published on
July 3, 2023

How to fill bank holiday shifts at your care home

Jeanne Loganbill
posted on
Care organisations
How to fill bank holiday shifts at your care home

Long weekends are wonderful: there’s nothing like a lie-in Saturday, Sunday and Monday. But if you’re a care home manager, you have to make sure all the shifts at your organisation get covered, even on bank holidays.

One option is to create a schedule without any input from members of your team. Doing that can create friction, though – especially if people want to spend time with their families. 

In this post, we’ll go through three ways to “sweeten the pot”, so you can cover bank holiday shifts with staff members who really want to be there. 

Solution 1. Send out an annual leave policy reminder

Last-minute shift gaps can be a pain to fill, so planning for bank holiday weekends well in advance can help you avoid emergencies.

If you have a written annual leave policy outlining cutoff times for annual leave requests, send an email reminder several weeks before each bank holiday. You could also pin a note to your rota board, if you have one. 

If you don’t have a one or two-week notice period for holidays into contracts, think about writing one in: without one, staff don’t legally have to tell you very far in advance if they want to take days off (usually just twice the amount of holiday time they intend to use). 

Solution 2. Make bank holiday shifts more appealing

You don’t have to increase the amount of money you pay per hour on bank holidays (it’s a common myth), but doing so can make shifts more appealing. Giving team members other incentives – for example gift vouchers, or time off in lieu – to work bank holidays can have the same positive effect. 

Here are a few more ways to encourage staff to take bank holiday shifts:

  • Offer time-and-a-half for shifts on bank holiday weekends, and double pay for shifts on the bank holiday itself.
  • Give employees fixed bonuses for working bank holidays.
  • Plan catered meals (a pizza lunch, for instance) on bank holidays.

Solution 3. Work with Florence

Most care home managers receive a lot of requests for bank holidays off: after all, long weekends are prime family time. It’s important to grant as many of these as possible to make sure permanent employees feel engaged and stay with you long term. 

“But what about my rota?” we hear you say. That’s where Florence comes in.

Florence can help you fill bank holiday shifts with experienced staff you can trust to provide excellent care. Your residents get their needs met, and you benefit from less admin work – and less time spent stressing about your schedule.

Here’s how Florence makes your life easier:

  • Auto-fill. Add your team to Florence and auto-fill bank holiday shifts with staff who want to work those days.
  • 90,000+ Florence professionals. Push unfilled shifts out to our pool of talented nurses, care assistants and support workers. 
  • Set your own rates. Decide how much you want to pay Florence care professionals for regular and bank holiday shifts.
  • No hidden fees. We don’t charge subscription fees or hidden fees, so you can cut your agency spend.
  • Dedicated support. You get round-the-clock support from our friendly team.

Bonus: if you find a Florence professional you really like, you can hire them permanently without paying a hiring or finder’s fee. We’re on your side.

Bank holidays made easy

Handling bank holiday time-off requests in a flexible way can help you build goodwill and increase staff retention. Team members don’t have the statutory right to time-and-a-half or double pay on bank holidays, for example, but boosting pay can make working a long weekend more appealing.

Finally, if you have shifts left over – yes, even pesky last-minute shifts – working with Florence can help solve staffing issues, so residents get the high-quality care they deserve. 

Join hundreds of care homes and use Florence to fill rota gaps with staff you trust, from your own team and our 90,000+ qualified care professionals. Click here to book a demo today.

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