Now that the fundamentals have been looked at, it’s time to consider a few other steps which you can take to help manage your employee leave process (in no particular order):
· Get your employees to take leave. For most of your organisation this won’t be hard, but there is always a subset that seems to have an ever increasing leave balance. It’s those workaholics that really need a break and you’ll see their productivity and engagement improve upon their return. Set-up your reporting system to generate reports that identify employees with more than four weeks annual leave and ensure your managers see this. Your managers may need some help with getting their employees to take leave, and this is where you can support them as the payroll expert (it’s your time to shine).
· Your reporting tool is your best friend here, it should be able to automatically send managers a report indicating leave that has been processed each pay cycle, leave requests that have been submitted, and any leave request that isn’t standard.
· Send everyone a merry Christmas email from your team on Christmas Eve, audit the out of office response and make sure there is a leave request for each employee who is on a break. One large government department identified $250,000 of missed annual leave with this simple trick
· Make sure you understand the impact of public holidays and what penalties need to be paid for those that need to work these days. Employees that have to work public holidays should have confidence that they will be recognised and correctly compensated for having to be away from friends and family.
· After the holiday season take some time to conduct a post-holiday review to ensure that what leave people actually applied for was what they actually took. Bad weather can cut camping holidays short and conversely great weather can encourage others to extend just a few days more. It’s not uncommon for these alterations to go unreported so a simple check is warranted.