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Unlimited annual leave: is it good HR or good PR?

I came across this article (Unlimited annual leave: is it good HR or good PR?) and I do concede I was in taken back to begin with thinking that this couldn’t actually be the case. It’s not something I have ever come across with any previous employment and the immediate thinking is how could this possibly be feasible or viable?

Reading on in the article it goes on to advise that the offering is limited to a minority of employees, which would make the approach more manageable, however the organisation then opens themselves up for criticism, for deciding who is entitled to this very generous perk.

Similar to the article, my immediate question in response to this was, why would this be in any organisation’s interest? I understand that a happy workforce is hopefully a productive one, so morale should be high as a result of this, however what good is that to the organisation if their Employees are always on Annual Leave?

Virgin Management in Britain’s spokesman gave the following justification: “People working at Virgin Management have busy lives and by giving them the flexibility and the opportunities to spend valuable time out of the office, we believe that it has created a happier and more empowered environment, which can be an incentive for some people,”

This to me really reiterates what I have said previously and the article goes on to mirror my way of thinking in that while it is an admirable offering in some respects, the potential for damaging effects to come as a result of this would outway it being introduced. With the risk of leaving those not included in this scheme disillusioned, or work being neglected I personally look to tailor annual leave to the individual.

The article also reinforces this going on to say: “How much of this is good HR and how much is PR? Do added benefits such as these, offered in the spirit of enhancing work-life balance for the employee and productivity for the company, presage the future of workplace relations?”

So why is this relevant to us here at Thinking Software? Back in December you may remember I produced an article “Do you receive enough Annual Leave from your Employer?” This highlighted a number of ways by which our Enterprise Workforce Management solution, Rota Horizon, can assist your organisation with all forms of Holiday and Absence tracking.

In that article it highlighted how Rota Horizon’s features are particularly useful when tracking holiday, discussing: Setting up specific holiday profiles for each employee, using the Self Service Module to allow employees to electronically make holiday requests as well as providing a visual friendly year view with all absence types.

In terms of a workforce management tool, it is very easy to ensure that you have the correct resource to manage each department. For each department you will plan the necessary shifts that employees will work, however on that week view you can also put people on Annual Leave or any other type of absence for that matter. This will highlight the employee and the shift in yellow. You can also specify whether this is a paid or unpaid absence so this information can be communicate with any Payroll software you may want it to.

Finally with reference to holiday, among the 400+ reports you get with Rota Horizon, there are 2 simple and effective reports of relevance to this topic. First is the Holiday Status Report that simply gives you a breakdown of what employees have accrued, taken and their balance that remains. Should you allow employees to accumulate a positive or negative Lieu balance this too will be highlighted. The other is the Time-Off report that simply provides an audit trail of any time off an employee has had in a time period specified by you.

So if you believe that your organisation could benefit from a Time & Attendance solution then please do call us on 0800 854 471 or contact sales. At this stage we appreciate that this may well be very much an exploratory conversation to learn more about the software which we very much welcome. Please also feel free to request a no obligation demonstration of the software by clicking here.

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