What are The Key Duties HR Departments Face Ahead Of The Christmas Period?

The Christmas period is a busy time for HR departments. As well as managing the increased workload that comes with the festive season, HR teams also have to contend with staff absences and holiday cover.

To ensure your HR department is prepared for the Christmas period, there are a few key duties that need to be carried out ahead of time.

HRM Software

One of the most important tools HR teams have at their disposal is HRM software. This type of software can help managers to keep on top of employee absences, shift patterns, and holiday entitlement. It can also create rotas and manage payroll.

If your HR team doesn’t already use HRM software, now is the time to invest in one. There are several HRM software packages on the market, so it’s important to do your research and choose a system that will meet the needs of your business.

Training and Development

The Christmas period is also a good time to focus on training and development for your HR team. With fewer staff members in the office, there will be more time available to dedicate to training. This is an ideal opportunity to upskill your HR team and ensure they are prepared for the challenges of the new year.

Finding Temporary Employees

If you have staff members who are taking extended holidays over the Christmas period, you will need to find suitable replacement covers. This can be a challenge, as many people are also looking for work during this time of year.

One way to find suitable replacement employees is to use a temporary staffing agency. These agencies specialise in finding short-term staff for businesses, so they will source quality candidates for your HR department.

Preparing for the Christmas period can be a daunting task for HR teams. However, by following these tips, you can ensure your HR department is ready for anything that comes its way.

Scheduling Holiday Parties

HR teams will also be responsible for scheduling holiday parties and events. This can be a tricky task, as you need to ensure that all staff members can attend while also avoiding any clashes with other work commitments.

Planning ahead and being organised are key to successfully scheduling holiday parties and events. It’s also important to remember not everyone celebrates Christmas, so try to schedule a range of different events that will cater to all employees.

Handling Vacation Requests

Another key duty of HR teams during the Christmas period is handling vacation requests. With many employees wanting to take time off to spend with family and friends, HR teams need to be prepared to deal with a high volume of requests.

To make the process as smooth as possible, it’s important to have a clear vacation policy in place. This should outline how vacation requests are submitted and approved, as well as any blackout dates that need to be considered.

Creating A Schedule For The Upcoming Holiday

Once all the above has been taken care of, HR teams can then create a schedule for the upcoming holiday period. This will involve considering staff availability, vacation requests, and shift patterns.

Creating a detailed schedule in advance will help to ensure that the Christmas period runs smoothly for both HR teams and employees. It’s also a good idea to have a contingency plan in place in case of any last-minute absences or changes.

Updating Your Employee Handbook

Finally, HR teams should also take this opportunity to update their employee handbook. This is a good time to make any changes or additions that may be needed. This can be adding any new policies that may apply to the holiday season, such as a dress code for holiday parties or guidelines for taking vacation days.

Reviewing Benefit Plans

HR teams should also review benefit plans ahead of the Christmas period. This is to ensure that all employees are aware of what benefits they are entitled to, such as holiday pay or sick pay.

Reviewing benefit plans is also a good opportunity to make any changes that may be needed, such as increasing holiday entitlement for the following year.


The Christmas period is a time of high stress for many people in the workforce. HR departments need to be aware of the key duties that lie ahead in order to support their employees during this time.

The holiday season can be a busy time for businesses, and with so much at stake, it is crucial that HR teams are well-prepared to handle any potential issues. By being proactive and preparing for the holiday season, employers can ensure that their staff can enjoy the festivities while remaining productive.

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