary cover? Meet with the member of staff before they leave to have a detailed handover and so that you’re clued up on what needs to be actioned whilst they are away.