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Why annual leave is important

annual leave

What are the benefits of annual leave?

Employees who take regular annual leave return to work more motivated and effective. It also has a significant effect on employee stress levels, general health, productivity, and retention making your business more profitable and your company more appealing to potential employees in the future. 

Therefore, taking breaks from work, whether based at home or in the workplace, benefits both employees and employers. 

What you can do as an employer

There are various methods your business can encourage employees to make full use of their holiday entitlement. 

  1. Make sure your holiday policy is clear and that booking leave is simple. Employees need to know their holiday entitlement and have easy access to a system to request time off.  
  2. Sending out reminders as part of company newsletters and mentioning annual leave during regular meetings can motivate employees to book time off throughout the year. 
  3. Ensure that HR is tracking annual leave so that they can flag up when someone is not taking their entitlement.  
  4. Communicating the importance of annual leave to managers at all levels helps to encourage staff to feel that their requests will be happily agreed. The way managers respond to holiday requests, their awareness of workloads, any barriers they put in place in terms of timings can have a strong impact on how comfortable employees feel in using their allowance. Discuss work-life balance with your employees. Ensure they hand over tasks before they take holiday, and making it clear they are not expected to check work emails while away. 

Carrying over untaken leave

In March 2020, the Government changed the rules on carrying leave forward to allow workers who have not been able to take all their statutory annual leave entitlement to carry it over into the next two leave years. This was aimed primarily at key workers and businesses who we all relied on to work during the Covid 19 pandemic. Four weeks of unused leave can be carried forward to be used by the end of this year’s annual leave calendar.  

How can we help?

If you are concerned about your staff taking their leave or that your policies are perhaps not as they should be, get in touch with the employment team to see how they can improve things.

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