LTB 511/16 - Annual Leave/Resourcing Guidelines
5th September 2016
To: Branches with POSTAL Members
Annual Leave/Resourcing Guidelines
The above guidelines that were circulated to Branches on the 4th November 2014 have recently been subject to a National review.
As a result of this review an updated set of guidelines is attached to assist managers and representatives when discussing and concluding 2017-18 annual leave arrangements which should be concluded in line with the way forward agreement by 31st October 2016.
The attached guidelines form part of the work of the Integrated Delivery Programme and the Resourcing to Workload Strand.
There are a few changes / additions to the original guidelines. The main change is that the yearly traffic forecast will not be used to create a yearly resourcing plan. The experience of this year’s forecast is such that both sides have concluded it is not robust or accurate enough to make annual resourcing plan decisions a year in advance. This change does not impact on current processes in relation to weekly resourcing meetings and forecasting up to 12 weeks ahead above or below your AWD, which should be kept under review using the 3 month model week updates to inform consideration to any necessary structural change.
The focus is on concluding a robust and reliable Annual Leave Plan / Agreement that includes all individuals’ legally contractual leave entitlements as its primary driver whilst secondly identifying extra leave slots in low traffic periods over and above those agreed to facilitate the taking of additional leave.
Due to other priorities it has not been possible to conduct a more comprehensive joint review in relation to the “Annual Leave Calenderisation Work Aid”.
This work aide is a useful tool in assisting the DOM’s and Representatives in determining the leave demand and selecting leave slots / blocks. However, it is currently only a guide and should therefore be used as such.
When using this aide representative’s need to pay particular attention to the leave amendment cell. The aide defaults to an average five and half weeks per person. So if the total is 272 weeks but you require 300 weeks, 28 weeks needs to be entered into the leave amendment cell for the aide to provide the necessary slots.
The aide also has a start and finish Xmas week’s cell that is set at closing leave down between weeks 37 and 40. This can be changed to reflect the weeks locally you agree to close off during the Christmas pressure period as per the way forward agreement.
The existing national agreements, guidelines, agreed tools, procedures and processes in place to support resourcing on an ongoing basis are not affected by these annual leave/resourcing guidelines. They remain firmly in place and will in fact be used to support the process and assist in providing a balanced approach to year round leave allocation and resourcing.
Below is guidance that has previously been communicated to representatives but is worth repeating especially for representatives entering into leave agreements for the first time;
It is essential when entering discussions that CWU representatives establish and allocate the unit’s contractual entitlement first which will in turn identify the number of leave reserves required to enable reliable resourcing.
“Vacancies and leave reserve vacancies should remain under constant review to ensure adequate resource is available to meet customer and operational requirements”.
This exercise should include all staff contractual leave, Bank Holiday credits for annual leave that coincides with Bank Holidays and rest days that fall on a Bank Holiday, purchased leave, and any leave days carried over from the previous year.
If the above added up to 600 weeks to be allocated and covered and 2 weeks were closed for Christmas Pressure the number of leave reserves to cover AWD would be 12, (600 / 50) = 12. Add to this the leave reserves leave 12 @ 5 weeks = 60 weeks would mean another leave reserve (60 / 50) = 1.2.
In this example that would mean that a minimum of 13 leave slots a week for 50 weeks should be available. If you then agree to open up another 3 slots due to agreed absorption through the summer weeks then in the period June to August the number of open slots available should be 16.
This is just one flat line example. Units may decide not to employ against all 13 reserves and convert some to S/A or overtime. That is your choice locally.
As a consequence of providing additional leave slots in the summer period there will be leave gaps in the ‘winter’ period which you will need to discuss and agree a plan to deal with. There will be more people available in the unit, bearing in mind traffic/workload traditionally increases during this period. This should be dealt with via weekly resourcing meetings.
Branches should progress any disagreements in regards to managers refusing to fully engage and adhere to these guidelines through the IR framework as appropriate.
Any enquiries to Bob Gibson’s Office, quoting reference 445
Email address: email@example.com
CWU A/Assistant Secretary
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