As a small business owner it is not unusual to dread summer holidays; this is the most popular time of the year for employees to request leave and these leave requests and employee absences from the office can make it hard to manage the business.

In this blog post we have put together some ways that will manage staff holiday periods at your small business.

The first thing to remember is make sure your staff take their holidays, however much it might give you a headache, it is best for their well-being and refreshing them so that they are productive and motivated to work in your business.

Plan Ahead

Plan ahead for staff holidays by ensuring your contract asks for a set amount of notice for your holidays and consider including that only one person from each team can be off at any time. Consider bringing an ‘understudy’ system into the business for larger projects where someone else full understands the parts that each team member plays, so as each team member goes on holiday leave, the understudy can pick up their work load.


Make sure that employees complete detailed handover notes before they go on holiday, and these are put in order of priority. These must be handed over to their team leader, colleague or understudy before they go on holiday and the notes must be fully understood. Also look at tasks that can be taken off the employee before their holiday to give them time to create a good, clear and thorough handover. Less pressing tasks on the handover could be shared among all the team, while a key member of the team could take on the more involved and important tasks.

Give Them Time

Your employee may not feel ready to jump back in the minute they are back in the office. A good way of easing them back into work is a team meeting with updates of what has happened while they are away. This could then be followed by a debrief from those that took on the employees work so they know exactly what has happened and what they need to work on first. While your employee will feel refreshed and motivated from a holiday, for a short while they will feel lethargic and maybe they’ll be feeling those post-holiday blues. Try not to overload them and give them time to get back into the flow of things.

What top tips do you have for managing staff holidays in your small business?