Restaurant Insider

Mary Dohner-Smith lent her commentary for an April 30, 2018 article in Restaurant Insider discussing ways to address potential upticks in vacation requests or unplanned leave during the summer months. When multiple staff members want to take vacations around the same time, it is important for restaurants to have a plan in place and communicate that plan to its staff to ensure they can continue to operate as usual. “An effective policy does more than just identify the amount of vacation employees can earn; employers who want to be proactive about planning for vacation season use their policies as a tool to ensure they have appropriate staff coverage when faced with high demands for time off,” Dohner-Smith said. Employers who want to be prepared should consider including deadlines for vacation requests in their vacation policies.”

It is important that these policies are well-communicated with the staff and repeated often. “Ensuring employees know how the vacation policy actually works may prevent those last-minute, unscheduled call-outs from work,” Dohner-Smith added. “Transparency can also help to sooth sore feelings when vacation requests cannot be approved.” Another approach to accommodate high-demand vacation times is to rotate coveted summer holidays, such that an employee approved for a vacation day on July 4 would move to the bottom of the list for requests on Labor Day. Allowing employees to submit requests that include their first choice, second choice and beyond also helps to give more employees time off on their prime holidays.

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