The vexed topic of taking annual leave can be tricky at the best of times for any employee but for interim managers, it can be even more fraught. Hired for only a short period of time to bring about change and transformation in an organisation, most would think that taking holidays during a brief assignment was out of the question, and not just because it is unpaid. A client rightly expects full commitment from an interim manager but they should also be realistic, interims are still human and need a break too.
As with everybody, holidays are dependent on the time of year, family and other personal commitments, which can all have an effect. It should also be noted that the smart interim manager does not always use their time between assignments as holiday, they use it productively to gain a new role. So if holiday needs to be taken during an interim assignment, although not usual in a role of less than 6 months, then it is up to the interim to be clear and upfront from the very beginning and for the client to ask the question on initial engagement too. If it really is an unbreakable leave commitment, with enough notice, the client should understand.
There is a new trend in the marketplace too on this topic. As interim managers are not included in the Agency Workers Regulations (AWR), they are not entitled to equal treatment (including holiday pay) after 12 weeks in an assignment. Although many professional interims say they don’t seek it, I have heard of some companies offering long term interims holiday pay. This is more in recognition of their contribution in a role for consecutive quarters, rather than from a spirit of generosity or protection from aggressive employment legislation.
Today’s interim managers, especially those on assignment for 6 months or more, have learnt to become part of the team in order to get the job done. As such, it is only right that they be given some time off, even if they are “always on.”