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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