In normal years, the majority of us will want to take our annual leave to coincide with going away and taking a holiday – however, for 2021, this isn’t always possible. For many of us, 2021 has been largely ruled out in terms of taking a holiday. This can leave you wondering whether it’s even worth taking the 28 days annual leave to which you are legally entitled.
Taking your annual leave is still a good idea, employers should be encouraging their employees to take their leave, even if there’s nowhere to go.
Uncertainty is Stopping Us Taking Holidays
In normal times, many of us would use our annual leave for holidays – but this has not been easy since the pandemic hit. Indeed, while holidaying in the UK is a possibility, concerns with the weather often leave many of us wondering – what’s the point if it’s only going to rain?
Furthermore, uncertainty is stopping many of us from taking the risk of booking a holiday abroad. After all, even if the country you choose is currently on the green list for travel, we can’t predict reliably whether the holidays we book now will still be possible when the time comes to leave! Countries are continually shifting from green to amber to red, so booking would be precarious!
Taking Holiday is Important to Your Wellbeing
We might not be able to travel abroad, but taking your annual leave is still so crucial! Indeed, your basic 28 days of annual leave can’t be carried over to next year. So, it’s now or never to take it!
Taking your annual leave is vital, as it allows you time off to relax and recuperate. A good work-life balance is crucial to avoid work-related stress complications, which could lead to other mental health challenges. Everyone deserves the chance to rest; taking time to recharge can help you avoid burnout and help increase your overall wellbeing. Connecting with people we care about is so important for our mental health, so now is a good time to take time to catch up with those you haven’t seen over the last year or so.
And let’s face it – it’s been tough living through lockdowns for the past year for all of us. So, ensuring you have the chance to take a breather is crucial. Even if you can’t travel abroad, there’s still a lot to be said for not having to get up at a certain time and just having the opportunity to do what you want, whether that is taking time for yourself or spending time with your friends, family, and loved ones.
How to Help Your People Prioritise Their Annual Leave
Employers should take the time to understand what is getting in the way of people taking their annual leave entitlement, are they concerned about job security? Worried about having nowhere to go? Feeling guilty about leaving their colleagues to pick up the slack? Only when you understand what is stopping your team from taking a break can you address the issue effectively.
Tips for Managers and Business Leaders
If there are concerns about job security these need to be addressed through regular communication, not just in relation to taking leave. When we are faced with insecurity at work productivity will be affected, so make sure you are having regular conversations to address the concerns of your people, especially in difficult times.
- Encourage everyone to talk about the best holidays they have taken in the UK and share ideas of where to go and what to do.
- Let everyone know that they must take their leave entitlement by law, so there is nothing to feel guilty about.
- Set a good example by booking your breaks, even if you aren’t going away.
- If there are concerns about workload, make time to reassign work together, to ensure they understand who is covering which aspects of their role, and understand what can be left until they return.
- Ensure everyone understands you do not expect them to check work emails, better still, allow them to leave their out of office on for an extra day, giving them clear space in the diary on their first day back to catch up.
- Again, model good behaviour and avoid sending emails and working during your leave, you need to recharge too!
Don’t leave it to chance; make sure you and your people take the leave to which you’re entitled. It’s been a tough year – you’ve earned it!