Is your employee holiday “messed up”?

Employment Law, Holidays, HR Advice, HR Support, HR Stevenage, HR HertsHoliday – Ryanair cancelled 82 flights on Sunday after admitting it had “messed up” the planning of its pilots’ holiday.

The budget airline said on Saturday 16th September that it would cancel 40-50 flights every day for the next six weeks.

Marketing officer Kenny Jacobs said, “Affected customers with bookings up to 20 September had been informed.”

“We have messed up in the planning of pilot holidays and we’re working hard to fix that,” he said.

Matthew Pinto-Chilcott from Consensus HR comments “Over the weekend I was amazed to see the news in relation to Ryan air and the mess up it has made of its employees holidays resulting in the cancelling of 40 – 50 flights per day. Holidays are such an important part of an employee’s employment together with their salaries and need to be managed accordingly. In all industries business owners / managers need to ensure that they are continually keeping an eye on what holiday has been taken & what holiday still needs to be taken by its employees and would suggest that the teams managers / HR have this as a subject / KPI in key business meetings.

Most of the cancellations are due to a backlog of staff leave, which has seen large numbers of the airline’s staff book holidays towards the end of the year.

Martin Callanan, the aviation minister, said: “I am very concerned to see all of these reports of stranded Ryanair passengers. We expect all airlines to fulfil their obligations to their customers and do everything possible to notify them well in advance of any disruption to their journey.

“In the event of any disruption or cancellation, airlines must ensure customers are fully compensated and every effort is made to provide alternative travel arrangements.”

The airline is changing its holiday year, which currently runs from April to March, to run from January to December instead.

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Ryanair said the shift meant it had to allocate annual leave to pilots in September and October.

Passenger complaints

The cancellations could affect up to 285,000 passengers, who will be offered alternative flights or refunds.

Mr Jacobs said affected customers would have been sent an email.

“We advise customers to check the email address used to make their booking,” he added.

Matthew from Consensus comments “Wow! 285,000 customers affected & their plans ruined. Managing the team’s holidays is a relatively easy exercise if you have the right procedures in place whether this is a simple pen & paper exercise to a more sophisticated cloud based electronic method, which we can supply to our customers. Business Owners / Managers need to remember that employees request holiday and it is to be taken when it fits in best with the business as well as the employee. They also need to remember the law and the Working Time Directive which gives all full-time employees 20 days holiday + bank holidays (8). Business owners can also block out specific times of the year if needed and the team are informed appropriately.”

A page on the Ryanair website details flights cancelled up until 20 September. It says 56 flights are cancelled on Monday, 55 on Tuesday, and 53 on Wednesday.

Ryanair has said that less than 2% of its flights would be cancelled and the move would help it hit its annual punctuality target of 90%.

But passengers have complained about the resulting uncertainty.

If you are concerned about your holidays & the managing of them appropriately, contact us to discuss on 01462 621243 or by filling in our Internet ‘Contact’ form.

Consensus HR – ‘Helping Companies with their People Solutions’


Two-thirds of workers enjoy following a dress code

Matthew from Consensus HR states ” When we draft Contracts of Employment & Employee handbooks for clients one of the key areas we discuss is their dress code within the workplace and what they wish it to be and ranges continuously due to the nature of the business & its culture.  Some prefer the set uniform for everyone where others prefer to allow the individuals to wear what they prefer as long as it is professional and business like.  You also have those companies that prefer to not have any dress code and allow their team to where what they want as it fits in with the culture / product offered to the customer.  We work with businesses to identify the correct one for them taking into account their culture & product and employees thoughts / ideas and ensure these are detailed adequately in the company Policies & Procedures.”

Dress Code Research:

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Emily Burt of People Management (8th August 2017) states that Two-thirds (66 per cent) of UK workers enjoy following a dress code, rising to 67 per cent among 18 to 24-year olds and 69 per cent among 55 to 64-year-olds, new research has found.

Of those surveyed by CV-Library who favoured a smarter dress code, 57 per cent said they did so to look more professional to customers, 26 per cent said it made them feel professional and 9 per cent felt it made everyone equal.

By contrast, of those who felt employers should ditch their dress codes, 28 per cent said it made people feel uncomfortable, 24 per cent complained that they didn’t allow people to show off their personality and 18 per cent pointed out that styles were always changing anyway.

“There continues to be a lot of debate around dress codes in the workplace and whether it’s still a necessity to dress smart,” said Lee Biggins, founder and managing director of CV-Library. “Dress codes mean different things to different people: some people prefer to dress smart, while others see it as a perk to be able to wear more casual clothes.”

The findings follow a report from personalised clothing retailer Banana Moon, which found that more than a third of workers would prefer to wear a compulsory uniform than navigate a casual dress code. The study also revealed that nearly a quarter (24 per cent) of men and more than a fifth (21 per cent) of women had been told off for wearing the wrong attire to work.

Earlier this year, the government rejected calls to ban dress codes that required women to wear high heels at work, despite a petition signed by more than 150,000 people calling for a ban on outdated and sexist dress codes.

“The recent controversy over high heels illustrates how easy it can be to run into gendered issues, and how restrictions and prohibitions around dress in the workplace can lead to challenges and incredibly divisive litigation,” Alan Delaney, director of employment, pensions and immigration at Maclay Murray & Spens, told People Management. “I suspect issues around high heels and discriminatory dress codes in the workplace were often not pursued because of the fees involved in bringing a discrimination claim. Following the Supreme Court’s decision to scrap tribunal fees, employees will be able to start bringing their claims to tribunal without any cost. I think we will see more cases coming forward in the future, and high heels could well be at the forefront of these.”

But some companies are loosening up on tighter dress code policies. Goldman Sachs was recently praised for relaxing its historically strict City dress code, which banned clothing items such as short trousers for men. In a memo to staff, the banking titan said it would be embracing a “year-round casual dress code”, though requested that employees consider their smartness when in client-facing meetings.

“Dress codes can be useful for letting people know where they stand, and alleviating concerns about getting dressed in the morning in something that’s ‘borderline’, then getting their knuckles rapped in the office – but listening to your workforce is key,” Delaney said. “If as many as two-thirds of your employees want dress codes, while others would prefer to be more casual, you should pay attention to their views. Failure to do so can end up disengaging a lot of your workforce.”

If you wish to discuss your companies dress code and how to ensure it is introduced correctly within your business give us a call on 01462 621243 or alternatively complete our ‘Contact Form’.  Consensus HR – “Helping Companies with their People Solutions.”  To sign up for our regular blog updates, fill in here: 

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Holiday are coming!, Holidays are coming!


As the well-known tune goes, although for different holidays (Christmas), employee’s holidays are soon to be coming in their droves due to the summer school holidays.

This is when the Policies & Procedures you have in place to manage employee holidays becomes extremely valuable.



The Law:

Everybody is entitled to a holiday, which is covered legally by the Working Time Directive, which stipulates that a full-time employee is entitled to 28 days holiday per annum pro-rata (Including Bank Holidays). This is accrued from day one of employment.

Failure to pay when either employed or once they have left employment is classed as ‘un-authorised deduction of wages’ and is an area that is common for former employees to take their employer to an Employment Tribunal. This can be done from day one of employment if somebody is owed monies regardless of length of service.

Policies & Procedures:

Companies should have a clear set policy for employees to use that states what the minimum notice is for applying for holiday and what needs to be completed for this to be accepted. An employee’s holiday is their legal right as explained prior but it should be noted that it is a request when they request their holiday and not a definite as business demands take precedence. However employers should also remember that it is in their business interests to ensure holiday as requested is granted, so as to ensure an employee uses their yearly entitlement up and also for the moral of the team.

A clear holiday form should be used that sets the standard clearly and should be granted on a first come, first served basis dependent on company needs with two copies of the form produced, one for the employee & one for the employer and their files. Both should be signed with the required authorisation to confirm it has been agreed.

Matthew from Consensus HR states “In my time within operations and HR, I have worked for quite a few businesses where the holiday procedure is not clear and has had to be amended due to people booking their holidays with the holiday company prior to having authorisation from their employer. Employees need to be aware that a booking for a holiday should not be made until their holiday at work has been authorised as if the holiday cannot be authorised they could lose out financially.

Our last blog titled ‘The Temperatures Are Rising!’ explains the legalities in relation to heat in the workplace.

If you wish to discuss your companies current Holiday Policy & how best to manage holiday requests going forward, contact us now by telephone – 01462 621243 or fill in our Contact Form.

Happy holidays!!