Achieving an outcome that works
If there’s goodwill in the relationship, it should be possible to negotiate an outcome both parties can live with, without the need for arbitration, Murphy says. This can be easier for small business owners who know their employees personally than it is for large organisations which attempt to implement blanket leave policies.
“Ideally, you’ll strike a balance between treating everyone on the team the same and having some compassion and regard for individual circumstances,” says Murphy.
Being transparent with your employees about your business’s financial position can put a request to take annual leave in context. While you might not want to dive deep into the nitty-gritty, sharing some specifics about the challenges and liabilities you face may help them understand why the request is necessary.
Support is more likely to be forthcoming if it’s clear sacrifices are being made by everyone from the owner down. “You need to demonstrate you care and are doing all you reasonably can within the scope of keeping the business afloat and ensuring they have a job when it’s all over,” Murphy explains.