You may have already noticed a scrabble for holiday bookings during July and August, particularly if many of your workers have children. Most employers obviously want to accommodate their employees where possible but will be mindful that they will still need sufficient staff to ensure that the business continues to run smoothly. This is especially true for those many small businesses around the country.
At Hethertons Solicitors we always recommend that businesses put a comprehensive Holiday Policy in place. This will ensure your employees are made fully aware of the rules and can help avoid any suggestions you are favouring or discriminating against one or more members of staff.
A properly drafted policy will make clear who has authority to approve holiday requests. Employers can state whether if there is a limit on the maximum length of time staff may take off in one go (ten working days is fairly typical) and the number of people in a particular team or department who can be away at the same time.
You should also clarify as to whether you work on a “first come, first served” basis and provide an explanation as to the circumstances in which you may have to turn down a request.
In its official guidance, ACAS reminds employers that they must ensure any policy is always applied fairly and consistently. Doing so will limit the risk of someone who feels hard done by from pursuing a grievance or suggesting that you have discriminated against them.