Employees’ Holiday Entitlement

Your staff have a holiday entitlement. It’s in their contracts. But, if they have not taken it and are in danger of forfeiting it at the end of the holiday year, should you remind them about it?

The answer is that they need to be given an effective opportunity to take their annual leave and you should be doing more than simply having a holiday policy. You must give your staff a reasonable opportunity to take these holidays and encourage them to do so.

You also need to inform them that leave not taken by the end of the leave year will be lost. Should they fail to do this, it could result in the untaken leave being carried over to the next annual leave year, and so it’s in your interests to take steps to ensure that doesn’t happen.

You need to be thinking about why your employees are not taking their annual leave. Are they being prevented from doing so due to staff shortages? Is there so much work they feel unable to be absent? Do they feel it would be frowned upon?

Any of these can lead to serious issues for you in terms of employee retention, commitment and morale. There is also the risk that the employees become burned out and suffer damage to their well-being if they don’t have adequate time away from work.

Could this be the right time to write to staff to remind them that they should be taking all of their annual leave in the year it is accrued, and that should they fail to do so, that entitlement will be lost when the next leave year starts?

You could provide information on how days annual leave can be booked and a reminder of the process to do this, thereby prompting staff to start booking to avoid the disappointment of not getting the days that they want.

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