What to do about Christmas holidays

Christmas is inevitably one of the most popular periods for employees to request off. No one wants to be an Ebenezer Scrooge but how do you handle lots of different people wanting time off?

More importantly how do you manage these conversations, which could be awkward if you have to turn their request down? For instance, a conversation handled badly – “I’ve given Jane the time off as she has a family” – could result in a discrimination claim.

Adopt a system and apply it consistently

To avoid issues such as resentment from staff or potential discrimination claims it’s important to have systems in place like the below:

• A first come first served system is objective and although new staff may be disadvantaged and less organised employees may become irritated by this system, it is difficult to argue with.

• A rota means that employees will be given holiday priority for the summer or next Christmas.

• A ballot system means that no employee is prioritised above the other however there’s no guarantee that staff will be treated fairly year to year due to the random outcome.

• Leaving it to the employees gives them the responsibility and control to decide who and when will take leave making sure there are enough staff over the break. However, this could of course end in arguments.

Make sure you communicate to employees the system you take on, and that your managers follow the process correctly and that it is clearly explained in contracts and policies.

To read the full article, please click here.


If you would like more information or advice relating to this article or an Employment law matter, please do not hesitate to contact Keely Rushmore on 01727 798046 

© SA LAW 2019

Every care is taken in the preparation of our articles. However, no responsibility can be accepted to any person who acts on the basis of information contained in them alone. You are recommended to obtain specific advice in respect of individual cases.
Read the latest Employment Views & Insights
The team at SA Law LLP has ‘excellent knowledge of employment law’. Practice head Chris Cook is recommended.
The Legal 500
SA Law Work Life red mug and glasses
Megatrends image
Views & Insights
An SMEs guide to Digital Disruption

What does digital disruption mean and how to think disruptively.

SA Law Red Mug Coffee
Views & Insights
Building the wellbeing workplace: how to ensure your employees are healthy and happy

SA Law’s recent HR forum discussed how wellbeing in the workplace has become critical strategy for employers.

Stained glass window Employment SA Law
Views & Insights
Proposed changes to NDA rules 'not enough to end workplace harassment'

Partner Keely Rushmore comments in People Management about the government's announcement.

Chris Cook handles the full range of employment law for both individuals and organisations. He receives particular recognition for his strong TUPE expertise.…
Chambers & Partners
Phone Box with Man in a Bowler Hat
Stained glass window Employment SA Law
Views & Insights
Smart Exits: Protected Conversations and Termination Payments

Chris Cook addresses the most appropriate ways of reaching a settlement when managing an employee's exit from a company.

Stained glass window Employment SA Law
Views & Insights
Increased rights for agency and zero-hours workers

The ‘Good Work Plan’ aims to address the rights of those with atypical worker statuses, including agency workers and those on zero-hours contracts.

Stained glass window Employment SA Law
Views & Insights
Consultation into extending redundancy protection for pregnant women and new parents

New consultation for redundancy protection while on or shortly after maternity leave or shared parental leave.

Stained glass window Employment SA Law
Views & Insights
A guide to flexible working & flexible working requests

Flexible working can assist employers in attracting and retaining talented candidates and staff. Our guide covers the key questions and considerations…

SA Law Red arrow neon light image
Views & Insights
Google issued with £44m fine over GDPR breach

Head of Employment and Data Protection, Chris Cook, explains Google's GDPR breach that led to landmark £44 million fine.