What to do when everyone wants to take leave at the same time
Sometimes public holidays fall in such a way that taking time off around the public holidays becomes a no brainer. The Easter long week and Anzac Day this year create such an opportunity. What should you do when everyone wants to take the same time off? Is it ok to say yes to some and no to others and how do you decide?
The ‘first in first approved’ approach works well provided you have previously considered how many employees your business could do without during the relevant period. If this is not carefully considered, then ‘first in’ can quickly become ‘all in’.
The question therefore becomes how do you decide who can and who cannot have the premium time off? The key to this is preparation. Before you get inundated with leave applications make some business decisions about how many employees you can approve for leave and in what areas of the business you can operate during the period with less staff. Once you have made your business decisions you can then approve or decline leave applications objectively based on the predetermined organisational needs.
Where the demand for leave is annual such as the high demand for leave at Christmas or during school holidays, the same process can be applied. However, in these instances processes that deliver equitable access over successive periods will contribute to overall employee satisfaction and will limit risks for discriminatory allocation of leave. Where leave allocation is based on subjective reasons such as a belief that Christmas leave should first go to those with children, this risks inadvertently discriminating against people with other attributes such as those with carers responsibilities.
A lack of preparation may well result in finding yourself standing alone wondering where everyone is and where things went wrong. If you would like assistance with HR processes or strategies please contact us on firstname.lastname@example.org or 3218 3919.
Please note that this publication is intended to provide a general summary and should not be relied upon as a substitute for personal advice.