Best practices in leave management

Smiling young man working at computer manages his employees' leaves.

Managing employee leave is an essential part of every company’s operations. An appropriate leave policy and a transparent system for leave management can positively impact employee satisfaction and organizational efficiency. Discover the practices and tools you should implement in your company!

According to the Gallup Institute, a well-prepared process related to leave management ensures employees have a sense of security. This is precisely how the process should be designed — the well-being of all employees should be a priority. Caring for the well-being of those employed begins with allowing them to take leave and rest without repercussions from their superiors.

Too Tired

This is especially crucial in a country where, according to the Human Power study, 8 out of 10 workers feel fatigued. This can have repercussions not just for the health and well-being of the employees but also their productivity at work. So, if you want your team to engage in their work and perform at their best, let them rest. Ensure they don’t have to respond to emails, answer phone calls, while they are”under the palm trees.” Properly planning a leave policy and managing it consciously is essential.

Right to Rest

By law, most companies are exempt from creating a leave plan, as only firms with union organizations are required to have one. Yet, standardizing vacations in the company will benefit both the person approving the leaves and those applying for them.

Speaking of the law, the Labor Code mentions two primary types of leaves – annual leave and leave on demand. There are also occasional leaves granted for various reasons, e.g., marriage or childbirth, and extended ones like maternity or parental leave.

The duration of the annual leave depends on the length of employment. Employees employed for less than 10 years are entitled to 20 days off annually, while those who have worked for over 10 years get 26 days. Employees are also entitled to a 14-day uninterrupted break once a year. The planned leave should be reported and approved in advance. Each employee is also entitled to “on-demand” annual leave, not exceeding 4 working days, in a calendar year.

The Labor Code also provides for the transfer of unused leave to the following year or payment of compensation when leaving the company if the leave has not been used. This highlights that although everyone has the right to rest, not everyone takes advantage of it. This is a mistake.

As mentioned earlier, rest improves efficiency, attention focus, task fulfillment, and results in fewer errors. Therefore, a company’s policy should encourage taking days off. This is where a leave plan can help. What should it include?

Plan for Leave Management

One of the most critical aspects of the plan is establishing clear rules regarding employee leave. Even if it’s just a repetition of the Labor Code’s provisions, it should be done in an accessible format and straightforward language. The leave management regulation should be available to all employees and include information about:

  • The number of leave days due per year.
  • Rules for accumulating days off.
  • The process for submitting leave applications.
  • Circumstances that can influence the approval or denial of a leave.

This last point is particularly crucial. Companies should be flexible to accommodate the preferences of their team members. Not all companies can afford a flexible approach to leaves. Some, especially seasonal ones, cannot offer vacations during peak times. However, whenever possible, individual needs should be considered. This shows respect and understanding, which can translate into higher engagement in tasks.

By respecting your employees, you can also expect respect in return, e.g., by notifying in advance about planned absences. This can prevent situations where multiple department members want to take leave simultaneously, disrupting work continuity.

Early notification also provides an opportunity to delegate tasks, ensuring peace of mind during the break. A well-planned process can prevent work-related calls or emails to those on leave.

Automation and Leave Management

Digitalizing the leave plan in the company will facilitate tracking available days off. It will also ease the process of submitting or reviewing applications. Automation is not just for large corporations. There should be more than one person in equivalent positions, and the company should have at least a one-tier structure. In a company with about 20 employees, leave management can be automated, especially if talking about a distributed team or one working remotely.

In any of these situations, the new OstendiHR module – Absence, can assist. This tool emphasizes individualization and flexibility, allowing the creation of custom paths for leave application approval. You can edit available templates to precisely fit your needs.

The module transforms the leave application process into a fully electronic document flow. This is not only a time saver and process simplifier for employees but also an environmentally friendly move.

The tool is designed to meet challenges related to laws and leave policies worldwide. No matter where your team operates globally, with one click, you can adjust the holiday calendar to organizational needs.

With OstendiHR, you only need to enter the basic data of the employee to get an exact overview of the remaining leave days. This is an efficient way to eliminate mistakes and a significant time saver.

As seen, effective management of employee leaves is not only beneficial for the employees but also for the entire organization. Implementing clear, flexible rules, focusing on communication, and using modern tools are the keys to success in this area. Remember, satisfied employees are efficient employees, leading to the success of the entire company.