HR & Employment Law Insights

Helping family businesses, start-ups, charities, social enterprises, and other growing or established businesses throughout the UK make sense of HR and Employment Law challenges.

   How to Support Your Staff During The School Summer Holidays

I'm just back from my summer holiday, having spent 10 days out in Spain enjoying some sunshine!  We're now into the third week of the school holidays in Scotland and the schools down south break off today.  As such, we are well into the summer season, and many of us are getting ready to pack our sun glasses to enjoy our time off this summer.

Employees with young children may not have this opportunity during the school summer holidays, leading them to balance work and childcare for six to seven weeks. As a manager, it can be overwhelming when you get to this time of year. It is important to put appropriate policies and cover in place to support your staff and to keep your business running throughout the summer months.

 

Flexible Working Throughout The School Holidays

Many employees organise their holidays around summer to reduce the battle of balancing work and childcare. It is important to support your staff who have young children during the summer holiday period. It can be a very stressful time for you and your employees, and planning ahead can reduce this anxiety.

It can be helpful as a manager to consider flexible working during this time. You can identify if your staff can work at different times or locations, so that they can do their work, and still, take the time to look after their children.

 

You Can go The Extra Mile to Support Your Staff

If flexible working is not an option in your business, this can be difficult for staff as they may be limited to using holiday entitlement during the summer. To keep a positive working relationship, it is good to discuss this with your employee and look at other solutions they can consider.

In this case, you can encourage staff to apply for holidays in advance. Normally, employers look at requests on a first come first serve basis, or offer priority to working parents. If you have accommodated as many staff as you can, and are unable to allow any more staff time off, you can work out a compromise.

Encouraging staff to communicate with each other and explore the possibility of swapping shifts can solve many problems. This encourages staff to support each other as a team, creating the possibility of a more positive working environment.

 

What Should You Pay Your Employees When They Take Holidays?

If your employee has the opportunity to take time off during the summer, it is important to pay them correctly. An employee is entitled to their normal pay. However, recently we have been forced to question what is holiday pay?

Yes, it is someone’s normal pay, but what happens if someone regularly works overtime, or regularly receives commission payments? This makes their pay look quite different.

A restriction like this can be off putting for working parents, as they can’t afford to function without their commission or overtime. This can cause your employees to feel frustrated, and can ultimately affect your working relationship.

Tribunal rulings state that holiday pay should take into consideration of regular overtime, call-outs, standby payments, and regular commission payments too. This gives an indication that it is only a matter of time before there is a change in legislation.

In view of this, we advise that companies begin to update their holiday policies in anticipation of this change. Making a positive change to your holiday policies now will limit any potential tribunal claims. It can also make the school summer holidays a less stressful time for working parents.

If you’d like us to update your holiday policies for you, contact us on 01383 427325.

You can also watch a short video on this topic by clicking here