HRSINGAPORE Community Discussions

Annual leave realignment


Dear HR Community Subscribers,

We have a total of 11 warehouse assistants, six of whom have been with the company for at least 15 years.

These six employees are entitled to 25 days of annual leave and are allowed to bring forward 15 days every year.

This has posed problems with work planning and caused inconvenience and disruptions.

There were times when the warehouse was down to only 4 staff.

Newcomers, on the other hand, are entitled to 14 days.

I plan to realign the annual leave for all employees by offering to pay the six "old" staff for 11 days and change their AL to 14 days henceforth.

Is this the best way to handle this? Do you have any advice?

We are in manufacturing.

Thank you for your advice and help in advance.




HR Poll: Is this the best way to realign AL?

Yes: 16.67%

No: 50.00%

Maybe: 16.67%

Not sure: 16.67%




Working out certain compensation close to or similar to their loss of 11 days annual benefit which is approximately equal to the salary of 2 weeks. However, it also depends on C & B budget as well. HR's objective is to minimize unpleasantness which would disrupt daily operation when there is a new HR implementation on employee benefits standardization. - Giselle

Are the workers performing their role? What is your current leave policy for long-service employees? Perhaps a leave cap and allowing them to encash is better than the "rude" awakening of not having their 11 days? - Erin

On top of what you suggested, would your company be open to an incremental increase of AL with a duration of service? Alternatively, you may allow encashment of AL instead due to business needs after the reduction. A full new contract terms update may be needed for all long-serving employees as long as your union agrees it can be done but do consider their work-life balance. Hope this helps. - Jane

The realignment will not encourage these employees to take leave. Instead, encourage them to use their leave by March of the following year as an example and only forward 7 days. If the leave is not utilised, it will be forfeited. Only exceptional cases are allowed upon approval for more than 10 days' leave carry forward. - Roz

Hi Sherry. Like you, we have many long-serving employees with 21 days of annual leave and we face a similar problem. It has never been our policy to pay the employee for unused leave. Everyone has to clear all, but 5 days each year. This is the maximum no of days we allow for an extension and must be utilised by 31st March of the new year. The HODs approve their own staff leave applications and they are responsible for maintaining at least 70% of their staff on duty each day to ensure there is no disruption to the workflow. We encourage our employees to plan their leave and apply well ahead to ensure they get their "choice" dates. Anything in excess of 5 days on 31st Dec will be forfeited. Harsh? Maybe. But the whole idea of annual leave is to take a day or two off, every now and then to get away from work, rest and recharge before coming back. "Nothing to do" is not an excuse to avoid taking leave. - Didi

In case you are not aware, when you make such changes to their benefits, the staff must agree to the new terms. - Amanda

Employees with 25 days AL entitlement - Can carry forward max 5 days (to be cleared within *3-6 months of that following year) Case to case basis - if unable to clear, you may want to encash the balance of the AL that was B/F to your employee/s. Employees with 14 days Can carry forward a max of 3 days (to be cleared within *3 - 6 months of that following year) Same as above, case by case basis, you may want to encash the balance of uncleared B/F leave to your employee/s. * 3 to 6 months period to clear the B/F AL - depends on your organisation preferences. - Nor

I thought the more diplomatic way is to come up with a new policy with an announcement to all staff that leave can carry forward will be 5days or less, as the bring-forward rule can be adjusted according to management decision. Assign the task to the Warehouse manager to come up with a Leave/work rotation rooster for manpower planning, No more than 5 staff to be on leave on the same period all year round is the made known and unspoken policy. Also, e.g. if any staff applying for 7days straight or more, they have to be applied 2weeks more advance, depending on the operational needs of the company, that should solve the manpower planning issue. This is a way is to tell all staff they need to clear their leave when they should otherwise leave will be forfeited. Note: We cannot amend the staff's employment contract without their agreement in black and white. - Carol

Sounds like you are penalising the staff for taking benefits that you have entitled them to in the first place. I think you should consider improving your scheduling process (ie taking of AL has to be made with advance notice -- 2 to 3 days in advance, etc) and not taking the leaves away. - Christine

Compensate them for the reduction in the AL, but the hard part is how much to compensate, and should it be annually added in their pay package? Would they agree to just a one-time payment compensation? - Norman

1. You need to consider many factors before you realign annual leave. It is not wise to just use money to offset the AL. 2. If paying off the AL is the only option, how do you plan to pay off the difference? Is this going to be one lumpsum payment at the beginning of the year, quarterly or half-yearly, or spread out throughout the year by paying monthly. Not forgetting that the AL entitlement is for the whole year. - Emily

We had a similar situation and offered the staff a buy back however some accepted and some did not. Those who accepted were put on the new leave scheme. - Jit



HR Community Registration Form

    Full Name*

    Job Title*

    Company or Organisation Name*

    Work Email Address*

    Confirm Your Work Email Address*

    Contact Number*


    Your Message

    Recent HR Community Posts

    Hrsingapore Community


    Join the HR Community forum to connect with HR peers, share insights, access HR resources, and enhance your expertise. Elevate your HR career today! Continue reading