New Year Holiday Booking Rush Highlights The Importance Of Effective Absence Management

As the winter months roll on and new year calendars are synced for the year ahead, employers should prepare for a flood of annual leave requests.

author

James Rowland

Commercial Director James leads Account Management, Sales and Marketing at Neathouse Partners.

Date

30 January 2023

Updated

17 July 2024
3 min read
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New Year Holiday Booking Rush Highlights The Importance Of Effective Absence Management
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As the winter months roll on and new year calendars are synced for the year ahead, employers should prepare for a flood of annual leave requests to come rolling in.

If you're still relying on paper records or excel spreadsheets, now is the time to prioritise upgrading to a well-structured digital system that can handle requests effectively and efficiently.

This will remove the burden from your human resources departments and relieve the line manager workload, whilst ensuring your team gets answers to their requests quickly and fairly.

New Year, New Requests To Process

January & February often prompt a flurry of annual leave requests from workers that are optimistically looking forward to some warmer weather in the middle of a cold UK winter and want to beat a clash in holiday requests for popular dates like school holidays.

It's also a prime time for organisations to remind employees to get any outstanding leave booked in now before they likely lose it at the end of the financial year.

Combine all these points with the fact that the risk of covid restrictions and lockdowns is far less likely to play havoc with holiday bookings this year, it means foreign trips abroad are starting to look much more appealing again!

To illustrate this point, following the Government's announcement to loosen restrictions in England post covid, holiday companies saw a dramatic upsurge in bookings.

TUI, for example, reported an impressive 500% spike in international holiday reservations within 24 hours and Hoseasons and Cottages.com combined for a staggering 10,000 getaways!

These figures show that people are eager to explore once again now that travel is back on the table.

Even with the cost of living crisis biting many households across the UK, and uncertainty still looming, a 2023 summer holiday in the sunshine is an ambition for many.

Employers should be prepared to receive requests for such trips and be able to respond quickly and efficiently with an absence management system that accommodates the needs of their workers.

HR & Holiday Requests

Line managers and HR teams usually take the brunt of the workload when it comes to managing requests for annual leave, and for organisations that don't have slick processes in place, managing an influx of requests can quickly become a logistical nightmare!

Which request came in first?

Have those dates already been booked by someone else?

Is there enough coverage in that department?

Who should I get back to first?

With lots of small businesses still using outdated paper-based systems and tracking employee holidays on scattered pieces of paper or spreadsheets, managing annual leave and absence can be difficult to manage well.

Errors can easily occur with this inefficient method, which is why we recommend digital systems that make monitoring and recording staff leave easier than ever before.

Not only will using a digital system be more accurate, but it will also save time and allow employers to keep better track of their employees' holiday allocations without any hassle.

Benefits Of Digitalising Annual Leave Management

Benefits Of Digitalising Annual Leave Management

Companies can use absence management software to help decrease the workload on their HR teams and make tracking employee absences much simpler.

This type of technology gives employers access to real-time data, reporting tools, and a better understanding of holiday trends, sick days and holiday clashes among staff members.

It also ensures that no one is overworked by keeping detailed records regarding each employee's leave balance.

With the assistance of reliable absenteeism software, companies can take away some responsibility from HR while still maintaining oversight into who is off when for either holiday or sick days.

Absence management software can also be used to manage other kinds of absences such as time off for sickness, family emergency or jury duty.

This kind of software is invaluable in managing leave requests from different departments and easing the workload of HR teams.

It can also help reduce costs related to manpower and resources that often go into manually entering holiday data and leave applications.

Likely Holiday Clashes In 2023

There are always key events in the calendar that attract competition from workers looking for time off. Aside from school holidays, Christmas, and Easter break, events like the King's Coronation in 2023, and sporting fixtures like the Rugby and Cricket World Cups are likely to be popular bottlenecks for annual leave requests.

Employers should use technology such as holiday planning software to help them manage and approve requests for leave during these times efficiently.

The data collected from the software can also provide employers with insights into which employees have requested more time off than what’s allowed in their contract, helping them keep track of any potential issues.

With the right digital solutions in place and a dedicated HR team on standby, companies of all sizes can successfully manage employee holiday requests and ensure that everyone gets the break they deserve come summer 2023!

Summary

With a surge of holiday bookings expected in workplaces across the country in January & February, using absence management software can be a game changer for busy HR teams and managers that helps keep track of holiday trends, sick days and holiday clashes among staff members.

It also ensures that no one is overworked by keeping detailed records regarding each employee's leave balance.

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