Absence Management News: Annual Leave Crisis In the UK
According to the TUC, one in twelve UK workers aren’t getting their full legal holiday entitlement
Analysis from the TUC (Trades Union Congress) reveals that one in twelve employees in the UK aren’t getting the full amount of time off they should be. This raises the risk of stress, along with poor mental and physical health.
The TUC's findings come from analysis of unpublished data from the ONS (Office for National Statistics) Labour Force Survey in 2017. They reveal that a staggering 1.2 million workers currently receive no annual leave at all, the equivalent of approximately 3% of the UK workforce.
2.2 million employees are getting less than the legal minimum of 28 days a year. Reasons for this shortfall include being set unrealistic workloads, employers deliberately denying holiday requests and companies not staying up to date with the law.
Full time workers in the UK are generally entitled to 5.6 weeks of paid holiday every year, referred to as statutory leave entitlement, or annual leave. This period can include bank holidays. Part time staff or those working irregular hours are usually awarded the same amount of paid leave on a pro-rata basis.
TUC General Secretary Frances O’Grady commented “Employers have no excuse for robbing staff of their well-earned leave. UK workers put in billions of hours of unpaid overtime as it is.” The organisation is putting pressure on the government to combat employers who don’t provide staff with their statutory holiday entitlement. This crackdown would provide HM Revenue and Customs with powers to enforce proper compensation for workers who aren’t given this required period of leave.
Preventing staff from taking annual leave has obvious health risks, and badly damages employee wellbeing and engagement. We have previously discussed the high cost of poor employee health, and how important it is to consider presenteeism in this situation. Presenteeism occurs when an employee is technically working (e.g. physically present at their desk), but not doing so at their regular efficiency. It is critical that organisations grasp this concept to prevent further losses in productivity.
Bodet’s Time & Attendance Systems will drastically reduce the amount of administration involved in the absence management and staff leave booking process. Our Absence Management software module provides effective holiday planning, and the ability to view all types of absences, including absences requiring authorisation.
Alerts can be configured to flag up if staff haven’t taken certain amounts of leave throughout the year, helping you ensure that everyone uses their full holiday entitlement. This also means you can remind employees of their outstanding balances well before the end of the annual leave calendar, to avoid periods where lots of staff need to take holidays at once.
When twinned with our Employee Self Service software module, your staff will be able to see their current holiday balances and make holiday requests themselves. Depending on your system, this can be done on clocking terminal screens, PCs or mobile phones. Automating this process allows you to focus on strategic rather than transactional HR, and removes paperwork associated with holiday request forms.
If you would like to see how our Time & Attendance Systems can automate your Absence Management process and reduce HR administration, please contact us for a free on-site demonstration.