The last few months have turned the business world topsy-turvy. Your business may have had to start and stop, and employees could have been ill, taking time off to care for their children, and more.

As businesses begin to return to normal, you should take a good look at your leave management policy. Now, more than ever, it’s important to have strong policy and procedure in place. Here’s why.

Reduce Confusion for Team Members

Right now, there’s plenty of uncertainty about almost every aspect of a business. Some people are likely concerned about job security. Others are wondering if it’s safe for them to come into the office. Some want to know how their benefits are changing, while others may be looking at their compensation.

Leave management is certainly one of the topics on people’s minds, especially during the summer months. Employees might be wondering if they’re allowed to take vacation, especially if they had time off earlier in the year due to a shutdown. Even if they had time off, they could be looking to get away to the cottage or even just have a staycation now that the kids are out of school.

Others may feel they need to take leave to look after their kids during the summer months. They might be concerned they’ll need time off going into the fall, especially since school schedules may be radically restructured. Still others could be wondering about parental leaves, disability leave, and more.

In short, even if there was a shutdown and people had time off, there are plenty of reasons they may still be thinking about leaves. A strong leave management policy will reduce confusion and clarify what options are available to your team members. A good policy also spells out how they can take advantage of those options.

People Still Need Time Off

As noted above, just because there was a shutdown doesn’t mean that nobody will need time off. Someone may still get sick or be involved in a minor fender-bender and need a day or two. Another person might have to take bereavement days. Others are considering parental leaves.

In short, life doesn’t stop. A strong policy will help you navigate the time your team members still need to take. You may feel you require all hands on deck to keep moving forward, so a strong leave management policy will guide you on what’s needed. You’ll know where you must hire and when you can divide up tasks to keep business rolling along smoothly.

Creating Clarity for the Future

A strong leave management policy will also give your team clarity in future situations. Many people are uncertain about what even the near future holds right now, and what the situation will look like even six months or a year from now is still a big question mark.

People may require additional leaves for taking care of children or relatives, illness, or disability. Creating a clear policy now gives you the guidelines your team needs to navigate these future possibilities as well.

Managing with Ease

Finally, a strong leave management policy makes it easer for your HR team to handle both individual leaves and the bigger picture for your team. A strong policy lets them know who is entitled to which leaves, and where they can negotiate with employees.

It also helps them take the right steps to support every employee as they get ready for their leave, and then later when they return to the office. It also allows them to support those employees who have been hired to cover certain roles or those who are taking on new responsibilities while someone is away.

The last few months have shown many business leaders exactly how important leave management is for their businesses. With the right policy, it’s easier to move forward and manage leaves, no matter when and how they crop up.