Time Off In Lieu, otherwise known as TOIL, is an arrangement where an employer compensates employees who work more than their contracted hours by offering them time off rather than paying overtime. Employees agree to the terms of TOIL with their employer, for instance, by agreeing to take TOIL only during slack periods.

Here we will look at the advantages and disadvantages of offering TOIL and how it is affected by the current trend of working remotely for all or part of the working week. Accurately monitoring overtime and fairly converting the extra hours worked into time off are essential; we will mention how to achieve this using an online holiday tracker.

The pros and cons of time off in lieu

There are three main ways of handling the additional hours worked by employees:

1) Encourage a culture in which workers feel obliged to work additional hours for no reward. This is very common. Often workers do so to maintain appearances demonstrating a commitment to their colleagues and managers. In such cultures, workers who leave on time are looked down on. However, such cultures tend to be counter-productive. Productivity levels fall, and workers become exhausted, risking burnout.

2) Paid overtime is a popular solution and is undoubtedly better than the first option. However, although workers enjoy being paid extra for their overtime hours, this system can also reduce productivity and lead to eventual burnout. Even if you are paid to do so, working too many hours is bad for both your physical and mental health. From an employers viewpoint, it can be costly and difficult to budget.

3) Time off in lieu allows workers to take time off and recharge their batteries as compensation for working extra hours. However, for the system to work effectively, it is essential to create a culture where workers take time off rather than just accumulating hours. In cultures that achieve this, TOIL can work well for employers and workers alike. Workers can effectively extend their holidays with days off to fit in with their lifestyle; they can enjoy a far better work/life balance, and the flexibility provided is excellent for team building and morale.

Changing work patterns

Will we ever return to the pre-pandemic days when most of us worked from an office or other shared workspaces? For many, Covid has certainly killed traditional work patterns, and there is every indication that hybrid working, in other words splitting the work week between the office and working from home, is here for the long haul.

And it’s not just where we work that has changed. The additional flexibility afforded by home working has altered our daily work patterns. Where work practices permit it, we tend to start our working day earlier and end it later, leaving time in-between to pursue our interests and activities. However, adapting previous work practices to the new normal is challenging for managers, and one area of concern is how to handle TOIL.

TOIL and remote working

While calculating TOIL is much easier when people are working at the office, for instance, introducing clocking and signing in and out, an additional level of trust is needed when working from home. But trust is already an essential element of working from home. While many managers have trust issues and distrust has increased amongst colleagues who now rarely interact face to face, we are learning how to rebuild trust and improve social bonds between fellow workers and managers. While trust-building is a complex issue, a significant factor is fairness; employees need to feel treated fairly, and managers need to ensure this happens.

Accurate recording of overtime and TOIL is essential

Employees must be confident that the extra hours they work are recorded accurately. For instance, with LeaveWizard, they can record and report all extra hours they work, and once their overtime request is approved, the extra hours or days can be automatically converted into TOIL.

Finally

Introducing TOIL into your workplace is, in many circumstances, a better solution than paid overtime. It is far more preferable than expecting workers to put in extra hours for no reward because their workplace culture obliges them to do so.

However, for TOIL to work effectively, it must be embraced by workers and management alike. TOIL must be transparent, easy to record, for example by using a holiday tracker, and must allow employee leave requests that comply with pre-agreed rules such as when to take time off should always be honoured.

In conclusion, we think that TOIL provides a better work/life balance and is excellent for our well-being.

Do you use TOIL? Do you have a way of managing it? See how LeaveWizard can help you manage TOIL and overtime. Or why not try LeaveWizard today and see how easy it makes the task of managing TOIL.

In today’s post pandemic world, time is incredibly underrated. It seems as though most business owners are far too busy making up for the time they lost during the pandemic and extended lockdowns that they have forgotten to take time for themselves and their employees. While this isn’t entirely their fault, it is still an industry wide issue that must be addressed if any business is going to stay afloat in today’s changing markets.

So, why do I say that time is incredibly underrated in today’s post pandemic world? As we focus on getting things done and getting ahead, we don’t factor in the time it takes to do these things. We just look at the end goal and do whatever it takes to get there. And, while this might seem productive, it is actually costing your business money that, like time, you won’t get back.

Employee Absence And Leave

Prioritising your time and that of your employees is important as it will not only lead to increased efficiency and productivity, but it can also increase the sustainability of your business or organisation for the long term. One of the best ways that you can do this is to focus on your leave and absence management.

The pandemic has given us reason to focus on our health more and more and this can lead to an increase in employee absences and extended leave requests. When a small to medium or enterprise level business becomes bogged down with employee absence and leave requests, it can get behind in other areas of the business’ daily operations. Fortunately, there is LeaveWizard.

LeaveWizard

LeaveWizard is an innovative new online platform which streamlines the enterprise-level leave and absence management process, making it easier to accommodate requests regardless of the size of your business or organisation. Offering a wide range of easy to use features, just about anyone can easily calculating annual allowances and tracking staff leave and absences. LeaveWizard is a paperless online leave system which uses an online leave planner to save your business time and make it easier for your employees to request leave.

Contact LeaveWizard

To learn more ways that LeaveWizard can save your business or organisation time, contact LeaveWizard today and see how our innovative platform can save your company or organisation time and money.

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LeaveWizard is great for tracking holidays and absences – but it can also track working from home, offsite working, and other events.

Changing ways of working

One effect of the global coronavirus pandemic has been to force the closure of offices and workspaces in many countries. For many firms, this resulted in a rapid shift to remote and online working. Even as businesses head back to work, government guidance and social distancing requirements mean that many organisations will have more staff home-working than ever before, and many employers and employees have even found that home-working is an improvement over how they used to operate.

Keeping track

At LeaveWizard we appreciate the flexibility that your organisation can gain through flexible remote working, in fact, we have embraced the remote work concept since we started up. You may have found though, especially if you are using a hybrid approach, with some staff needing to be in the office and others working from home, or employees being on-site for some days and working remotely on others, that it can be tricky to keep track of who’s working where.

Is Jane working from home today, or is she on annual leave? If I arrange a meeting for Thursday, will Paul be there in person, or will we need to set it up on Zoom? Are we going to have enough people in the office to cover the reception desk through lunchtime? How do I know how many days I need to pay staff who have been working from home? With all of these questions, you need a reliable way of authorising and tracking remote working.

Simple and reliable 

The thought of yet another piece of software to manage employees may already have you rolling your eyes, but the good news is that LeaveWizard can be used to track remote working, using the same simple and reliable system that you use for annual leave and absence management.

LeaveWizard’s purpose-built online system already tracks your staff’s holiday and sickness, but you can also use it to record non-leave events such as working from home. To do this you simply create a custom leave type, making sure to set it as ‘non-allowanced’ so that it doesn’t deduct from the employee’s annual leave.

Flexible

A number of setup options as you create the leave type means that you have flexibility over how you want to manage to work from home. You can choose to limit the number of days it can be used, if for instance, you require staff to work from the office a certain number of days per week, you can choose between unrestricted remote working and requiring authorisation from a supervisor, and you can even choose to have the appointment show on your shared calendar so that colleagues know the employee won’t be on site.

A range of useful options

Clearly, this type of leave option is useful for tracking staff working from home, but it has a range of other potential uses. You might use it to keep track of which site a worker will be at if their role requires them to cover multiple locations. Sales teams could use this type of event to show when they will be on-site with a client. Staff could even use it simply to show appointments when they will be unavailable for other duties.

If you want to use your LeaveWizard software to track non-leave events such as working from home, setting it up is simple. You can check out our Knowledge Base article for guidance, or get in touch with our team for more help.

If you’re not a current LeaveWizard user and want to see how this feature, as well as our fully customisable leave management platform, can do for your business, you can book a free, no-obligation online demo here.

#CustomiseLeaveWizard #Offsiteworking #RemoteWorking #Workfromhome

In recent months we’ve seen a huge increase in the popularity of tools that help distributed teams work together. The team behind LeaveWizard has always been distributed and we make use of various tools one of which is Slack.  For a while now we have been using a LeaveWizard/Slack integration and since we are now convinced that it is working well it is time to share it with our customers so you too can benefit from it if you’re using Slack.

To integrate your LeaveWizard with Slack you will need to use Google Calendar. If you don’t use Google Calendar for your business you can still get a free personal Google account and integrate its calendar with LeaveWizard just for the purpose of getting your LeaveWizard/Slack integration working.

Step 1 – get LeaveWizard integrated with Google Calendar. You need to be a LeaveWizard ‘Admin’ to do this. This is a feature we’ve had at LeaveWizard since the early days and we have a detailed article on how to get this integration working. Just follow the steps in our guide for External Calendar Integration and look up the Google Integration section.

Step 2 – Integrated your Slack with Google calendar using the Google Calendar for Team events Slack app. You need to be a Slack admin in order to do this. Just follow the steps in the Google Calendar for Team events guide and at the end of it, you will have integrated Slack with your Google Calendar.

When you’ve completed the two steps above and you have events in your Google Calendar then the integration will kick in at the specified time in your Slack configuration and you will get notified of events on a daily basis. See the screenshot from our actual Slack channel below.

We hope you find this guide useful. If you have any questions please leave a comment or contact us via our support portal

#CustomiseLeaveWizard #integrations #slack

It is possible to carry over leave for an employee who has not taken it, but what are the rules, and how do you do it?

There are many good reasons, as we’ve talked about on this blog before, for encouraging staff to use up their holiday entitlement before the end of their annual leave year. Taking holiday boosts staff welfare and productivity, as well as improving morale and retention. Another strong reason to encourage employees to take time off is to avoid having to carry over leave. Taking remaining holiday entitlement from one year during the next can be done in certain circumstances, but it can be complex and time-consuming to work out, as well as playing havoc with your payroll cost forecasts.

Cut to the chase, what’s the short version?

Employers cannot force staff to carry over leave to the next year instead of taking it. If an employee has leftover entitlement they may carry over a certain amount, if there is a written agreement between them and the employer (e.g. in their employment contract) that says they can. For most UK staff that maximum amount is 8 days. In some situations, the amount may be higher.

Why so complex?

The complication of only being able to carry over a certain number of days comes about because the legal right to leave comes from different sources. The European Working Time Directive (WTD) gives all employees the right to 4 weeks paid leave (20 days for a full-time worker) each year. The additional 1.6 weeks (8 days) in the British entitlement comes about from UK law. The WTD says that leave cannot be carried over, this affects 20 days of the entitlement cannot. UK law allows staff to carry over leave as long as there is a written agreement, meaning that the 1.6 weeks (8 days) can be carried over. The 8-day limit is set out in UK law, so Brexit will not immediately affect it unless the UK government changes the law.

In addition, remember that if your staff has a holiday entitlement that goes beyond the legal minimum (a contractual leave entitlement), whether or not this can be carried over will depend on your contracts of employment or other written agreements. The best approach is to make sure your policies on the subject are clearly communicated, via the staff handbook or intranet. It is of course important to make sure you treat employees equally and fairly.

Ok, got it. That’s not too complicated.

Once you understand the basic rule, watch out for the exceptions. Under WTD the employee has a right to carry over leave (i.e. the 20 days) if they are prevented from taking it by something outside of their control, such as sickness. Confusingly this does not apply to the UK-only entitlement (the 8 days) or to any contractual entitlement (over the 28 days). This article gives a more detailed summary of the differences.

Another exception that applies only to the WTD allowance comes as a result of a case in the European court. This says that if the employer does not encourage the employee to take all of their leave entitlement, then the worker is entitled to carry over leave to the next year. This offers yet another reason to make sure staff take their holiday. LeaveWizard users have the option of setting up regular email reminders to employees, offering peace of mind on this front.

So I understand the rules. How do I carry over leave?

If the employee is entitled to carry over leave to the next year, you will need to check how much they can carry over (8 days or their remaining allowance if it is less) and add that to the new year’s entitlement. They can then book the leave as normal, or you might insist they take it at the beginning of the year.

One way to make sure that the calculation is done right, and that you stay within the law, is to use dedicated leave management software. Users of LeaveWizard’s customisable online annual leave management platform can carry over leave for employees with just a few clicks. If you are already a LeaveWizrd client you can see how to do this in this Knowledge Base article. If not, why not see how we can help you with this and so much more, by booking your free online demo?

Book a free 30 min demo

#annualleave #Legal #entitlement #calculations #carryover