What Businesses Need To Know When Closing Over Christmas
The festive period makes a lot of employees happy. Christmas is on the horizon, they’ll be seeing friends and family for food and fun, and work draws to a halt (for most people anyway). But what if your company doesn’t slow down over Christmas? What if you run a catering business and December is full steam ahead for you and your colleagues? Or perhaps half your staff are out of the office, but a select few are going in across Christmas to hold down the fort? Every business has a different policy over the festive period, so what do you need to know?
We spoke to Jacob Demeza-Wilkinson about the options companies have across Christmas, and what they need to make their staff aware of before they break up.
“ There are a number of options available for employers over the Christmas period dependent on their needs and requirements during that time. A number of businesses will simply close over the business period, so will not need to worry about cover over that time at all, but it is still important to make staff aware well in advance what the plans are and what is expected of them. For example, will the employer expect employees to use part of their holiday entitlement over that time, will it simply be paid in full, or will employees be allowed to take unpaid leave and use their annual leave elsewhere? In all of these situations it is important to either set out clearly in the employees’ contracts the policy, or to put in place a separate and clear policy. Alternatively, there will be businesses that require full cover over the Christmas period, to the point that they do not want anyone off work at any point. This is also possible, but again, this needs to be set out in a policy, or in the employee’s contracts of employment. Generally, the best approach is to pick a date after which annual cannot be taken. This date will depend on the business but should not be unreasonable. There should be some discretion for genuine emergency situations during the restricted time period, but the general approach can be that all requests for leave during that time are rejected. Finally, employers may stay open over Christmas and only need part cover. In this scenario, it will be important to take a fair approach to who is asked to work over the Christmas period, and who takes time off. One option is to simply rotate so that everyone works at some point over Christmas. An alternative is to rotate on an annual basis, so that the same employees do not work over Christmas twice or more in a row. Again, if there is a set procedure or policy, it is always a good idea to commit this to writing.”
Want to make sure that your staff are turning up to work when they’re supposed to? Or perhaps a few members are taking off more time than they should be. Why not check out