Allowing time off work

Advantages of managing your staff's time off work

Guide

Allowing staff time off work has a number of benefits.

However, you should ensure that you have a policy in place so you know how to deal with time-off requests.

You might also want to consider allowing flexible working to further improve work-life balance, and you must consider requests from certain qualifying employees.

Advantages of allowing time off work

Agreeing to requests for time off for personal and family reasons - and paying them for this time off - can:

  • improve staff retention/loyalty
  • maintain or improve staff morale
  • reduce the stress caused by conflict between work and personal commitments
  • help your staff see you as a fair employer

Allowing staff to take time off for public duties and service can help them gain new skills and provide them with an opportunity for personal development.

Time-off work policies

It is good practice to have a policy on time off. This can help you deal with time-off requests fairly and consistently.

The policy should cover the statutory time-off rights as well as situations where you may need to grant discretionary time off. Read more on time off work for personal commitments and emergencies.

Any policy should make it clear:

  • whether or not discretionary leave will be paid
  • how much notice the employee must give in order to qualify for the time off
  • what you will do if you suspect an employee is taking the time off not for the reason they claimed

You should ensure that staff are aware of the policy and notify them if it changes in any way.

Make sure your policy is non-discriminatory, including the way you apply it.

You should keep records of requests for time off and how much is taken, especially if it becomes unreasonable. Read more on staff records.

Flexible working

You can give employees more time away from work by allowing them to work flexibly.

Certain employees have the right to request flexible working.

In addition, you should consider allowing those who don't have the right to request flexible working to make such requests.

See flexible working: the law and best practice and how to promote healthy work-life balance in your business.