OK, so this article isn’t strictly payroll as such, but it has a lot to do with payroll, so I’m going to write about it!
There are some major issues with holidays that can make them potentially unfair. The issues can be summarised as:
1) How to make sure all part-time staff get a fair deal over leave
2) How to ensure casual workers are treated fairly
3) What to do about bank and public holidays
Each one of these is a knotty subject in its own right, so I will deal with them separately over my next three ramblings.
So, what on earth is the problem with part-time staff?
Consider Abigail and Bunty. They both work 20 hours a week, and of course they both get the same leave allowance of 5 weeks a year.
Abigail works 8 hours on a Monday and 3 hour mornings on each of Tuesday to Friday. Bunty works a straight four hours every day from 1pm to 5pm.
One day Bunty comes to you, obviously upset. Her complaint is that Abigail is getting a lot more time off than Bunty is. What Abigail is doing is taking two full weeks off, as everybody else does, but the rest of the time Abigail takes occasional Mondays off throughout the rest of the year.
As there are three weeks left out of her 5 weeks, that makes 15 Mondays at 8 hours each, and that adds up to 120 hours off. Bunty’s days are all four hours, so if Bunty does the same and takes occasional Mondays off, she will only get 60 hours out of the three weeks that are left.
She claims that she is getting 60 hours less holiday than Abigail, and she wants something done about it.
There are a number of traditional ways to deal with this. Many employers insist that leave is always taken in full weeks, but then when an employee wants a day off to attend, for example, a visit with a child to a new school, they will need an occasional day, so that disrupts the whole-week rule.
The answer is simple and straightforward, and unfortunately does make rather more work for the employer – always quote leave allowances in hours and staff must take leave in hours.
That way, Abigail needs 40 hours for her two weeks leave out of an allowance of 100 hours, which leaves her 60 hours. So she can only take 7 Mondays off, leaving her with four hours to take elsewhere, or of course she could take 20 of her shorter days off. Bunty also needs 40 hours for her 2 weeks leave, but then the 60 remaining hours will spread to 15 of her shorter days off.
One thing is guaranteed – if you introduce it the Abigail’s of this world will not like it, and will probably find it very hard to understand the fairness argument!
This payroll advice was brought to you by guest blogger John Clegg.