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Holiday Hell: The Complexities of Calculating International Leave

16 October 2020 3 min read

hr woman with international leave entitlement

Last week we released data from our platform highlighting that a third of Brits have 50% of their holiday allowance to use with only 25% of the year left.

This got us thinking… could the same be said for the rest of the world? As a global company, we have a wealth of data from customers using our platform to manage their employee absence, and given the state of holiday left to take in the UK, we wanted to know whether our international clients were experiencing similar challenges.

Interestingly the situation around the world is almost identical, with 40% of employees still having at least 50% of their holiday allowance left to take. This presents some serious staffing issues for organizations, as employees are likely to request leave leading up to the festive period, and the chances of illness due to seasonal coughs, colds, and flu in the northern hemisphere on the rise according to the World Health Organisation.

What is also interesting to note is that the other 60% of staff have very little holiday left to take, and with 12 working weeks left before the new year, this is also a significant worry with employee burnout looking likely. The end of the year for most companies is a busy and somewhat stressful time, with many organizations attempting to finish off business, finalize contracts, and prepare for the new year. Usually, this can be offset with festive parties, and social gatherings leading up to Christmas, but with strict guidelines in place to prevent the spread of Covid-19they will be few and far between.

Managing annual leave can be tricky, especially if your organization is global. For example, in the Netherlands, employees are entitled to carry over 5 days of holiday every year for 5 years. And in Belgium, if you move jobs your holiday entitlement varies with year 1 being calculated from holiday accrued by your old employer, year 2 being a mixture of both old and new employers, with year 3 finally seeing your allowance earned from your current employment.

Incorporating absence software into your plan for the New Year is a great way to begin managing annual leave more effectively. With the data our customers now have, they will be able to identify patterns in teams and individuals, understand holiday preferences and staffing levels, and take pragmatic action to ensure a smoother running in the following year.

2021 is likely to present similar challenges to 2020. Covid-related Illness, seasonal flu, burnout, and the holiday rush will all factor and business leaders need to be clear with their communication from the beginning to ensure these issues do not leave the organization lacking in healthy, happy working employees.

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October 16, 2020