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4 Tips for Managing Vacation Requests
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Employee Experience

4 Tips for Managing Vacation Requests

From the HR Pros of the HR Support


It is often difficult to strike that perfect balance between allowing

employees some degree of flexibility to take vacations, while ensuring

adequate coverage in the workplace. Employers also find it difficult

to juggle multiple vacation requests around popular vacation times.

Below we have listed four tips to ensure the vacation plan works well

for both the employer and its employees.

1. Encourage vacation time usage during slow periods

If your business is highly seasonal in nature, you may wish to enact a

policy requiring employees to use all or a specific amount of vacation

during the slow months. For example, if your workflow significantly

decreases in the first quarter of the year, you may consider stating in

your vacation policy that employees are required to use at least half of

their annual vacation allotment during this time period. The same holds

true for limiting or prohibiting the use of paid vacation during

traditionally busy seasons.

2. Prioritize requests

It is also suggested to consider ahead of time the procedure to

determine which employee(s) will be granted time off when multiple

vacation requests are submitted for the same dates. Some methods

employers incorporate to make these difficult decisions are approving

vacation leave on a “first come, first served” basis or using seniority

as the deciding factor.

3. Plan ahead for holidays

Employers are permitted to designate vacation time based on the needs

of the organization. Employers that close for certain weeks during the

year often use this method of vacation management. For example, if the

company closes for the week between Christmas Day and New Year’s Day,

the company may require all employees to save five days of vacation time

to use during this period.

4. Create a policy for notification

With respect to notification of vacation time requests, many employers

request a specific amount of time, such as a minimum of two weeks’

notice of submission for time off from work. Other employers prefer to

plan vacations on a yearly basis and ask employees to submit all

vacation requests for the calendar year in January.

Whatever methods the organization applies for handling vacation

requests, we recommend that the management team clearly communicates the

company’s policy and reasoning behind it to employees so they may plan

their vacations accordingly. Clear communication and consistent

application of the vacation policy are crucial to avoid potential

morale problems or discrimination charges based on the administration of

the organization’s vacation policy.

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