Managing Absence Requests At Christmas | Mitrefinch


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Managing absence requests at Christmas

Published: November 9, 2018

You heard it, we’re talking about Christmas! As the festivities approach, it’s wind down season for the majority of workforces, which mean one thing – leave requests.

As another year draws to a close the requests for leave and flexitime come flooding into managers inbox. Get prepared to take Christmas head on this year, and please your team with quick and effective communication. Christmas is not only a peak time for your staff to be requesting time off, but absenteeism goes on the rise as the Christmas parties loom and the morning after the night before never seemed so difficult.

Work policies on taking annual leave vary from workplace to workplace, with some organisations shutting in between Christmas and New Year whilst businesses are at their quietest. Some will require a minimal workforce, and some, especially in the logistics industry, may need a full fleet of staff to cover a busy period.

absence management - Christmas

1. Plan ahead

Let your team take control of Christmas this year, and empower them to request leave effectively. The majority of your workforce are likely to want some time off in December, meaning managers get overloaded with requests, shift swaps and flexitime. Having an effective time and attendance solution like Mitrefinch’s in place means that absence requests have never been easier for your workers to submit, and for you to approve. This will be (Christmas) music to your workforces’ ears and will save you loads of time and effort in a busy season.

With effective Time and Attendance software, you could:

  • Boost your profits by putting the spotlight on productivity
  • Plan for and manage absences with minimal impact on your time
  • Save time by automating attendance processes
  • Be sure you never fall foul of compliance regulations, thanks to inbuilt flagging systems
  • Enable GDPR compliance using the Data Assurance Module
  • See accurate, real-time reports


2. Bad weather? No problem.

In the UK, we rarely have such thick snow that we’re unable to venture outside. Schools may shut and trainlines may cease to run with one centimetre of covering, but generally people can leave the house. However, if you have a workforce that travel to work, roads can get dangerous to drive on.

If you haven’t explored flexible working in your workforce yet, this is a great time to consider it. Providing your team with the equipment they need, and the freedom to work when and how will suit them will certainly bring a bit of Christmas cheer. Over the last decade, the number of organisations offering at least some form of flexible working has risen steadily, to a point where more than half (54%) of employees nationally regularly use at least one form of flexible working, according to research by the Chartered Institute for Personnel and Development (CIPD)1. While there are undoubtedly some environments and sectors that would make some elements of flexible working impossible – staff working in factories, schools or hospitals clearly have to be present at a place of work – there are other ways in which flexibility can be offered to your workforce. An overall culture which rejects all forms of flexible working is clearly damaging both to employees, and also to the business concerned, which is more likely to suffer from recruitment, retention and engagement issues1.

3. Get an excellent out of office ready

Take a leaf out of Grammarly’s book and leave well. Here’s a list of ‘out of offices’ that we are inspired by, we’re already thinking through our out of offices for the Christmas season!



Get in touch

Christmas should be a time of joy and cheer, so take the pain out of workforce management, and input solutions that work for you.

Get in touch with Mitrefinch to hear how our Workforce Management solutions can benefit you, your employees, and your business by calling 0330 726 0066 or email



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