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Anyone for tennis? Wimbledon fortnight and booking time off work


Whether or not you’re an avid tennis fan, it’s always good to welcome back Wimbledon.

And, while most of us will be spending the next fortnight watching the world‐famous tournament on television, there will be those lucky enough to have courtside tickets – or at least ground admission to Murray Mound.

It may well be that some members of your team are going to the All England Lawn Tennis Club this year. And, having secured their seats, they will be anxious to make sure they’ve booked the necessary time off work.

Which brings us to that year‐round issue of holiday leave and ensuring that, where possible, everyone gets to take off the days or weeks they want.

Of course, all employees are legally entitled to take annual paid holiday, but they don’t have the right to book whatever time off they like.

As an employer you can decline a holiday request if you believe that your employee’s absence during those dates will have an adverse impact on the business.

To promote fairness it’s always advisable to have a holiday rota which can be easily accessed by all members of the team. That way, staff can easily see what dates are available and you’ll be better able to plan ahead.

Include in your holiday policy how booking time off works and what the procedure is for authorising leave.

Many businesses nominate a line manager to sign off holiday requests.

And, on the subject of forward planning, encourage your staff to give you plenty of notice so you can see who is away and when. That way you can adjust your business operations accordingly, perhaps by bringing in seasonal temps or moving deadlines.

Presumably any staff fortunate enough to be going to Wimbledon this year will have been planning their day out for a while. That means they’ll have had some idea of when they’ll need time off.

Occasionally, though, there will be competition for the same dates, so it’s important that all holiday requests are made in writing and, if there’s no other way around it, granted on a first come, first served basis.

Try not to always give the same people their preferred dates, though, just because they book early and have worked for you for a long time.

You might have a mad keen Grand Slam fan on your staff who takes Wimbledon fortnight off every year and has come to see it as an unspoken right. Someone else might also want to catch the tennis one year, however, so try and be fair to the whole team by rotating the rota system.

Be mindful too that employees who have their holiday request refused might be tempted to “throw a sickie.”

Managing absence is a completely different ball game and something we’ll be looking at in next month’s newsletter.

But back to the tennis: Work will get in the way of Wimbledon for most of us, but at least there’s the edited highlights on telly – and you can still treat yourself to strawberries and cream!

For help and advice on all holiday pay and policy matters, talk to us today on 01455 444222