For most employers in Ireland, their annual leave year runs from January to December and an employee’s annual leave entitlements will depend on how much they’ve worked that year. As we get closer to the end of 2021, you may notice some employees who still have days or maybe even weeks left to take. Depending on what type of business you’re in, this could be a real headache to deal with. For example, if you are in retail, giving employees time off at Christmas could be impractical.
Some employees may ask if they can carry over their leftover leave into 2022. According to Citizen’s Information, annual leave should be taken within the leave year it was earned. Whether or not an employee can carry over annual leave entitlements will depend on the policy you have in place. Some employers will agree to allow employees to carry over untaken annual leave within 6 months of the relevant leave date, while others may allow employees to carry over leave even further. It is important to note, if an employee is on extended sick leave, then legally, they are allowed to carry over any unused leave for up to 15 months after the end of the year it was earned.
While in most cases allowing an employee to carry over annual leave shouldn’t be a problem, it can become impractical, especially when you have a lot of employees wanting to do so. Making sure your employees take their annual leave within the year it was earned can help avoid employee burnout as it encourages them to take more regular breaks. It also prevents employees saving up their annual leave and using it all in one go which could result in your business being short staffed for a long period.
Whatever you decide, it is important that you have an annual leave policy in place which clearly outlines whether employees can carry over leave from one year to the next. If you would rather a “use it or lose it” policy where employees must take their leave within the year it was earned, then it is important that you carefully track employees’ leave taken and remaining. Doing this will help you avoid having employees on leave, when you may need them most.
If you would like a ready-made annual leave policy which you can tailor to your own needs, visit our sister company Bright Contracts to find out more, or book a free online demo with a member of their team today.
If you have a lot of employees, it can be difficult to keep track of everyone’s annual leave. Luckily, your payroll software can help. BrightPay Payroll Software used alongside our optional cloud add-on BrightPay Connect has an annual leave management feature which allows employers and employees to keep track of annual leave taken and remaining.
When you open up BrightPay Connect’s employer dashboard, from the calendar tab, you can view a company-wide calendar which shows all your employees past and scheduled leave. This calendar is automatically updated when you add leave for an employer in the payroll software. The calendar makes it easier for you when you need to decide whether or not you will approve an employee’s request for time off.
BrightPay Connect also includes an employee smartphone app which the employee can use to request leave. From the app the employee simply selects the days which they would like off, the type of leave (paid or un-paid) and the times (eg. a half day). Employees can request leave anytime, anywhere, even on the go.
Once the leave request has been sent, the employer will receive a notification on the employer dashboard asking them to either approve or deny the request. If the employer approves the request the annual leave will automatically flow through to BrightPay.
Another great feature of the BrightPay Connect’s employee app is that when an employee opens the app, they can see how much leave they have used so far that year and the amount of leave they have remaining. When an employee can easily keep track of the amount of leave they have used it means they will be less likely to have leave left over by the end of the year.
While some employees will still need an extra nudge to remind them to take their full annual leave entitlements before the end of the year, BrightPay Connect can greatly help payroll processers in keeping track of who has leave left to take. This can help avoid employees carrying over annual leave days and having too many employees requesting to take leave at the end of the year.
To learn more about how BrightPay Connect can help you manage your employee’s annual leave, why not book a free online demo today.