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Employees who don't take annual leave could cost your company thousands of rands. Use these three tips to make sure your employees take all their leave

by , 03 December 2014
Your employee Sarah rarely takes annual leave.

You have no problem with this because work goes on without any interruptions.

The truth is, annual leave that employees don't take is a huge hidden expense for your company.

You see, leave that accrues into the following financial year increases your company's leave bill. And the more you let your employees accumulate leave, the heftier the leave bill becomes.

Don't let annual leave cost your company thousands of rands. Use these three tips to make sure your employees take all their annual leave.


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Use these three tips to make sure employees go on annual leave

 
#1: Don't wait for your employees or managers to decide to take annual leave, says the Practical Guide to Human Resources Management. Instead, be hands on and meet with each manager to schedule leave for employees who rarely take it.
 
Remind your managers that annual leave that your employees don't take is an unnecessary cost to the company.
 
Also tell them that it's not just about money. Sending employees on leave is a legal requirement.
 
You must send each employee on leave for at least 15 working days' in every leave cycle. If you don't, you can face hefty fines and penalties from the Department of Labour.
 
If your managers don't schedule leave within a reasonable time, take the matter to senior management. Or schedule compulsory leave for the employee yourself.

#2: Break up big leave balances into smaller chunks within the current leave cycle. Or send employees with big outstanding leave balances on extended leave.

For example, to deal with big leave balances, you can:
 
  • Tell your employee to take the full days he has in one go. You can organise a temp to do his work. Or reshuffle his workload during the time he's away.
 
  • Send your employee on leave and then arrange a period of shorter work weeks until he's used up all his outstanding leave. Your employee can go on leave for two weeks, for instance and only work Monday to Wednesday until he's used up all his leave.
 

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Here's one more tip to make sure employees go on annual leave

 
#3: Tackle smaller outstanding leave balances as soon as possible.
 
This way, they won't have a big effect on your daily business activities.
 
For example, to deal with Sibongile's four day outstanding leave balance, you can:
 
  • Send her on annual leave for the full four days in one go. You can bring in a temp to do her work or reshuffle her workload during the period she's away;
 
  • Extend her leave for an extra four days when she takes her current leave entitlement; or
 
  • Arrange for four long weekends where she'll take a Friday or a Monday off over the next few months.
 
With these three tips, you'll be able to make sure your employees go on annual leave. So, in the end, untaken leave won't cost you thousands of rands.
 
PS: For more information on dealing with annual leave, check out The Ultimate Guide to Annual Leave.


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