Fylde coast lawyer in summer warning over leave

Grace Bennett of Vista Employer Services,
Grace Bennett of Vista Employer Services,
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A Blackpool lawyer has warned employers to avoid the summertime blues by planning carefully over holiday issues.

Grace Bennett from Vista said the demands of increased business for hospitality based companies and the need for time off from staff heightened by a busy sporting calendar can cause HR issues which must be resolved.

Grace said: “As the busy summer season gets under way, Blackpool becomes a hub of tourism and local businesses enjoy the boost.

“However, more demand brings more employees and some specific seasonal issues for employers to tackle.

“Firstly, it’s not just the tourists taking holidays. Staff are more likely to take annual leave, enjoying school breaks and sunshine.

“It’s therefore important that leave policies are clear and consistent.

“Confirming holidays on a first come first served basis is fair, but this needs to be communicated and applied throughout the summer.

“Organising shifts and rota patterns further in advance than usual, or setting a maximum number of people that can be off at the same time will help businesses stay prepared for staff shortages.”

She said big sporting events such as the recent Euro 2016 football competition and the upcoming Olympics, often lead to spikes in unauthorised absences.

As this can mean disciplining staff, it would be useful to put out warnings before these events.

She added: “Knowing the key dates of events over the summer will also help map out the likelihood of someone taking unauthorised time off.

“A spike in customers can mean that jobs get more demanding, it then becomes harder to deliver great customer service. Employers need to ensure standards don’t slip by ensuring all staff members are adequately trained and supported during busy periods.

“Some companies hire agency workers or bring in temporary workers at peak season. Treating these staff members like permanent employees will help them feel comfortable and confident in their work.

“A thorough induction, probationary period and review process will help align employees with the firm’s priorities and values, even if they aren’t planning on staying past the summer.”