Managing annual leave is likely to be a major headache for employers this summer, as they balance employee rights with steering their businesses through the COVID-19 pandemic, an absence management specialist has said.
News that “air bridges” are being opened to allow holidaymakers to travel to “low risk” countries without quarantining from 4th July means that senior business managers and HR professionals are being faced with a number of issues to juggles.
Adrian Lewis of Activ Absence said that the Government’s announcement that untaken statutory holiday leave can now be carried over for two years if it isn’t practical to take it in the current year because of coronavirus could have serious implications for business.
Lewis said: “Employers face several challenges as lockdown eases, including adapting to new ways of working and adhering to stringent health and safety measures.
“Managing holiday leave is another issue that could cause problems if companies don’t stay on top of it.
“During lockdown many employees may have not taken annual leave, especially if they were furloughed or busy during the crisis. But now the world is starting to open up many will want to start taking leave, whether that’s a staycation or travelling to one of the low risk countries.”
His comments come as a survey from Advantage Travel Partnership in May found that 86% of Brits are willing to travel abroad over the next 12 months despite the presence of COVID-19.
Four out of five (80%) were also still hoping to travel this year if restrictions are lifted.
Lewis said: “Holidays are good for people and businesses should always be encouraging employees to take a break.
“However, there will be concerns that the next 12 months are going to be a key time for many as the economy starts to pick up. For businesses it could be make or break.
“Organisations need to be fully staffed to take advantage of this. They will need to be even more fastidious about employees booking holidays well in advance and ensuring there are no clashes.”.