There are a few key things to action to ensure leave is set up properly for your organisation
· Check your system set-up. Find some time on a quieter day to check the set-up of each employee and ensure they are accruing at the correct percentage for their entitlement, have the correct working pattern set-up, have the right accrual method (NZ), and leave loading (AU) set-up in the system. If you have bad data to start with it’s only going to get worse.
· Make sure your managers are clearly aware of any Christmas shut down periods, and if employees have to take leave they are provided with leave balances at the shutdown period. Ideally your managers should be able to see balances through a managerial self-service portal, but if not you should be able to automatically generate and distribute this information to managers in an electronic leave balance report for their business unit.
· Have clear robust leave policies and make sure everyone is aware of them. Also make sure that employees or managers know who to talk to if they have a query or are going to have a request that sits outside of the organisation’s policy. This ideally should be made available in the same portal that employees are submitting leave.
· On the shutdown period, it’s important to have a clear policy about what happens when an employee doesn’t have enough leave. Remember Christmas is a stressful time of year financially, and it’s ok to allow your employees you trust to dip slightly into a negative balance if it helps smooth over an expensive time of year. Your employees will thank you for it in the New Year.
· Offer the simplest possible way for employees and managers to submit leave for processing. Get away from paper based forms as quickly as possible! With almost everyone having a computer or mobile phone these days there is no reason that either the employee or their manager can’t manage this electronically. An ideal platform will allow your employees to:
o Submit a leave request via a web browser, tablet, or mobile phone app.
o See the predicted leave at their request date
o Understand who of their team members are on leave at the same time
o Submit documentation to support their leave request (important for sick or personal leave)
o Identify when a leave request will go into negative balance and have automated warnings for employees and managers.
o Allow managers to review and approve leave quickly.
o Allow managers to submit leave requests on behalf of their employees
If it’s not as easy as possible, any missed leave requests are as much your fault as the employees resulting in additional and unnecessary costs to your business.