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  • Most booked off day 2019: What’s the fairest way to decide who gets leave?

Most booked off day 2019: What’s the fairest way to decide who gets leave?

The most popular day to book annual leave is here. Find out how to decide who gets time off.

First published on Thursday, Aug 13, 2020

Last updated on Monday, Aug 19, 2019

2 min read

The most popular day to book annual leave is here. Find out how to decide who gets time off.

Picture this. Two weeks ago, you returned from lunch to find three holiday request forms on your desk.

After a quick flick through, you realised that they all had something in common: the date.

Each employee wanted to book Friday 23rd August off. And you knew exactly why.

The Friday before August bank holiday Monday is always popular with your staff. So much so, that you could only afford to let one more person take this day off.

So who’s off enjoying the sunshine today? Let’s take a look at your options.

Employee 1

Miguel’s a loyal employee. And with three and a half years’ service under his belt, you’re always willing to help him out.

But he’s slipped up. He didn’t hand in his holiday request form early enough and now he might not be able to take his annual family camping trip to the Peak District.

Read more about parental requests

Employee 2

Alice is a great addition to your team. She’s passionate, hardworking and sociable. But she can make decisions on a whim.

Like last Saturday night, when she booked a last-minute plane ticket to Ibiza for bank holiday weekend. She didn’t realise she had to book her annual leave first and now she can’t get a refund on her flights.

Read more about employee's holiday requests if they've already booked their flights

Employee 3

James is your man if you need a birthday, leaving do or Christmas party sorting. He’s a big personality in the office and is best mates with another of your employees, Matt.

They’re so close they’re going to Leeds festival for James’ birthday (Matt’s treat). But Matt didn’t think to clear James’ annual leave with you first before he booked the surprise tickets.

Read more about whether you should encourage employee friendships at work

So who’s it going to be? Employee 1, 2 or 3

It’s a tricky one, isn’t it? They’ve all got good reasons to want today off. But that shouldn’t sway your decision.

Here’s our HR expert to tell you more…

“When stuck with a holiday dilemma like this one, you need to consider what it says in your annual leave policy. If it states that you’ll work on a first-come, first-served basis, you need to apply this when making your decision.

“If you don’t have a policy in place, consider adopting a fair approach such as picking names out of a hat. You could even ask employees if they want to voluntarily swap shifts or adjust their holiday request to help out a co-worker.

“But be careful, because if you bend the rules for one employee you need to be prepared to do that for another. If you don’t, an employee could accuse you of unfair treatment.”

Prepare your business now for next summer…

Have you been bombarded with a load of holiday requests lately? Thought so.

According to our BrightHR data, the Friday before August bank holiday Monday is the most popular day for employees to book leave. And it has been for the last three years.  

So with that in mind, it’s worth making sure that you have an easy way to manage staff holiday requests in preparation for next year. And that’s where BrightHR comes in.

It’s simple HR software that makes your holiday management faster and easier. You can approve holiday requests as soon as they come in using your BrightHR mobile app.

And if two employees book the same day off, BrightHR instantly flags any holiday clashes with you—so you’ll never be left understaffed.

Want to see BrightHR’s smart software in action? Book your free demo today.

*Excluding bank holidays and Christmas

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