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  • Wedding season has shifted, so should your annual leave policy follow suit?

Wedding season has shifted, so should your annual leave policy follow suit?

For two years in a row couples have been forced to reschedule their weddings. So, should you be making more time for your employees to tie the knot?

First published on Tuesday, Aug 17, 2021

Last updated on Tuesday, Aug 17, 2021

4 min read

Months of lockdown restrictions have made wedding plans… well, toast.

An early 2021 survey by Hitched found that 71% of couples were rescheduling their wedding, either for late 2021 or 2022.

And with the level of postponements far outweighing the number of available weekends, we should expect a shift towards weekday and winter weddings.

In fact, a whopping 41% of those postponed weddings should be happening between October and December this year. So it’s clear that wedding bells will soon be chiming…

What’s not so clear is how prepared businesses are to deal with this unprecedented influx of wedding-based annual leave requests.

And understandably, newlyweds-to-be are anxious that they won’t be able to get enough time off for their big day. Let’s take a look at your responsibilities as an employer…

Are employees entitled to time off for their wedding?

In short, no. If your staff want time off for their wedding, they’ll either have to use their annual leave or request unpaid leave.

And while there’s no statutory right that allows UK citizens time off for their wedding, maybe there should be.

Companies have long since realised the power of happy employees. They’re more productive, innovative and there’s a reduced staff turnover. So, giving your employees extra time off for their weddings could be another stepping-stone towards a highly engaged workforce.

It's not even that far-fetched. Spanish employees get 15 days off when they’re getting hitched, and in France, you’re entitled to four days.

It’s even made its way over here. Manchester-based business, UKFast, gives their workers 5 additional days of annual leave in the year they’re getting married. Plus, they’re free to use the extra days however they like.

Should I offer employees time off for their wedding?

Well, that’s up to you. But it’s worth considering.

Imagine trying to plan your wedding in the current climate. Having to cancel, rebook, rehire, scrap plans, and send out invites over and over, just to find new restrictions staring you in the face.

They may not ask for it, but a frustrated newlywed-to-be will be grateful for any support their boss gives them. And, as we know, that’s good for your business, too.

But as is often the case, there’s a right way of doing things. You must make sure your rules around wedding leave are fair. You can’t offer wedding leave to some employees and not to others. And what if Jim and Mike want a longer honeymoon than Omar and Suzie?

The key is to put it in writing. Update your annual leave policy to explain your wedding leave. That way any potential disputes can be flattened out.

And, hey, you can even brag about your shiny new company perks to help attract and maintain your best talent.

How do I keep on top of all this time off?

With traditional methods, managing annual leave can be a total slog. Managers tend to take the brunt of it, so offering extra days might put them in a spin.

So stop doing it manually. Work smarter, not harder.

Whether it’s time off for a wedding, a holiday, or even a junk sale (who cares!), there’s a better way to manage annual leave requests. And that’s with BrightHR.

BrightHR is an HR software that takes all the work out of managing annual leave. Employees can simply open the desktop or mobile app and apply for time off in a few quick clicks.

The software then shows the manager any annual leave clashes and lets them approve multiple holiday requests in seconds. You can also check shift times and schedule last-minute cover through BrightHR’s rotas.

Now you just have to tell your staff the good news.

There’s a whole lot more of BrightHR to love. Book your free demo today to see it in action.

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