Not all small businesses are happy with the prospect of
giving staff an extra day off for the Queen's diamond jubilee next
month. Jonathan Elliott, managing director of Smarta's money-saving
partner Make It Cheaper, thinks
that sometimes you need to balance your employees' needs with
I have to say that I'm none too sorry to see the back of April.
Apart from the miserable weather, it's been our worst trading month
of the year for the second year running. I probably ought to put
that statement into some sort of perspective - given we're ranked
39th in the Fast Track 100 and our bean counters will be
reading this. It means our monthly turnover was just under the
magic one million mark, compared to just over it.
The problem with this time of year is the number of trading days
that are cut down by bank holidays and the big chunk of the working
population that takes a break while the schools are out. As much as
we get a buzz from growing our top line while helping businesses
protect their bottom line, there's little point in staffing our
London-based 100-seat call centre at times when the UK has
collectively shut shop.
So it's quite interesting to read that around two-thirds of
small businesses won't be giving staff another day off for this
year's extended bank holiday to honour the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.
Perhaps it's a knee-jerk reaction to last year's royal wedding
trading blip, but some employers will force staff to take the extra
day off from of their holiday entitlement and others will simply
open as usual.
This might be music to the ears of Mervyn King over at the Bank
of England (ironic, seeing as it invented 'bank' holidays in the
first place) because he's worried about a Jubilee-related fall in
output. Look at it this way: it's been estimated that February's
leap day gained the aneconomy extra £1.6bn in
Whether or not, on 5 June, you give your staff another excuse to
don their 'Thank you for the day off' T-shirts could all boil down
to their employment contracts saying the number of days permitted
'includes' or are 'in addition' to bank holidays. Either way
there's an opportunity to capture the hearts and minds of employees
- rather than their spleen - with a bit of horse trading.
Balance their needs with yours and face up to the fact that both
Euro 2012 next month and the Olympic Games in July will inevitably
clash with working hours. As a nation, this summer is all about
getting over our malaise and mustering the pride to put the Great
back into Britain. If you're prepared to play your part as an
employer - by making small compromises - then your business could
rediscover its mojo too.
to discover how you could save your business thousands.
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