Harold G Walker

Harold G Walker Solicitors

Your Friend-In-Law for over 77 years


Hot and Bothered Dealing with Holiday and Sickness Absence?

Dealing with holiday and sickness absence can prove a challenge, whether your business is large or small. The key to overcoming the challenge is to have clear terms and guidance and to actively and consistently oversee and manage the processes.

The first step to achieving this is to review your employees’ holiday and sickness entitlement which is set out in their written contract or statement of employment particulars.

At a minimum, these should set out how many days holiday leave an employee is entitled to and state when their or the businesses’ holiday year runs from and until. Sickness absence should state how sickness absence should be reported and whether employees are entitled to the minimum, Statutory Sick Pay (SSP), or alternatively to enhanced contractual sick pay.

Once you have ascertained the basic position of each employee, the next step is to review how holiday requests are notified, i.e. in what form; email, verbally, to whom they are made, how far in advance requests are made and how those requests are reviewed and accepted.

Formulate a process

Once you have analysed the information, you can then formulate a process that works for the business and its employees. You might consider running a central holiday/department diary, make managers assess requests against set criteria, instead of just accepting requests without properly evaluating them. Employees could be asked to give a certain amount of notice before taking holiday. Employers may also want to limit the amount of holiday that can be taken in one go, or requesting a holiday is not taken at a specific time. If elements of this are not already set out in the contract/statement, it can be addressed in a policy.

Undertaking a similar review for sickness absence and tightening up dealing with this, will also help an employer stay in control. It should enable an employer to address the absence and provide cover in the short to medium and even long term, so that production does not dip and those covering are not overly stretched, or for too long. An actively managed process will also help to discourage those employees who might try to take advantage.

Everyone is then clear on where they stand and what they should do, which should mean that overall less time is spent managing these issues and the impact on staff and business output are minimal.

Harold G Walker can assist in advising you on your existing holiday and sickness absence terms, policies and procedures. Helping to review and revise these policies appropriately, so that they meet the particular needs and requirements of your business.

Let us help you take the heat out of the process. Contact us before 1st November quoting BIZ18 to book a FREE  half-hour review of your holiday and sickness provisions and how we can help you get these right.

For further information and advice about holiday and sickness please contact the Employment Law team.

Hugh Storry Deans

Hugh Storry Deans

Litigation Solicitor