Post-Pandemic Peaks in holiday bookings to put strain on business staffing
Following news this week that people have been rushing to book holidays for summer, data from absence management platform, e-days reveals that Mondays, already the day people are most likely to book holiday, will see a spike in holiday bookings post government announcements in 2021. So far Monday January 4th, the first day back after the Christmas break, and Monday 22nd February, following the UK government’s announcement of the roadmap out of lockdown, have witnessed the biggest leap in number of leave bookings.
The recent announcement caused a 62% spike in holiday bookings in a single 24-hour period on the 22nd February when compared to the average workday for 2021. This is second only to the first Monday back after the festive break this year.
With Monday already regularly seeing higher figures for leave bookings than other days of the week, this trend is likely set to increase as the UK government plans to update on nationwide lockdown easing on Mondays over March, April, May and June in the lead up to summer.
With most restrictions being lessened only after April this year, holidays are likely to be condensed into a shorter time period. e-days has so far identified June, July and August as most booked days and months of the year when business will see an ‘employee exodus’. Coinciding with the lifting of the majority of lockdown restrictions, businesses are likely to see at least three months of continuous holiday bookings, losing a significant number of team staff across the summer. The other consideration is that with the government planning to extend education into the summer months, the time window for parents booking leave is likely to get smaller.
“Absence planning will be extremely challenging this year, particularly with the spikes in last minute bookings driven by the national agenda,” said Steve Arnold, e-days CEO.
“Businesses need to get policies in place now to manage the second half of the year, so that employees can all have the getaway they’ve waited for, but leaving the business well-resourced and covered in their absence.”
“Last year saw 35% of UK employees roll-over their holiday into 2021, as well as a doubling in holiday cancellations. In light of this, the new spikes in holiday bookings as the government eases lockdown will only add to the absence management burden for the HR department in. 2021. In order to effectively manage resourcing throughout this UK holiday exodus, businesses need to have real time visible access to absence trends and team availability to ensure that they can continue to run efficiently,” Arnold added.