It’s coming to the end of the financial year for many organisations, which means many could be swamped with last minute requests for holiday leave as people want to use up their holiday entitlement, warns Adrian Lewis, Director of Activ Absence.

A survey commissioned by British Airways in January revealed that one-third of UK workers did not use up their annual leave in 2017, losing an average of four days each.  A ‘use it or lose it’ policy can mean hundreds of last minute holiday requests for HR to process.

The recent bad weather is also likely to prompt more holiday requests as people decide they want to head off for some sun, leaving many HRs in a panic on how to manage the volume of requests so everyone is happy and ensure its business as usual in the office.

Adrian Lewis says,

“Leaving holiday leave requests till the last minute is every HRs nightmare. Companies want to encourage people to take their full holiday entitlement as they know it’s good for health and wellbeing but also need to ensure the workplace is fully staffed and avoid too many clashes.

“Unfortunately lots of companies are in the dark over how much holiday leave someone has left to take, especially if they are still relying on spreadsheets, wall planners and paper forms to manage annual leave. This adds even more pressure and makes it more likely for errors to occur, resulting in people booking leave at the same time.

“The solution is absence management software that enables HRs to easily manage and stay on top of staff holiday planning. A centralised system where holiday leave can be requested and approved at the touch of a button allows for greater transparency, better resourcing and helps business plan more effectively.

“The technology also allows employers to set alerts such as automatically prompting staff to book leave if a set level is accrued, thus preventing a buildup of annual leave. HRs can nudge people to take their holiday leave throughout the year, helping to avoid last minute requests at this time of year,” adds Mr Lewis.






Rebecca joined the HRreview editorial team in January 2016. After graduating from the University of Sheffield Hallam in 2013 with a BA in English Literature, Rebecca has spent five years working in print and online journalism in Manchester and London. In the past she has been part of the editorial teams at Sleeper and Dezeen and has founded her own arts collective.