How Employers Can Cope with Extra Statutory Holidays

Jul 15, 2021

Posted on 15th July 2021 at 12:50

From Our What’sUp? Workshop 14 July 2021

The excitement and enthusiasm for additional “Bank Holidays” being offered by government is quite palpable, such as an extra day for the Queen’s Platinum Jubliee in 2022 and the suggestion of an additional day this August in the event that England won the Euros 2020 (if you’re reading this and confused why the Euros 2020 were played in 2021, you might have missed that small event called a pandemic?)
For the typical employee, that means an extra day’s holiday – paid but not needing to work.
For the employer, it’s multiple man-days paid, but no productivity to offset it.
Seems a little unfair, doesn’t it?.
However, we debated this in the forum about how an employer could mitigate this.
Legally, employers are not allowed to increase the working hours without agreement with the employees and suitable payment.
Legally, they can’t decide to make it optional, if they’re statutory holidays, although the day they can be taken could be changed.
So we’re left with a bill for manhours that don’t produce anything.
However, the key here is sensible forward planning.
Whilst an employer can’t expect an employee to work additional time for no extra pay, with advance warning, there’s no reason to not ask them to work smarter, so productivity is increased for the same working time. It doesn’t mean that anyone necessarily needs to work harder or longer either.
By planning and building in more efficient working practices, the productivity can be increased so that any work anticipated on the additional day of holiday would have been completed beforehand.
Sounds like a lot of effort for just one day?
Of course, but you’re not going to go back to less efficient ways afterwards, are you? So that productivity increase is a gift that keeps on giving.
Keep it going and maybe you can find a way to reach a 4-day week or you realise the growth potential of the business by 20%.
A hero either way!