The holiday season is near and people are beginning the countdown to their well-deserved break. In certain branches, this transition is noticeable: team meetings are not as regular, major projects and changes are on hold until August/September, and the office is quieter as some colleagues are already enjoying their holidays.
In general, it is up to the employee to decide when he wants to takeleave. Depending on the branch, most companies ask their personnel sometime after Christmas to inform the administration about their summer leaves to prevent understaffing.
Taking some time off, however, entails more than just sending an email to the right person. When working in a team, it is customary to check with your direct colleagues. Some might have school-age children and will therefore be bound to the school holidays. (Besides the practical part, informing your direct colleagues about your holiday plans is also socially seen as the best way to proceed.) When too many requests are submitted during the school holiday periods, employees with children usually have precedency. This usually works out naturally; those who are not bound to the school holidays often prefer to take leave outside the high season since it is cheaper.
After checking your plans with your colleagues, the request will besent to the manger and the administration. If the proposed leave does not cause problems like understaffing or conflicts with work, holiday requests are usually approved without further ado.
The larger the company, the unlikelier understaffing will occur. Forsmaller companies with only a couple of employees, this is more common. Informing the employer in time is therefore crucial. It gives them enough time to find a solution; for example, recruiting a temporary employee.
No matter how small or large the company, an employer has to heed hisemployees’ request to take leave. How employers handle holiday leaves, is usually included in the CAO, the collective labour agreement, or in the employment contract. When it is not included, an employer can only refuse a request when he can prove the holiday will severely disrupt business.
Taking a holiday leave does not need to be very complicated, like most things in life it comes down to good communication. Cecile Koster