Do You Need a Holiday Request Form?

employee filling out a holiday request form

Managing staff absences and leave requests can quickly get complicated, but a holiday request form can help. It can aid your HR team in building a process that’s easier than keeping track of requests that come in by email, over the phone or in person.

In this post, we’ll offer a look into how holiday request forms work while providing a request form template that your team can start using today. We’ll also share some pros and cons of using a form like this, so you can decide whether it’s the best solution for your organisation.

What Is a Holiday Request Form?

holiday request form is a simple form that employees fill out when they want to take some of their annual leave. They might fill it out either on paper or online. Usually, the form will include fields for them to note the days or hours they’re requesting off work, as well as personal details like their name and job title.

This form is then passed on to their supervisor or line manager, who will approve or deny the request accordingly. Depending on your organisation, a holiday request form might also be called a holiday form or an annual leave request form.

Why Do Companies Use Holiday Request Forms?

Holiday request forms can help companies to formalise the process of requesting types of leave, making it easier for employees to understand the information they need to provide.

They also help managers to keep track of leave requests, and create a record of requests that have been approved or denied. They can be particularly helpful when more than one employee requests leave for the same dates, as managers can quickly see who put their request in first.

Managers usually transfer the information included on a request form to a virtual or physical calendar once they’ve approved a request so that they can keep track of everyone’s holidays. Here, a digital absence management solution can plug many of those gaps.

How Do Holiday Request Forms Work?

The exact format of a holiday request form varies from company to company. Usually, the form will ask employees to fill in certain information about themselves such as their:

  • Name

  • Department

  • Job title

They may also need to note how much annual leave they have left to take during the current leave year (or if they are using carried over annual leave).

Then, employees will input the dates they want to take as a holiday, and pass the form on to the manager who’s in charge of approving it. The manager will either accept or deny the request. Usually, there’s a space on the form for the manager to note their approval.

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Holiday Request Form Template

Below you’ll find a basic template for a request form that you can use for your organisation. If you choose to use it, your employees will have to fill in their details at the top, and details about the leave they’re requesting below. Once it’s been submitted, managers can sign in the ‘manager authorisation’ column to signal their approval of the request.

Holiday Request Form

Employee’s name: Department: Holiday year: Annual entitlement (days): To be completed by employee: Start date End date Number of days requested Date of request Manager authorisation

What Are the Pros and Cons of Using a Holiday Request Form?

A form is just one way of managing leave requests, and it comes with certain advantages and disadvantages.

Holiday Request Form Advantages

Here are some of the main advantages of using a form to manage absences:

  • Standardises the process of requesting time off: If you don’t have the right HR systems in place for employees to request leave, things can quickly get messy. Employees might email the wrong person, and managers might forget to make a note of leave they’ve approved if they’re asked in person. When you use a form, you ensure that everyone knows exactly what they’re expected to do when they want to request leave.

  • Gathers relevant information in one place: By using a holiday request form, you can ensure that all employees know exactly what information they need to provide to go on holiday. For managers, it’s easy to make a decision on whether to approve or deny a leave request when they can clearly see information such as the dates requested and the employee’s leave balance in one place.

  • Cuts down on (some) back and forth: Without a form of some kind, employees might forget to include information in their requests such as the exact dates they’re requesting. There might also be confusion as to whether the dates they provide are inclusive, for example. When you have a form that everyone knows how to use, the process should be relatively straightforward.

Holiday Request Form Disadvantages

Forms like these also come with some disadvantages. For example:

  • Time-consuming process for everyone: With a holiday request form, an employee who wants to request leave has to find the form and fill it out, and find out who needs to approve their request. Managers then need to cross-check the dates requested against existing staff holidays or other conflicts. They then have to fill in their part of the form and let the employee know their leave is approved — without forgetting to add this new leave period to their calendar. This can be a time-consuming process for everyone involved, especially if managers have to revert to employees to check up on details or to let them know that a particular date isn’t available.

  • Difficult to track absences: To properly track leave requests, managers need to manually add each employee’s holiday dates to a calendar, which can be time-consuming — and even lead to manual errors. For example, a manager might accidentally approve leave for too many employees at the same time. Managers also have to manually figure out how much leave each employee has left to take, taking into account any leave carried over from the previous year.

  • Not a digital solution: Even if your employees fill in and submit holiday request forms online, the process is still reliant on manual checks and data entry. With a truly digital solution, however, you can automate parts of the process to eliminate wasted time and avoid mistakes. Managers and employees can also see a clear, transparent picture of their colleagues’ upcoming leave, which helps teams to plan ahead for maximum efficiency.

Do You Need a Holiday Request Form?

While a request form is definitely a step up from managing leave requests through post-it notes and informal emails, it’s no substitute for a fully-featured absence management platform.

Using a tool like Personio, employees can see their leave balance, check when their colleagues are on holiday and easily send leave requests from their desktop or mobile. Requests are automatically sent to the right manager for approval — and managers can approve them at the click of a button.

Holiday days are automatically deducted from an employee’s balance once they’re approved, and everyone has visibility as to who will be away each week. HR departments can keep clean, accurate records of leave with no need for manual data entry.

Take Control of Absence Management With Personio

A holiday request form is a useful stop-gap for growing companies that need to formalise their processes. But after a certain point, most companies will need to move to a digital absence management solution that helps them to stop wasting time on manual processes and focus on growth instead.

Interested to learn how Personio could help your business? Book a personalised demo with one of our experts today.

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