Managing Staff Absence in a Small Business


Click Here to get in touch

Managing staff absence in  a small business can be particularly challenging, whilst unplanned intermittent absence can be extremely disruptive.

The 4 main reasons for staff absence in SME’s are

  • Holidays
  • Sickness
  • Medical appointments, and
  • Domestic Leave

In this blog post I’m going to look at holiday management

Managing Holidays in a Small Business

Managing holidays in a small business is a challenge. One of the reasons is that employees’ have a legal right  to  paid annual leave.  This is a result of the Working Time Regulations which give a full-time employees who work a 5 days per week 28 days’ holiday. This includes bank holidays – usually 8. Annual leave entitlement . This entitlement is also pro-rated for part time staff and for those who join partway through the leave year. These rights also include casual workers whose holidays are accrued for the hours they work (usually at 12.07%). Our free HR Calculators can do these calculation for you.

A Holiday Policy

Managing staff absence in the form of holidays effectively in a small business requires, employers to have a holiday policy in place. The policy will clearly state the  rules and procedures for requesting, booking and taking annual leave. The policy should be supported by an accurate and robust record keeping system.  A clear holiday policy supported by an accurate and robust record keeping system will ensure that  everyone is clear how to request leave. It should also state what leave, if any, is pre-booked. For example, many employers require their employees to take the days between Boxing Day and New Year’s day as leave. The policy should also specify how much notice is required for leave requests. The system  requesting  and approving  annual leave must be clear and easy to understand . This is so employees know how to request annual leave and who is responsible for approving that leave.

Holiday Admin

To effectively manage staff absence in the form of holidays, in a small business employers need to specify what constitutes a holiday year. A holiday year can be any 12 month period, but the most common are either January to December, or April to March. They also need to be clear on what are the minimum and maximum number of holiday days an employee can take at any one time, e.g. a minimum of half a day and a maximum of 2 weeks. Employees need to clear on whether or not annual leave can be ‘carried over’ into the holiday next year, and if they can what is the maximum amount they can carry over. Also employers need a clear formula for pro rating holidays.  This is so employees who work part time or join or leave part way through the holiday year are dealt with fairly and consistently.

Finally, to effectively manage holidays in a small business there needs to be a simple and reliable record systems so both the employer and the employee know how much leave has been taken and when it was taken, what is the current balance and an audit trail so all leaver requests including cancelled and refused leave requests are easily to identify.

Small business HR and Managing staff absence with People Based HR

At People Based Solutions, we offer HR services for small business needs of all types and requirements. Although we can operate nationally, we benefit from our local knowledge allowing us to provide small business HR services in Warrington, Manchester, Liverpool and all surrounding areas. Our local knowledge can be based on experience in dealing with certain areas of work to help with Health and Safety at your Warrington workplace. We can also travel around small businesses in Warrington, Liverpool, Manchester and beyond to cover our training and inductions. Get in touch to find out more.

Click here to learn more about how we support businesses to effectively manage their HR, especially managing staff absence. At People HR we can advise on anything from employee benefits, to company polices we also supply productivity applications or your small business.