• LinkedIn
  • YouTube
  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • Google+

How can I schedule workers' time off when there's no time they can be off?

Get PDF file
John Wilcox

by on
in Human Resources,People Management,The HR Specialist Forum

I have two part-time security guards working at the same location. One of them works four nights a week; the other works three nights a week. We need security coverage at this site seven nights a week, 365 nights a year. How do I handle giving them the "holiday" time off they're entitled to if someone has to be there all the time?—Lisa D.

See responses below

{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Wil October 28, 2009 at 9:49 am


I think a temp agency would be a great asset to your business. They can provide you with a guard when needed and you don’t have to pay all the taxes…


mog October 28, 2009 at 7:47 am

Are the security guards a separate classification? If not you may want to consider creating one specific to them and write special regulations. If the holiday falls on their watch, you can pay them differential time. You can also rotate the holidays, i.e. one gets July 4th this year and another gets it in the following year.

If the security guards were hired via a professional agency, contact the agency and ask for a temp for the holidays.

If the security guards are union employees, go back to the contract and see how it reads. There should be a clause to cover this situation. If not, contact the union rep.


Warren October 27, 2009 at 2:04 pm

I have managed at a non-union manufacturing facility, and we had 24×7 operations. We had security and staff that worked around the clock, and they even worked on holidays. I am uncertain why you feel they are “entitled to it”, are you referring to holiday pay, or actual time off. You can have the person scheduled to work on the holiday work the holiday, and pay them both for the hours worked, and the 8 hours of holiday pay. This is how we always handled holidays at our plant. In fact, many of the operators, QC, and security staff enjoyed the extra money versus having the day off. If you are consistent with this pratice, than there is no need to adjust scheduled ever for the holidays, especially when there has to be someone there. Take care.


Scott October 26, 2009 at 11:27 pm

If the guards are union and you can pick up rotating persons through the union hall. Schedule the 4 day guard to train a person before the holidays, then schedule each part time guard 3 days and the rotating guard one day per week.


Klaus R. Rauter October 26, 2009 at 10:07 pm

Dear Lisa D.
You simply don’t have enough staff!
You need minimum 3 guards! Paid overtime is another solution to consider, but be careful, too much overtime reduces staff moral as well.


Sarah October 21, 2009 at 8:47 am

Assuming you’re talking about the upcoming holiday season why not schedule them this way:

Person A works Thanksgiving Day, has that Friday off
Person B works Thanksgiving Friday, has Thanksgiving Day off

Person A works Christmas Eve, has Christmas off
Person B works Christmas day, has Christmas Eve off

Holiday pay is paid on the day worked so Person B would be paid for Thanksgiving even though they work the “non-holiday” part of the week. Then Person A would be paid for Christmas even though holiday pay is not normally given for Christmas Eve.

Then next year swap holidays between Person A and B. If they worked Christmas Day this year then next year they work Thanksgiving day and have Christmas Day off.


Roni October 20, 2009 at 5:29 pm

Ask each of them to work rotating extra nights to cover for the others’ absence.


Melissa October 20, 2009 at 4:49 pm

Without know all the details about your facility/company, it’s hard to give a good answer. One solution might be to hire a temporary person through a reputable security company. Also consider hiring a 3rd person and rotating schedules.


Leave a Comment