As the UK continues to ease lockdown, many of us are understandably keen to take time off work and travel abroad. However, this brings up yet more potential difficulties for employers and employees to navigate. Business owners have had to make many hard decisions over the past year, that can affect employee wellbeing as well as the company. This is where we come in. In this blog, we’ll be looking at how to manage annual leave during covid 19: some of the issues that could arise and how to prepare and deal with them in the best way for everyone.

Should you encourage staff to take their leave?

Here at Triple Three Solutions, we strongly believe in the value of taking your holiday entitlement. A good work-life balance is important for mental health, and we all deserve some rest and relaxation. Even if we can’t travel, we should be taking time for ourselves however we can. Encourage staff to take time to visit loved ones, go for a walk, do some life admin or just to relax.

A few years ago, 333 wrote about the importance of taking time off. Of course, this was written pre-pandemic, but the message of this blog still applies today.

“According to hrmagazine.co.uk, ‘A culture of “all work and no play” in the UK is damaging family life, causing high-stress levels, cutting time spent with loved ones and creating an inability to switch off from work.’…Stress and anxiety can be intensified through overworking, causing staff to become demotivated. Consequentially, this impacts efficiency within the work environment.”

Stay flexible & communicate:

Flexibility is key when it comes to annual leave during the pandemic, as situations can change so quickly. However, this isn’t always easy when running a business. A less desirable but possible option is to require your employees to take holiday, for example, by closing your business for a week. If you do this, make sure to give enough notice, explain your reasons and answer any concerns staff may have. Overall, it’s best to speak honestly with your team and to consider everyone’s needs in line with existing policies.

What to do when employees return from aboard.

This can be tricky to judge, as people may need to travel for different reasons. However, whether going for a weekend in the city or to see loved ones for the first time in over a year, the rules need to be the same for everyone. The best course of action will differ depending on the nature of your business, and on your existing policies.

If an employee needs to self-isolate after travelling, we’re faced with the question of pay for that time. This can depend on whether or not they can work from home, and if not, should they be made to take sick leave? Consider what works best for your business and be sure to communicate with your people so they know what to expect.

333 Can Help:

As we work towards ‘normalcy’, we’re in a strange time where business and personal lives correlate more than usual. We’re here to help you to prioritise the needs of both your employees and your organisation through this next step. For more help on managing annual leave during covid 19, employee wellbeing or anything else, please get in touch. Give our HR Advisors a call on 0333 050 3330, use our contact page or email lisa@triplethreesolutions.co.uk.