Scroll down

Tips for managing annual leave

  1. Encourage uptake – Staff should be encouraged to use their full entitlement and not made to feel guilty for submitting requests. Managers should lead by example and take regular annual leave themselves
  2. Monitor balances – Leave balance should be regularly reviewed by managers and discussed with staff. Managers should ensure staff have enough leave to last throughout the year and be reminded that carryover leave will not be authorised if they have neglected opportunities to take it. Approximately 75% of leave should be used by December
  3. Clarity around procedures – Staff should be made aware of the procedure for requesting annual leave by their manager. Requests should be submitted at least six weeks in advance and should be considered on a first-come, first-served basis unless exceptional circumstances arise
  4. Staffing levels – Managers should consider staffing numbers and the necessary skills-mix to ensure safe and effective service-delivery when determining how many staff can be on annual leave. This should be communicated to the team
  5. Fairness and equality – All requests should be considered objectively. Every effort should be made to accommodate reasonable requests linked to equality and diversity factors (providing the correct procedure has been followed) such as observance of religious festivals. Objective criteria should be applied to allocation of leave during peak holiday periods
  6. After the request – Managers should respond to requests within five working days or notify the staff member within this timeframe if there will be a delay. Relevant documentation and recording should be completed promptly. Managers must decline requests in writing
  7. Before they go – Managers should check in with members of staff prior to the commencement of their annual leave to discuss the handover of any important information or tasks and whether any protected time is necessary to ensure completion of essential work
  8. Special leave or sickness – If the leave request is due to unforeseen circumstances or public duties, managers need to determine if special leave should be granted. Sickness must also be managed separately in accordance with the sickness absence and attendance procedure
  9. Maternity – Where possible, managers should ensure annual leave balances for staff commencing maternity leave do not exceed normal carryover provisions. Any balance carried over should be discussed with the individual when planning their return to work and ideally used within the first six weeks
  10. Contact – Members of staff should not be contacted whilst on annual leave unless in exceptional circumstances
Back to top