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An Effective Christmas Closedown Can Ensure Stability For The New Year

Businesses looking to start the new year off on the front foot will see positive results early if their closedown policy over the Christmas break is implemented correctly.

While many employers may attempt to operate almost every day over the holiday period to make up for lost crucial review following a second consecutive year of sporadic lockdowns and COVID-19 restrictions, others will shut down for several days or weeks through to the new year.

Employers have been in planning mode for several weeks now, with questions to Employsure’s employer advice line rising regarding planning increasing by 46% in November over October ahead of the busy holiday period.

With both employees and business owners likely to feel exhausted by the time the Christmas break comes around, for those temporarily closing down, having a well-informed closedown plan in place is crucial to a strong comeback at the start of 2022.

“Employers don’t want to walk away on the final day of the year feeling like they have left the iron on. An effective plan, like a checklist, can help an employer complete what needs to be done at the workplace itself, and what needs to happen outside of it,” said Employsure employment relations specialist Maddie McKenzie.

“Having a clear temporary shutdown plan will not only provide peace of mind to workers and clients, but it can also help employers manage leave and avoid further potential loss of income. Employees should be told at least two weeks in advance if the business is temporarily closing over Christmas and if they are required to take annual leave during this time. Any outstanding invoices or pay should also be sent out prior to closure.

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“Employers don’t want to leave external clients in the dark either. Any person that deals with the business needs to also be notified of the planned closure. Clients and suppliers should be contacted via phone or email, the landlord should be informed, as well external contractors, such as cleaners.

“From a logistical point of view, it’s recommended all appliance and facilities in the workplace that don’t need to be left on should either be switched off or put on a timer. Computers and sensitive documents should be backed-up, secured or shredded, and fire alarm batteries should be checked or replaced. Security systems should be checked before leaving, and all windows and doors should be locked.

“The last thing an employer needs heading into a break is the stress of not ensuring loose ends are tied up. A break that is taken correctly is important for the mental and physical wellbeing of staff and can ultimately lead to better efficiency in the workplace. Taking these appropriate steps will enable employers to pick up where they left off stronger upon return in 2022.”

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