Approved Vacation Over the Holidays

I work for a medical/surgical office.  We run a lean ship in regards to staffing.  However, we are fortunate to have very low turn over and some members of our staff have been with us up to 30+ years.  With low turn over, comes a high number of accrued vacation days.  I am looking at the upcoming year, and I have received requests for vacation over the holidays for December of 2012 already.  I would like to come up with a way for vacations over the holidays to be handled fairly since the majority of our staff would like extra time with their families over the holidays.  I am trying to prevent the same person from having all of the holidays off every year just because they are the first to request them.  Please provide any suggestions that you may have in regards to handling approved vacations over the holidays as fairly as possible for "like positions."


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  • How about rotating each year? Names could be randomly drawn to etablish leave "groups" (even and odd year) and the employees in each group would be entitled to holiday leave in their "year". I would also enable trading from year to year, but establish a formal system for keeping track of trades so no one forgets what was done in the prior year.
  • I suggest you start by changing your vacation policy to a use it or loose it policy.  By this, I mean having a maximum number of days carried over from one year to the next (e.g. 40 hours). This encourages people to use their vacation a lot more without a doubt. As for the vacation over the holidays, what you can do is allow first to have this privilege to the employees with the most seniority. What also is good is to have a set date for employees to turn in to their supervisors their vacation calendar plan (as part of the vacation policy) and have the superviors approve it, taking in consideration the employees with most seniority as well. This allows to see everyone and their date requests and go from there. The following year, goes to the second on the list, and so forth. I am not sure of the size of your company but if it is big enough, the supervisors should be the ones participating in this process with your guidance and approval.

    Hope this helps, good luck!

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