We all love a good old bank holiday weekend. More time with the family, an opportunity to unwind, and weather permitting, maybe even a barbecue or two. But as a business owner long weekends bring some key challenges. With four bank holidays appearing in the springtime calendar in the UK, you need to be prepared, so you can prevent the common issues from knocking your business off track.
So here are a few things that you should consider, sooner rather than later (as there’s another one just round the corner)…
Make sure you have a policy that’s clearly communicated to all staff
Many problems can be avoided by simply making sure that your staff know what’s expected from them. Dropping the bombshell that you’re cancelling the long weekend at the last minute isn’t likely to do you any favours when it comes to getting your workforce onside.
Sometimes, depending on the nature of your business, it’s just not possible to allow everyone to take the day off. If that’s the case, make your stance clear in advance, and ensure that everyone knows what you’re working towards.
Plan out operational requirements in advance
Your business no doubt has deadlines and priorities that need to be handled. If your staff will be out of the office, then you need to understand how this might have a knock-on effect, and how you’ll manage that.
Some forward planning here can go a long way. Make sure that you get your team involved, and everyone understands how their workload for the week will be managed.
Know the relevant legislation
Your employees don’t have a legal right to receive extra pay for working bank holidays, unless this is something that you have promised in the contract of employment – or if it is implied because of historical practices within your business.
In terms of asking your staff to take annual leave to cover the holiday, this is an option, providing that you give notice that’s twice the length of the holiday period that you are asking them to take.
Remember that your staff should receive a written statement within 2 months of starting their employment with you that covers their entitlement to holiday, including provisions for public holidays, and pay.