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Time to plan staff holidays? To ensure that the right number of holiday days are taken and that staff are available throughout the summer months, planning in good time is a wise move. So, what should you keep in mind to successfully plan staff holidays? Here we offer a few practical tips!
Plan staff holidays in good time
Employees are entitled to a decision on their holiday at least two months in advance. This makes it important to start planning staff holidays in good time. Ideally, the holiday schedule for June, July and August should be finalised by the end of March.
To aid your planning, it is important to check each employee's remaining number of holiday days. It can be a good idea to print a list of the holiday days earned by your employees so far to check just how much holiday each employee has left. Also check for any saved holiday days and whether any of them need to be used this year. Once you have all the information about days, you will have a complete overview of your staff's holiday days as a basis for your planning.
If each individual team or unit plans their holidays in good time, you can ensure adequate staffing throughout the holiday period.
Next, the most practical approach is to plan staff holidays in an Excel file that everyone can access.
Be sure to have a holiday policy in place for your organisation. Some groups of employees, such as parents with young children, often have an additional need to schedule their holiday during particular periods. To facilitate this, some managers establish an internal holiday policy for these groups. If you think this approach could make holiday planning easier for your organisation, give it a try.
Remember to take into account other types of leave, such as parental leave, during the summer months. Normally, parental leave is to be granted provided that the employee notifies their employer at least two (2) months in advance. Make sure that these days are also added to the holiday schedule.
Hold an information meeting for all employees
Gather all employees to inform them that it is time to start planning the summer holidays. Ensure that all employees are given the opportunity to submit their preferred holiday dates and also set a clear deadline for submitting such preferences.
Finalise the schedule after consulting your employees
Finalise the holiday schedule for each department after consulting your employees and trying to accommodate their preferences. If your organisation is a party to a collective agreement, you must negotiate the holiday period with the union.
It is not uncommon for many employees to want to take time off in the same month, such as July. This can be difficult to accommodate, but as an employer, you can make things easier to plan by splitting the holiday period instead, such as from mid-June to mid-July and then mid-July to mid-August.
After finalising the holiday plan
Inform staff when their holidays are scheduled. Normally, they are entitled to know when their holidays are scheduled at least two months in advance.
If the holiday has been planned in consultation with the employee, then naturally there is no need to inform them. It is important that the holiday plan is available to all employees. Some companies upload a digital holiday plan so that everyone concerned can access the file while others prefer to pin the holiday plan to a noticeboard in the staff room.
Managing saved days
If employees are entitled to more than twenty-five (25) days of annual leave, keep in mind that there may be a significant number of saved days to be used. Consider a policy for how these days should be used.
Leaving holiday planning to your employees
You may also prefer to leave the planning to your employees. In some cases, a group of staff who have worked together for many years may be able to reach agreement among themselves on how to arrange their holidays and how to take turns. For example, every other year one person has their holiday in July and the other in August and vice versa. Such responsibility is usually welcomed by staff, and employees feel that the company trusts them to plan their holiday themselves while ensuring that the business is adequately staffed throughout the holiday period.
If your employees cannot agree on their holiday planning, as manager you must step in and decide for them. While this may feel uncomfortable, it is your responsibility and duty as manager.
Under Sweden's Annual Leave Act, an employee is entitled to four consecutive weeks of holiday in June, July and August, unless their employment contract says otherwise. Your employees need a longer holiday to give them a chance to truly put their work aside and relax.
As manager, it is also important for you to take several consecutive weeks of holiday to thoroughly rest up. Be sure to delegate decision-making authority to a colleague in good time ready for when you are on holiday.
If you would like to know more about holiday rules and regulations, please feel free to contact us here for advice
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