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Employer Advice on Managing Annual Leave Backlog


Chances are that your employees may not have been able to use their vacation leave this year. The pandemic outbreak in March, and the subsequent lockdowns and restrictions disrupted all travel plans for 2020.

Under the Canadian law, however, your staff is entitled to a minimum of two weeks of vacation in a calendar year. This means you may have to proactively manage their annual leave backlog to avoid being short-staffed during the holiday season.

Here are some options we recommend:

Be flexible on how annual leave may be used

Flexibility in operations and policies is important to navigate the current challenges. Your employees may need to take time off this year for reasons other than a vacation. For instance, they may need to be on leave due to a COVID-19 related reason (sickness or caregiving responsibilities). You may want to let them combine or use their paid annual leave in such cases instead of the unpaid COVID-19 leave.

Allow your staff to carry over leave

You may have a company policy that does not permit annual leave carry overs. However, you may consider making an exception for 2020. Living through a pandemic has severely limited the travel options for most people.

Discuss with your employees how they could use their unused annual leave. If it is not possible for them to avail it this year, you may want to allow them to carry it over to the next year.

This would also help you avoid vacation clashes at the end of the year.

Permit staff to cash out unused annual leave

Encashing annual leave means a worker receives payment instead of taking time off from work.

It is an option worth considering, especially if you have a small team to run your operations during the busy festive season.

If you opt to buy out entitled leave, you may want to create a comprehensive policy that lays down the terms and limits of such an arrangement.

Use BrightHR to manage vacation requests

BrightHR is an online staff management software designed for a digital future. It has several features that make carrying out day-to-day HR tasks quick and simple.

For instance, its staff vacation planner takes the pain out of managing staff annual leave. It helps you get automatic staff vacation entitlement calculations.

Not only does BrightHR flag any vacation clashes, it also keeps track of your staff’s remaining vacation entitlement. This way you can plan for the busy periods ahead.

Plus, you get 24/7 access to vacation records, so you can easily keep track of your staff’s absences.

Not a BrightHR client yet?

To get more information on how our software can help you manage your business and staff during the pandemic, call an expert today: 1 (833) 247-3652.