How can I fairly schedule staff’s summer vacations in advance?

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in The HR Specialist Forum

Question: “We're going to be incredibly busy this summer, and I'm already worried about employees' vacations interfering with our delivery schedules. I want a system for employees to submit their summer vacation requests now. I hope that will let us make realistic staffing plans. But I know some staff are going to complain, and I’m worried that I’ll eventually have to disapprove some leave requests. What’s a fair way to handle this?” — Steve, IL


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For 1 to 2 days vacation time we require 3 days advanced notice. For more than 3 days vacation we require 3 weeks advanced notice, no exceptions. Also in the case of 2 or more employees requesting the time off, management determines who gets it based off seniority and length of advance notice. This is posted in the employee manual to avoid any complaints.

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Christopher Mason April 1, 2010 at 4:29 am

I’m amazed! I haven’t seen anyone here suggest the application of math to resolve problems like this. Instead it’s more the case of wave the big stick.
I faced the same problem when i Joined my current employer. I applied a metric to resolve the problem which required a few extra employees and now my staff take holidays almost when they want them..

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