Been anywhere nice on holiday this year?
We’re sure you have, whether it’s a family week away during the school holidays, trekking on the other side of the world or maybe that once in a lifetime luxury cruise.
Do you feel like you’ll have had enough holiday this year? If the answer is probably not, we feel your pain but we can also help you do something about it.
Every employer should have a holiday exchange scheme, should because these schemes help the employer plan absences more effectively but also allow employees to get a holiday leave entitlement more aligned to their needs.

What is a holiday exchange scheme and how does it work?

A holiday exchange scheme allows employees to either add or reduce their holiday entitlement, usually by up to a week. This is done in exchange for salary, either a slightly reduced salary for the year to get an extra week’s holiday, or earning more in exchange for working an extra few days.
The decision to buy or sell holiday is made in advance, with a deadline to make a decision prior to the start of the new financial (or calendar) year – employees of course can simply do nothing and retain their contracted holiday allowance.
The employer then starts the new year knowing how much every employee is entitled to, the difference will be that some will now have a week extra, some a week less to use.
It is worth noting that they are not buying and selling from each other, there is no requirement for the overall figure to balance. There could, for instance, be more buying than selling. Usually, though, the overall balance is close to a status quo in that as much holiday is bought as is sold.
For employees there are huge benefits. Let’s imagine a medium sized business where employees get five weeks’ leave.
An employee with school age children might pay for another week’s holiday, this not to go away anywhere fancy, more just to look after the kids and cut down on the time they are with sitters or in summer camps.
Another employee might have little need for the full five weeks. They might want a fortnight away in Spring, a week in summer and one more around Christmas. The rest of the time they want to be working and earning – the requirement to have five weeks leave an annoyance as it is holiday they have no use for.
With an exchange scheme, they can instead chose to work four weeks and so earn a little more rather than being forced into taking leave.
This ability to tweak holiday entitlement also has huge benefits for any business.
Giving employees the opportunity to change their holiday entitlement gets them thinking about when they want leave and planning it well in advance.
The normal pattern of everyone getting a set entitlement leads to complacency, people might book their summer holiday but other than they they often book holiday at late notice just because they can, potentially leaving the employer to do some last minute rejigging.
Allowing a holiday exchange system can also cut down on unauthorised absence, parents are less likely to require to take unplanned days off too look after children as they can factor themselves in to an extra week of childcare.
A holiday exchange system brings certainty, the employer has the certainty of knowing everyone is happy with their entitlement and so will turn up motivated. There is likely to also be the certainty of seeing days and weeks off booked earlier as the whole process of holiday planning becomes more important and decisions are made earlier.
A further benefit is that this is a benefit that helps any employer stand out, it is a workplace benefit that costs the employer nothing and yet is hugely beneficial to staff. It is the type of benefit that leads to higher staff retention and job satisfaction, helping give a sense that they are at a place where they are valued.

About Us

At Enjoy Benefits, we are experts in helping to set up a whole suite of workplace benefits, including holiday exchange schemes, workplace nursery, cycle to work programmes, discounted gym membership, mobile phone deals, car leasing and far more besides.
All benefits can also be managed through a hub – you can find out more about the EB Hub on our dedicated site.
Contact us today on 0800 088 7315 or use our Contact Form.