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Clearing Annual Leave during Circuit Breaker


Dear HR Community,

My staff have lots of annual leave for the current year and have yet to utilise any of them.

Is there a way to ask them to clear some of their annual leave during this "circuit breaker" period using a soft approach?

How can we do this and not put the company "on the spot"?





All our employees are working from home during circuit breaker period.

We explained to employees that they should clear leave during circuit period to take chance to have a good break and after circuit breaker to put in their best effort to work for the Company. We also explained that if everyone keeps their leaves and starts to consume after the circuit breaker it will be a serious situation for the Company.

We got the Heads of Departments to talk to their team members to have a soft landing before we send an email to officially inform them of the leave policy during this period.




Our Company has an unlimited brought forward (b/fwd) annual leave policy, ie staff can bring forward the unused leave from the previous year to current year (you can b/fwd previous 2 years). Due to this, staff can potentially accumulate more than 40 days leaves each year (AL benefit per staff is between 15-20 days). And this is not inclusive of childcare leave etc. With the COVID-19 circuit breaker, most have not even utilised their leave.

As part of our BCP and to avoid business disruption when operations are back to normal, we imposed a 4-day workweek. Staff with b/fwd leaves will have to apply 1-day leave every Monday. We do not impose on staff with no brought forward leaves as some are non-local and may want to use it for longer home leave after CB period.

Beforehand, we did send out a reminder to utilise leaves to avoid excessive unused leave. When that did not work for some, we implemented the 4-day work week. We explained that we took into consideration that the average unused leave for each staff is 20 days this year, which is exceptionally high.

As operations have either slowed down or stopped, the staff understood and accepted.




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