Statutory holiday increases on Wednesday

The minimum statutory holiday entitlement is set to increase this Wednesday (April 1) from 24 to 28 days (inclusive of bank holidays).

Research by Humyo, who offer online storage and file access for small businesses, found that 65% of the small companies questioned didn’t know about the change. Luckily for you, you’ve got us to tell you about these things.

We all know it’s important to give employees a break. It makes them feel valued, it recharges their batteries so they come back more focused and energised, and it gives them a chance to sort out their own personal admin so – in theory – they have less stressful things to think about when they’re working hard for you. Plus a lot of people come back with that happy glow after they’ve had a few days off that spreads a little joy across the Monday morning catch-up.

But from your point of view, this also means you have four less days of work per employee. That’s basically a week. At minimum wage, assuming eight hour working days, those four days cost you £183.36.

The Humyo survey found that 55% of small companies asked thought the increase would have a detrimental effect on their business. That’s only around half though, so not the end of the world.

But if you are concerned, the best way to deal with the change is to ask employees to only take their holiday in fortnight or less blocks (or however long you think you can spare them for). If you are typically fairly snowed under, convey the situation politely. You can’t ask them to not take holiday, but you can help them understand that the business really needs them and is there any chance they could take holiday later in the year.

You could also offer other incentives if you really need them in the office rather than on holiday – more holiday in the following year, the promotion they’ve been after, and so on.

But be really careful not to pressure an employee too much – it’s a legal requirement and you don’t want to seem like the boss from hell. Worst comes to worst, you’ll be able to sort the wheat from the chaff by recognising which employees are happy to sacrifice a bit of holiday to help the business at a critical time, compared to those who would rather be sunning themselves regardless of what’s happening in the workplace.

Also, just so you can work out how many days inclusive of bank holiday the increase results in: England and Wales get eight bank holidays, Scotland nine and Northern Ireland has 10. (The luck of the Irish, eh.)

What do you think of the increase to statutory holiday? Leave your comments below.

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