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How to prepare for the peak absence period

25 August 2023 3 min read

peak absence season

Summer’s (nearly) over, which means peak annual leave season is coming to an end, and a period of higher absence is on the way. This means that now is the perfect time to consider a number of factors and aim to be prepared for the months ahead.

From leave to absence to wellbeing, there are a number of different aspects to consider and it’s a good idea to carry out some analysis so you can better understand your organisation’s current position and take any action needed for a smooth winter.

Managing leave at the end of the year

The first thing to think about is annual leave and remaining entitlements. We all have this perception that summer is the peak time for employees using their annual leave, and so you may feel that reviewing remaining entitlements isn’t a priority. It’s easy to feel lulled into a false sense of security under the belief that employees are using a lot of their allowances, and that they probably won’t have too much left.

However, according to edays data, only 25.62% of annual leave is used in the summer months (from June to August), suggesting more of an even spread throughout the year than most people probably realise.

Therefore, the end of summer is a good time to reviewing remaining entitlements and encourage employees to continue using their annual leave regularly to avoid a build-up at the end of the year. If this isn’t encouraged early on, then you may find operational challenges towards the end of the year as employees struggle to use up their remaining holiday and requests for clashing holiday may cause headaches.

Preparing for higher absence levels

As temperatures drop, kids go back to school, and flu season comes around, there are a number of factors that will likely lead to an increased number of sickness absences within your organisation over the next couple of months.

While there may not be much you can do as an organisation to prevent this absence increase, there are ways to get ahead of it so that operations aren’t disrupted too much.

This includes things like ensuring you have full visibility of attendance so that you can better resource plan, and having a robust absence and leave policy so that you can ensure the proper return to work processes are followed.

Looking after employee wellbeing

An important thing to remember as we head towards the end of the year is employee wellbeing. The last quarter signals the busiest time of year for a number of organisations and industries, so employees may feel an increased level of pressure and stress with changing workloads.

Being aware of this and empowering people managers to check in regularly will allow you to support employees when they need it most.

Preparing for the months ahead with our end of summer checklist

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We know that HR professionals already juggle plenty of responsibilities, so we’re helping to make acing absence and leave easier with our helpful checklist. Covering all the main points you need to consider at this time of year, the checklist is a great way to ensure you’re set up for a successful autumn and winter.

Download your free copy now!

Jenni author blog
August 25, 2023

Jenni Littlehales is a marketing professional and an experienced author with a background in a wide variety of industries. Her understanding of people, wellbeing and associated challenges give a unique perspective in the evolving landscape of HR and technology.