Staff hoarding their holidays? Here’s what to do

Worried you’re going to be swamped with last-minute holiday requests? Read on.

BrightHR Team

At the time of writing, there are just 100 days left until Christmas. Scary, right? But not for the reasons you might think.

According to our data, 76% of BrightHR users had annual leave unused at the end of their holiday year in 2018! What's more, 82% of BrightHR users still have annual leave remaining for the year, 77% of which don't have carryover holidays…and time’s running out to use it.

If you don’t act now, you could face a staffing crisis so here are three ways to make sure your 2019 doesn’t end that way.

  1. Tell staff to ‘use it or lose it’

It’s simple really. If staff don’t use their annual leave by the end of the holiday year, they lose it. Think that’s too harsh?

Think again. Putting this policy in place could motivate your staff to book all their remaining leave. After all, who wants to lose out on paid holidays?

But remember, your staff can’t lose all their leave. By law, full-time staff must take at least four weeks' paid holidays a year —so they’ll only lose any extra days they have accrued under their contract of employment. 

Make this clear in your ‘use it or lose it’ policy and mention that staff on long-term sick or new parents are exceptions. 

  1. Let staff sell their unused annual leave

At this late stage, your staff might be desperate for you to accept a last-minute holiday request. But what about those that aren’t interested in booking time off?

You could buy back their annual leave. That means you pay your staff for any annual leave that they don’t want to use.

Work out how many holidays your staff are able to sell (remember, full-time staff receive four weeks' paid holiday along with 9 bank holidays as minimum) and how you’ll calculate their pay. Then, put all of this into a ‘buy or sell annual leave’ policy.

  1. Allow staff to carry over holidays

Alternatively, you could let your staff carry over unused holidays into the next year. Here’s why you should consider it. 

Your staff work hard all year to accrue time off, and holiday carryover lets them use their days in a way that suits them—like taking a long break next year.

And in return, you know you have staff to rely on over Christmas.

You don’t have to battle with spreadsheets to track holiday carryover, either. With BrightHR, you can enter how many days a worker wants to carry over and it automatically adds them to their following year’s entitlement.

Get your free demo today to see how easy BrightHR makes managing holiday carryover—in time for the end of your holiday year.