conflicts in employee vacation requests

Does anyone have an effective policy to handle vacation requests - especially where some employees wish to lock in a whole year's worth of vacation days before others have identified what vacation days they will request?


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  • I don't think you should have a companywide policy for this unless you have a CBA or some specific reason to have one. Each department should set their own 'practice' due the nature of the work, though you might have company guidelines.

    I recommend that you think long and hard about putting a policy in place. Company Practices would probably be better, because then you aren't locked in. In your case, you could have the supervisor request no one put in for time further away than 6 months. In case of conflict, seniority could be the tie breaker.

    We have had requests which we refused to approve until we had more information. That would work for you if you really need to block this employee's requests. On the other hand, is it so bad that your employee wants to lock their days in? Perhaps your other employees should plan further ahead.
  • I agree with Nae...I don't think a company-wide policy is a good idea unless there is some really compelling reason to have one.

    Our managers all allow their employees to plan their vacations around the needs of the department. We have some who do not allow any vacation time during the summer, and others who don't allow any over year-end. Some of our larger departments have an annual calendar which is passed around to the employees in seniority order at the beginning of each year, and the most senior get the first choice. It does force people to plan a little more in advance, but sometimes that's essential to the efficient running of a department.

    Personally, I would like to see more employees plan further ahead than just suddenly hearing "oh, by the way, I'm planning a trip in two weeks".
  • At the beginning of each calendar year, we have each employee submit their 1st and 2nd choices for vacation. We then enter into a master calendar and if there are conflicts seniority rules. Based on workload, individual departments have their own rules as to when and how many can be out at a time.
  • We do about the same as Joannie. Our handbook states, "Determination of vacation time will be made by the earliest written request. Vacation time will be approved by each department. Should two or more vacation requests for the same time, such as a holiday period, be turned in together, seniority will prevail in determining the time. Should this occur on a routine basis we will rotate down the seniority chart so that the same senior employee does not always receive the much sought after vacation time.
  • I like this Dutch, but do you define routine?Regarding the orginal post, that ee could get all their requests in 1-1 and if (s)he is most senior . . . .
  • Okay. I admit it. I'm one of those folks who like to plan their vacation time for the whole year -- in January. Though I didn't do that this year, and that's bugging me still, I like to know when vacation time is coming down the pike. It gives me an extra something fun to look forward to. Or, maybe I'm just a teeny-tiny bit OCD.

    The point is, some folks like to plan ahead and some like to fly by the seat of their pants and either way is okay. So, unless you have a CBA that dictates it has to be seniority, consider approving vacation time on a first come-first serve basis. You might be surprised how many slow pokes get those vacation requests in earlier in the year, allowing supervisors and managers to better plan work flow, not to mention their own vacation time in advance, too.

    Just my two cents.

  • Sonny, this is our way of keeping the Sr. ee from always getting the most sought after vacation times - around holidays - even if their requests is turned in first.
    Sharon - I understand what you are saying - we seem to have many more of the fly by the seat of their pants types. This is moslty due to them trying to coordinate vacation time with their spouse, kids school vacations, etc... If we required vacation request be turned in for the full year, we would be making changes all the time. We believe we can treat this more as a benefit if we work to meet their needs as they come up.
  • We have a couple of departments that handle vacation requests the same way Dutch does. If two employees request the same vacation time, seniority is generally the tie-breaker, but if it happens that the same employees are requesting the same time every year, they rotate down the seniority chart to determine who gets to take the time from one year to the next. They had to set it up that way because everyone in the department always wanted to take their time around the holidays so they had to put in some sort of clause that would keep the most senior employees from getting Christmas week off every year and the more junior ones from never getting to take that time off. So far it seems to work well for them.
  • I've worked where it was handled both ways and the rotation seems to be the fairest. A former colleague (with more seniority) would always take off during the holidays; I was glad when she retired!

    And did you mean to say "clause" or Claus? :D
  • [quote=KSR6450;723332]I've worked where it was handled both ways and the rotation seems to be the fairest. A former colleague (with more seniority) would always take off during the holidays; I was glad when she retired!

    And did you mean to say "clause" or Claus? :D[/quote]

    I know....when I re-read my post, I almost edited it to add "no, I don't mean a 'Santa clause'!" :)
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