Christmas is pretty much upon us now and many employees’ thoughts are turning to the time off that they have booked to celebrate with family and friends. Working in care brings challenges around annual leave that many other sectors can avoid, including the fact that the work cannot stop at Christmas time and enough people must be on duty to look after the residents in their care – even on Christmas Day, New Year’s Day and every other public and bank holiday throughout the year.
Care home managers rely on the dedication, commitment and goodwill of their employees to cover these less popular shifts and put thew health and wellbeing of their residents first. Many care organisations have systems in place to allow everyone to get a turn at being home for special festivities. For example, people can take it in turns, year by year, to have certain days off. Alternatively, additional incentives can be introduced to encourage people to work on awkward days, such as an extra day off at a time of their choosing or additional overtime pay.
Annual leave calculator
However, this is all sorted out, using Care Vision’s annual leave calculator will make care managers’ lives even easier. The tool is user-friendly and can be accessed remotely for teams to make changes and updates on the go. Staff illnesses and emergencies can also be recorded so that adjustment scan be made rapidly to keep the wheels turning and the staffing levels correct. You can also see at a glance how much annual leave each staff member has taken – and how much they have left. Staff can sign up for extra shifts using their own devoices – and be alerted when they are required to come in without having to log on to a specific workstation or computer.
Top tips to make annual leave easier in 2023
As a new year rolls round once again, it is the perfect time to take a fresh look at your care home’s annual leave arrangements. If you don’t have a clear policy in place, make it a top priority to create one ASAP. People like to know where they stand when it comes to things like how to take annual leave, when requests need to be in by, how much they are allowed to take and who gets priority if two people ask for the same time off. Include details of what happens during bank holidays and any extra incentives available for working unsociable days or times. Name someone in the policy as the contact person for queries, suggestions and concerns.
Just as care home managers should keep an eye on their teams to maker sure no-one is taking too much holiday; it is also vital to ensure that people are not taking too little. Working in the care sector is often physically hard, emotionally taxing and hard to switch off from. Sometimes, employees can feel like they cannot ask for time off if it is a busy time, or the care home is understaffed. However, it is vital that they do take their allocated annual leave for the sake of their own health and the safety of those for whom they care.
Keep careful records of all annual leave requests, including when they were made, how much leave is requested and the decision whether or not to allow the holiday. This is where Care Vision’s annual leave tool is so helpful. Records are accurate and updated in real-time. They can also be accessed remotely for checking wherever and whenever you wish.
Keeping records can help you spot patterns, such as the same people taking the same days off every year, or departments becoming compromised by too many people taking time off at once. You can also use it to encourage people to spread their annual leave out during the year so that there aren’t a large number of people trying to take too much holiday all at once as the end of the leave period draws close.
Finally, think about other aspects of staff management that affect annual leave arrangements. Now is a good time to carry out an audit on sickness records, for instance, to see if there are any worrying patterns or trends. Take another look at your policy on issues such as rolling over unused annual leave too, as well as offering people the chance to buy extra holiday days and how you handle requests for overtime and time off in lieu. Get everything sorted out before 2023!