Holiday Allowance – How Many Off?

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% people that can be off on holiday per day


I am new to posting on here but after reading through some posts and seeing how helpful everyone is thought that I would post a question that I was hoping somebody could either answer or point me in the right direction.

I have been recently tasked with looking at current holiday and sickness levels across several call centres as these have been having an impact on the recent service levels achieved. (All under target). My question is, is there an industry standard for % agents that can be off on holiday per day or what would be the best way to work out what % of agents we could afford to have off before having an impact on service levels?


Question asked by paulam

Manage Leave

Hi Paulam, may I suggest you should look at this problem from another angle…

Calculating the % leave entitlement is quite easy, and it depends on you leave allowance…

e.g. an agent working 5 days per week (standard hours) gets 22 days leave per year. This agent will be off on leave for 8.5% of his/her time.

This doesn’t really help though because people want leave at specific times of the year (easter / mid summer / bank holiday weeks / Christmas / school holidays etc). You could either flat line your leave availability, or, if your staffing is flexible enough, seasonalise your availability.

The best thing you can do is to put controls in place to manage leave. Set specific targets and only allow time off within those allowances. You also need to accurately plan to these targets ensuring you are staffed sufficiently so that targeted leave allowance does not impact service.

One more thing to mention… a tighter grasp on leave will also need a tighter grasp on sickness. refused leave turns to a bought of flu very quickly.

Hope this helps


With thanks to mark2p

Set at around 15%

Pretty much answered by the above, but here is my tuppence worth

365 days in a year

less 104 weekends (assuming you work 5 days out of 7)

less 8 bank hols

= 253 working days

Our guys get 25 days hols generally (dependant on service) so that equates to about 10%

If you just set your holiday allowance at 10% then, by definition, if it is not used up some months then you will have to go over on other months to actually allow agents to take their hard earned hols. I set mine at 15%, but this was flexible and was sometimes reduced or increased dependant on volumes and seasonality.

As an example, I gave a monday off in lieu of working Saturday (and making up some additional hours during the week) so the Monday hol allocation was reduced.

Your own figure depends very much on your own business circumstances

Flexibility and open & honest communication with your staff is vital in making any holiday policy work, otherwise as 2Plan (can that be your new nickname?!) mentions above then an unexpected bout of sickness can occur.

With thanks to Scott

Scott Mac , Spot on ….!

I agree to your point of view

With thanks to mathewe2s

Author: Jonty Pearce

Published On: 12th Apr 2022 - Last modified: 3rd May 2022
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