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Any Answers: Allocating holidays fairly


Paul Strickland advises how to allocate holidays without demoralising staff by hiring students as cost effective temporary cover.

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The main thing here is to keep your staff happy so don’t be too quick to dismiss holiday cover – even the smallest offices rely on cover for staff sickness, maternity leave and holidays.

You say you don’t want to incur costs from agencies through using temps but don’t let that make a small problem into one where you have unhappy staff.

You don’t need to use an agency, the truth is that the temp market gets flooded during summer months by students out of university, this is a time when agencies make their money as their traditional temps are often sidelined because the students will be prepared to work for less per hour (the agency obviously won’t let the client know this and will charge the same rate as normal so they get a higher mark up per hour).

There are ways round this and will save your company money. Yes it does mean a little bit of work but the benefits are worth it.

If you are comfortable with the idea that an agency would be sending you students then why not play the same game? Most universities have student employment offices where students can find temp work, why not contact you local university during the spring and advertise on site?

You can employ them on a FxTC from May to September, they will be happy with six pounds per hour, which is a lot better than the £12 or more you would have charged by the agency (yes so your payroll has to take care of them but the benefits are greater)..

If you not happy with the idea of using students then you could try maintaining a temp register (many organisatons now do this) normally they insert an extra line in exsisting recruitment adverts stating that you would like to hear from candidates who would like to go on the temp register, being a small company this may not be realistic but fear not! There is another way. Have a look at the freerecruit facilty on You can advertise for temps there as well as permanent staff and it’s free.

You can probably think of other options on how to advertise.

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