Top Tips for Employers Over the Festive Season
14th December 2011
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Article Written by Addison O'Hare Solicitors

Christmas, Holly and Presents Season presents but who is thinking about employers over this festive period?

This short guide has been created to give you an idea of the common issues employers face during the Christmas Period and some brief facts on how to deal with those issues.

Top tips for employers for the festive season

Adverse weather
What issues do you need to consider?
• Employees are not automatically entitled to pay if unable to get to work because of bad weather
• Have a clear policy - employees need to know what you expect from them in terms of getting to work
• Be flexible where possible - for example, could you and your employees agree to temporarily alter working hours to minimise disruptions?
• Use information technology to keep your business running. Can employees work from home?
• Plan ahead - misunderstandings often lead to conflict so be clear!

Flu and colds
Winter colds and flu mean an increase in workers calling in sick.
• Employers should ensure employees know when they have to contact work on the first day of sickness and should routinely hold back to work interviews when staff return.
• Employees should either fill in a self-certificate explaining their short-term sickness or they should get a Statement of Fitness for Work (also known as a doctor's statement or 'fit note') if the illness lasts more than seven days.

Holiday entitlements
Employers may get a flurry of holiday requests around Christmas and New Year.
• When public holidays in the Christmas and New Year period fall on Saturdays and Sundays, alternative week days are declared public holidays.
• There is no statutory entitlement to paid leave for public holidays
Most workers - whether part-time or full-time - are legally entitled to 5.6 weeks of paid annual leave. Additional annual leave may be agreed as part of a worker's contract.
• Employers can set the times that workers take their leave, such as a Christmas shutdown.

Wellbeing in the workplace
Winter can sometimes exacerbate conditions such as stress and depression. Spotting and doing something about troubled employees is an important business skill.
• It's rare for someone to voluntarily talk about a mental health problem. Approaching a colleague who you feel may be suffering from a mental health issue is not easy. Try and arrange a moment to catch someone privately, and informally ask if they are feeling ok.
• Make sure your line managers know how to respond to signs of stress. They may need the right training to help them handle difficult conversations and raise awareness of health issues.


Contact Addison O'Hare on 01922 725515 or click here for more information

About the Author

Alex M

Member since: 10th July 2012

My name is Alex Murray. I am passionate about what goes on in and around Walsall. I hope you find my blog to be interesting and thought provoking. Please feel free to give me your feedback.

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