The Christmas season has a big impact on most businesses and employees in the UK.
It will be a time when there is likely to be extra demand for products, services and sales in some businesses whilst others may experience a quiet period or may shut for the Christmas holidays.
This year, Christmas Day, 25 December 2019, falls on a Wednesday and Boxing Day, 26 December 2019, falls on a Thursday, which means these two days will be Bank Holidays.
Many employees will request time off to spend time with their family, go on holiday or attend religious services. Employees working over the Christmas period may experience different working patterns, a change in the nature of their workload or face difficulties getting to and from work.
An organisation's annual leave policy should give guidance on how to book time off. However, employers may wish to look at being a little more flexible when allowing employees leave during this period. Employees should remember this may not always be possible as it could be one of the busiest times of the year for the organisation. The key is for both parties to try and come to an agreement and to plan as early as possible while being fair and consistent with all staff.