Bank holiday warning: a rise in holiday requests before and sick leave after

The Friday before the August bank holiday (23rd August) is the most popular day for employees to book holiday leave, with absences possibly spiking after it as well.

This data was collected by BrightHR, a HR software and e-days the web-based HR application for managing your staff holiday and absences.

BrightHR found out that the 23rd August has been the most popular day to book off for the past three years.

Alan Price, CEO of BrightHR said:

Over the past few weeks, employers across the UK have been bombarded with holiday requests for the 23rd of August with many worrying if they approve all holiday requests from workers they will be understaffed during the bank holiday weekend.

Although the Working Time Regulations 1998 instructs that all employees are entitled to 5.6 weeks of paid leave a year, employers are under no obligation to accept all leave requests. It is down to the discretion of the employer when their workforce takes annual leave, meaning you are well within your rights to refuse a request for leave if it clashes with other employees.

However, It is important to remember that all employees place great significance on their leave entitlement and refusal can often be met with annoyance.

On the other side of the coin, e-days found that employee absences will likely spike after the August bank holiday.

The State of Absence report conducted by e-days which measures data from 172,048 users of the e-days absence management system said there are three likely reasons why there is a rise in the amount of employees not coming in to work after the bank holiday. These are genuine sickness, a chance of a four-day break and an over-indulgent weekend.

Clare Avery, head of people and culture at e-days, said:

A key reason for sickness, is of course, sickness. Spending time with others in public spaces could contribute to an increase in minor illnesses. Yet without trying to cast aspersions, human nature also says its possible that more people fancy a four day break, and others pull sickies from ‘too much sun and fun’.

The important thing for employers is to learn when and why your employees are more likely to call in sick, as you may spot opportunities to make some lasting improvements to your workplace and your company culture.

The absence management company suggested certain ways to alleviate this problem in a business, by setting up a prize for the funniest bank holiday activity or a team prize for the least amount of absences.

Implementing flexible working can also help this situation as well as making sure your staff are not over worked. Ensuring that the employee should stop working at the end of the day.





Darius is the editor of HRreview. He has previously worked as a finance reporter for the Daily Express. He studied his journalism masters at Press Association Training and graduated from the University of York with a degree in History.