We all look forward to annual leave. A chance to be with our family and have a well earned break. However when it comes to managing employee annual leave requests for Christmas, it can cause quite a lot of stress for the individual who is responsible for managing the process. This article is going to look at a number of ways you can approach Christmas leave requests to help the whole process run much smoother for all involved.

Annual Leave Policy

You could outline your Christmas leave process in your leave policy. This will ensure employees know what is expected of them in order to have their request considered and hopefully granted. Within your policy you could also stipulate that only a certain number of people per team are able to be off at the same time to ensure there is cover. This will hopefully encourage employees to work together during times such as Christmas, to ensure there is cover in the team. If the team have not considered cover, then you could sit down with the team and highlight the need for cover and find out each individuals ability to be flexible and which days they may be willing to work.

First come first served basis

In order to get employees leave requests for Christmas early, you may want to stipulate that leave will be granted on a first come first served basis. However this method can end up causing a lot of tension amongst employees, especially if it is the same people being granted their requests each year. If you do adopt this process it may be worth being mindful of who is having their leave granted and who keeps missing out. For the individuals who keep missing out, it may be worth encouraging them to submit their requests earlier to ensure they get the leave they want.

Consider leave requests once they have all been submitted

You could stipulate that employees must submit their requests by a particular date. Once you have received them all you can review them side by side and try to fulfil each request as fully and as fairly as possible, given business needs and competing requests.

Overall, it is much easier as an employer to manage Christmas leave requests if everyone submits them as early as possible. This allows you to see where you may have gaps in cover, if indeed you have any. If you find there is the odd day you are going to be short on staff, having the requests in plenty of time allows you the time to speak with teams and discuss what can be done to ensure there are staff available in each team to meet business needs.

If you have any individual concerns surrounding Christmas leave, or any other employee matter, please email amy@almc.co.uk or call 0117 970 2755.