How employers can avoid summer holiday headache

Home » Performance Management » How employers can avoid summer holiday headache


Summer has arrived and with it comes the balancing act for employers of addressing a mountain of employee requests for annual leave.


In a perfect world everyone could be granted annual leave to soak up the only few days of summer sunshine we’re likely to get.

However, in most cases those summer periods when the kids are off school and sun has got its hat on, it’s business as usual for employers. That means that unless there is a mid-summer forced closure period of the organisation, there’s no way that every staff member can take annual leave at the same time.



Unfortunately for employers that fact is not going to discourage employees from asking anyway. Refusal of such requests can lead to problems which employers simply don’t want to encounter. But never fear as there are simple ways to avoid the holiday headache despite the requests piling up.


In order to avoid issues arising, it is important for employers to have clear policies and procedures on annual leave in place.


Once in writing, it is equally important that staff are made fully aware of the policies and procedures regarding holiday requests and annual leave entitlement.


Confrontation and grievance over annual leave entitlements can be easily avoided when proper policies and procedures are set in stone and communicated clearly to all staff members.


When all staff members are clear on their working hours (and days) then employers can easily benefit from the gains that come with maintaining high staff morale.


Another aspect of annual leave policy, which can give rise to issues during the summer, is a forced closure period.


Forced closure periods should be well outlined in contracts of employment to avoid any confusion over leave entitlements. If staff do not allow for this while taking annual leave throughout the year it can lead to them having to take unpaid time off – so it’s vital that the situation is clearly understood.


Should your organisation be experiencing issues over annual leave entitlements this summer you should seek advice from our experts by emailing or or calling 0044 28 71 271882.


In the meantime, here are a few tips for employers on dealing with leave requests in summer.




1 Contracts should state clearly an organisation’s annual leave policy.


2 Make sure staff are fully aware of, have read and understand all annual leave policies and procedures.


3 Make efforts to facilitate requests from staff where possible as this can help boost morale and avoid unplanned absence.


4 Never over promise and under deliver. Broken promises on employee annual leave can cause serious issues in the relationships between employers and employees.


5 Maintain consistency when authorising annual leave to ensure each employee is dealt with fairly.


Get Started Now

Employment law and health & safety compliance, HR best practice and increased staff performance are just a click away.