How bureaus can take the stress out of annual leave this Christmas

1st Dec 2020
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As the holiday season approaches, payroll bureaus face particular challenges managing annual leave records for clients. Several factors can come into play that increases these payroll administrative tasks, particularly, for example, when a client’s employees take their remaining annual leave over the Christmas or school summer holiday period. In addition, the cold weather and general festivities at Christmas time can see a sudden surge in ‘sickies’.  

Work culture has changed and short notice, often spontaneous, leave requests are a growing trend amongst employees today. With last-minute changes to the payroll, the potential for errors increases, heaping more pressure on what is an already overwhelming time of year.  

Here’s how to make annual leave a less stressful process:

1. Streamline employee holiday leave requests ​

Employees traditionally inundate HR and payroll teams at Christmas and summer holiday periods with annual leave requests. They may also query refusal decisions, and enquire about their annual leave remaining for the year. Time resources are taken up on this time-consuming but essential payroll task, ultimately increasing the pressure on clients and the bureau. Without a better annual leave system in place, it may not seem ‘the most wonderful time of the year.’

BrightPay Connect’s annual leave feature streamlines annual leave requests, whilst giving employees visibility of annual leave taken and leave remaining for the year. Annual leave can be requested through BrightPay Connect’s employee smartphone app or online portal.   

Employees have the advantage of viewing their remaining days in advance of the Christmas chaos to plan any shopping, volunteering or social events involved at this time of year. Where an employee requests annual leave, this produces an instant notification on the employer dashboard, reducing the potential for backlog in the approval requests process. 

All annual leave approved is automatically and seamlessly synced back to the bureau’s desktop and portal ensuring accurate, up-to-date annual leave records at all times. Put simply, an automated annual leave process means less email and phone traffic between employers and employees. For the bureau, this automation of annual leave adds up to easier management of payroll records at busier times of the year. 

2. Enabling accurate annual leave records  

BrightPay Connect includes an employee calendar, which can keep a record of all employees’ past and scheduled leave, including annual leave, unpaid leave, absence, sick leave and parenting leave. This is an employer-wide calendar encompassing leave details for all active employees, which that works in real-time across both the online portal and the BrightPay payroll desktop application. 

Comfortably managing the leave request workload should not be overestimated. At the same time, there is pressure to ensure any large influx of leave requests is processed error-free. The cloud automation facilitated by BrightPay Connect ensures any leave approvals are automatically synchronised and displayed for bureaus, clients and employees alike. Accuracy is not compromised, regardless of how hectic the holiday period proves to be. 

3. Accurate annual leave records reduce employee absenteeism 

It is estimated that absenteeism costs the UK economy £15 billion a year. A recent survey found one in four UK employees (27%) believe it is acceptable to “pull a sickie” from work, with 85% of those saying it’s reasonable to do so two or more times a year. Absenteeism has significant implications nationally for all employers.  

Businesses already using BrightPay Connect have noted a reduction in sick leave since introducing an employee self-service system and it stands to reason why. Over a very busy calendar year, it can come as a surprise to both employees and employers if more sick leave had been recorded than previously considered. 

A hidden benefit of employee self-service portals has emerged as sick days are more visible to both employees and their managers, acting as an incentive to keep sick days to a minimum. The reduced number of sick days has the knock-on effect of a reduction in last-minute changes and adjustments to the payroll. Bureaus and clients freed up from the impact of a seasonal surge in routine leave requests, receive instead of the gift of time. We could all do with more of that.

Book a free online demo and find out more ways BrightPay Connect’s annual leave feature can save you time and effort.   


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