The Holidays are Coming!

The Holidays are Coming!

In the lead up to Christmas, this is generally a time when most organisations will be at their busiest, as there is likely to be extra demand for products and services. For others they may experience a quiet period or shut down during the Christmas holidays. This is also a time when a number of employees will request time off. It’s also a period when some types of organisation might need extra support and will take on casual workers.

Holiday Requests

The devil is in the detail so make sure that your holiday policy gives guidance for employees on how to book time off.  Employees should remember this may not always be possible as it could be one of the busiest times of the year for the organisation. The key is for both parties to communicate, try and come to an agreement and to plan ahead as early as possible.

Sickness Absence During the Christmas Period

The sickness policy will apply during this time and should be managed and operated fairly and consistently for all employees.  Levels of attendance should be monitored during this period in accordance with the associated policy.  Any unauthorised absence or patterns in absence (eg high levels of sickness or late attendance) could result in formal proceedings in line with your normal policies and procedures.

Frequently Asked Question

Can an employer refuse an employee’s leave request?

Holiday restrictions on when employees can take holiday can be stated in the contract of employment.

Employers may choose to:

- Shut down for specific periods where workers have to use their annual leave entitlement;

- Identify particular dates as days of closure when workers are expected to take annual leave;

- Specify the maximum amounts of leave that can be taken on any one occasion and also the periods when leave may be taken;

- Specify the number of workers who can be off at any one time.

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