10 Jan 2023

Happy New Leave Year

Happy New Year! Everyone at Activ People HR hopes you have had a lovely festive season and have returned to the office refreshed and ready for the year ahead.

The great thing about starting a new year is annual leave usually runs from the start of the year, so people can start thinking about the holidays they plan to take.

According to CNN Traveller 2023[i] is the year that people have the opportunity to double their holiday leave. From January they outline how going away over the bank holidays can mean extra leave time and a more substantial holiday. This is what they suggest:

  • Easter: take 4 days leave and be out of the office for 10 days
  • Early May Bank Holiday: take 4 days leave and be out of the office for 9 days
  • Late May Bank Holiday: take 4 days leave and be out of the office for 9 days
  • August Bank Holiday: take 4 days leave and be out of the office for 9 days
  • Christmas: take 3 days leave and be out of the office for 10 days

If people follow this advice and book leave to make use of the bank holidays, they would have been away for 55 days in 2023 – with two extra days left to use!

With foreign travel definitely back after the pandemic years, UK bosses can expect a flurry of annual leave requests at the start of the year as people try to get the dates they want.

They may also want to encourage employees who tend to leave booking leave to later in the year to do it earlier to ensure they are taking regular time away from the office.

Holidays are good for wellbeing and even though people may not be able to afford to go abroad this year because of the cost of living crisis, taking time off and spending it in the UK can be just as valuable for their health.

A study by Kuoni Travel and Nuffield Health[ii] clinically measured the health benefits of taking a break and found that holidaymakers’ ability to recover from stress, their sleep quality and their blood pressures were significantly improved, compared with the group who had not had a holiday.

Even though HR teams may want to encourage people to book early, they don’t want to be inundated with requests in the first few weeks back from the festive break. For those reliant on paper-based systems and spread sheets this can be a real challenge.

The solution is to use absence management technology such as Activ Absence which is a user-friendly self-service portal for all staff to record all sorts of absence and for managers to be able to track and run reports.

It includes annual leave which enables staff to easily request leave and for managers to provide approvals through the system. It also gives a detailed breakdown of leave entitlement and keeps track of how much time has been booked by each employee.

Managers can see holiday clashes too so it ensures the office isn’t ever left short staffed and they can see who hasn’t taken leave so they can be encouraged to do so.

At this time of year when people are keen to get organised with their annual leave such technology is invaluable. It can also enable managers to prevent a mad dash at the end of the year for annual leave if they operate a ‘use it or lose it’ policy.

For more information on Activ People HR click here.

[i] https://www.cntraveller.com/article/how-to-get-most-annual-leave

[ii] https://www.kuoni.co.uk/upload/hosted-files/holiday%20health%20experiment%20web.pdf