Annual Leave Change
5th July 2022
Dear GWL Exec Team and Board,
We, the undersigned, have written this letter to ask for a reconsideration of the current annual leave policy which states each staff member must use their annual leave days to cover the time off between 27th - 31st December each year when it falls during the working week.
- We ask that the 3 office closure days (an organisational business decision) are always given as additional to the 25 days of annual leave.
- We are asking for this to come into effect this financial year.
- We ask that the GWL Executive team and Board consider our case and let us know the decision by 1st August 2022.
- Being a competitive organisation - Many other community-based organisations offer the 3 days between Christmas and New Year as additional.Please see attached for a document with screenshots of such adverts. Talented potential staff members might go with another organisation because their benefits are better, meaning we will miss out.
- Difference and Diversity - as an organisation which values the differences in culture both internally and externally, we find the current policy unfair to those whose cultural/religious traditions fall outside of the Christian/Christmas celebration.
- Accruals - If a staff member begins employment with GWL later in the year, they may have only just accrued 3 days (or less) by Christmas. This forces a new staff member to take their holiday during this time, when they may wish to take it before the holiday period. For example, in 2021, it was reported staff wanted to take time off to travel to see family before Christmas. However, they did not have enough annual leave because of their late start date.
- Work/Life balance - GWL has prioritised Mental health recently, given feedback that staff burnout and de-motivation is real. We believe a simple and effective win is to give people more time for rest by increasing their annual leave allowance
i. Clause 8.5 of staff contracts state:
“There will be occasions when the Christmas holidays fall within the working week and it may
be necessary for staff to take annual leave during this time. You will be required to retain a
sufficient number of holidays from your holiday entitlement to cover this period. The number
of days to be retained for this purpose will be notified by way of a general notice. Where
holiday has been accrued it should be used at this time. Where no holiday remains there will
be no entitlement to pay.”
We would like this paragraph to be changed in future contracts, as there will always be at least one day where the 27th - 31st falls during the working week. Therefore, this contractual statement is found to be misleading.