3 Tips to Handle Surge of Christmas Vacation Requests

3 Tips to Handle Surge of Christmas Vacation Requests

3 Tips to Handle Surge of Christmas Vacation RequestsGenerally speaking, it’s the best time of year—that is, unless you’re an employer and have to deal with a constant stream of requests from employees wanting the exact same amount of time off during Christmas.

Deciding who gets what holiday can be a challenging decision, especially in industries like retail and hospitality where it’s one of the busiest periods of the year—unless your business has a history of closing down during the holiday season.

With fewer employees to divide the workload, smaller firms may find the task much more difficult.

Most contracts will specify whether public holidays, including Christmas Day and New Year’s Day, are included in the allotted amount of paid vacation time that employees must use during the course of the year or fiscal year.

You have the legal right, as an employer, to restrict the amount of time that workers can take off during peak work hours. If you want to keep your staff happy and avoid claims of unfair treatment, you should find a method that is clear, consistent, and most importantly fair for everyone.

While employers are not required by law to provide employees with time off for religious holidays or celebrations, failing to do so without a valid business justification may result in discrimination lawsuits.

Here are 3 tips for employers to handle surge of christmas vacation requests:

1. Early alert

Instead of waiting for the workers to approach you, approach them and ensure that everyone is aware of the procedures for distributing leave over the holiday season.

Make sure you let them know that there will be particular restrictions around giving leave over Christmas because there will always be someone who attempts to get their request in months in advance and ahead of their colleagues.

To enable you to review all of the requests together, ask employees to submit by a specific date. Putting this in the calendar well in advance is a smart idea to make sure that everyone is following the legal notice periods.

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Employees must requests for holidays at least two times as far in advance as the desired amount of time off plus one day. For example, employees must give three days notice for one day of absence.

When an employer declines a request for leave, they must provide notice equal to the requested leave amount plus one day. For example, employers must give 11 days notice for 10 days of leave.

Additionally, by law employers must notify staff members when they must take time off, including public holidays and Christmas. Even if their company has historically been open for Christmas, they are free to choose to do this. Although contracts frequently contain this information, employees must, at the absolute least, be informed of it with notice that is at least twice as long as the vacation period they wish to take.

ALSO READ: Can My Boss Force Me to Work on Public Holidays?

2. Be sensible

Aside from legal responsibilities, employers should prioritize being fair and reasonable if they wish to avoid hiring new employees in the upcoming year.

You can’t please everyone all the time, but a good employer will always make an effort to be accommodating and find a solution that works best for the majority.

Is it truly necessary for everyone to be at work on those certain days? Depending on the industry you work in, there may or may not be as much to accomplish as usual in an office setting, for example.

Is it really necessary for workers to remain in the office when they can work from home in the post-pandemic era where flexible and hybrid working arrangements are the norm?

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When accepting holiday preferences, you may also want to think about giving everyone the exact same amount of time off and asking for their preferred days, provided that their holiday entitlement permits.

For example, people with young children are probably more likely to desire Christmas Eve, while younger coworkers might choose to take the day off to celebrate over the new year. Similarly, coworkers who celebrate festivals or religious holidays other than Christmas could choose to work instead of taking a break.

Lastly, set a good example for others. If workers think that everyone, from the boss on down, get the same treatment, they are much less likely to get angry.

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3. Remain persistent

Nobody wants to be the Grinch, but giving in to requests for holidays without giving them enough thought could get you into trouble.

For instance, you can face charges of discrimination if you quit your job before your company has the legally mandated minimum number of employees to function, or you might be held accountable for favoritism toward specific coworkers.

As is typically the case, it is imperative that employers and employees have open channels of communication, and honesty is the best policy. If your staff members are aware that you have made every effort to treat them fairly, they are far more likely to comprehend and be open to working over Christmas.

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