KEY staff taking their holidays at the same time as each other is to come under review at Flintshire Council.
Connah’s Quay Central Cllr Bernie Attridge (Ind) raised the issue at a full meeting of the authority and offered up a potential solution.
He said he was concerned that some services within the council are being run by agency staff while managers in those departments are on annual leave at the same time, as they try to use up all of their holiday entitlement before the end of the financial year.
Cllr Attridge asked Broughton North East Cllr Billy Mullin (Lab), the cabinet member for governance and corporate services including human resources, to look into the matter.
One of Cllr Attridge’s suggestions was that rather than allocating annual leave across the financial year so that staff all had the same deadline in which to use up their leave, the holiday year could run from the date of their individual birthdays instead.
Cllr Attridge said: “Can the cabinet member commit to an urgent review of employees holidays due to lots of employees taking annual leave at the end of the financial year, leaving services vulnerable?
“I’d be grateful if you could look at employee birthdays as a way of sorting this problem out. I appreciate it’s for managers to manage but I’m aware of services that have all agency staff while employees take annual leave.”
Cllr Mullin said he would have a meeting with the chief executive and senior officers to discuss the issue.
Cllr Attridge added: “Is the cabinet member committed to bringing something back after he’s had a meeting with officers?
“It seems to be a mad rush at the end of March due to rules we have – that people can’t carry over any leave.
“But it’s quite clear to members across the chamber that at the end of the financial year to see six or seven managers off within a service area.
“I personally feel it’s all due to time not being able to be carried over.”
Cllr Mullin responded to say it was an issue that other industries, companies and employers have, that of staff all trying to use up their holiday entitlement before the end of the year whatever calendar is used.
He said: “I’d just like to say to Bernie, the fact is that industry has the same problems and they run from January 1 to December 31 and they always have a backlog of holidays – but they are pushed through and people get the time off.
“We’ve just got to work something that’s suitable for everyone.”
Chief executive Neal Cockerton said that there would be “further work in relation to this item” with the cabinet member and that a report would be brought back to council at a future date.