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How do you submit your annual leave requests at work? Some of us want to know well in advance, others like to book at last minute..

(24 Posts)
Maisiethemorningsidecat Mon 12-Sep-11 17:23:48

Some of us like to book well in advance so that we know where we are with childcare (and can take advantage of early booking discounts), whilst the others (without children) want to be able to book holidays at the last minute without being disadvantaged in any way.

How does your organisation allocate annual leave and how far in adance do you have to book? Looking for ideas to take to the table this week smile

Lizcat Mon 12-Sep-11 17:38:05

We ask for a request form to be filled in and a minimum of 30 days notice. It is first come first served basis. We try very hard to accommodate everyone, but we have have rotas to cover etc.

Maisiethemorningsidecat Mon 12-Sep-11 17:46:49

We've been told that first come first served basis is not fair, as it means that some of us can apply early and get the days we want, whilst others who may also want the same time off but don't plan that early would lose out.

We've been asked to accept that if you had a certain time off last year then you don't get that the following year, which seems fair to a point - it just doesn't get around the fact that this method doesn't allow us to book well in advance - if that makes sense?

Our leave year runs from September to August and I've just had to submit all my leave request for the entire year angry It's a very annoying system. The year's divided into three, and we have to take a certain amount in each tertial. Once it's all booked and approved then there's a certain amount of flexibility to move days around (depending on what's been booked) but it's a total pita from a staff pov. It's great for the managers though as it should mean we don't end up with too many people off during peak periods (shop, so we have to have minimum staffing levels)

Meglet Mon 12-Sep-11 17:56:31

First come first served AFAIK.

I've booked next years summer holiday. This week I need to book time off at xmas and feb half term.

notcitrus Mon 12-Sep-11 18:23:48

Our leave years start when we join, so everyone is organising their leave to a different timetable.

Depending on the team, they may require someone to cover over Christmas/New Year and anyone who did would be able to pick when they did want leave. As long as one person is in the office at all times, it's usually OK - so many people book in advance while others tell their managers they want some time off around some month and get told if any dates are out.

Could you have a non-leave schedule where people all commit to certain dates to be in the office, and let the leave be organised around that?

Maisiethemorningsidecat Mon 12-Sep-11 18:45:47

Thanks everyone smile

I'd like to book our family holiday next year, but another member of staff has said that he would like that time off as well. Since I had that fortnight off last year I've been told my colleague gets priority, which is asolutely fair. However, he's not sure if he wants the full 2 weeks, or a week before or after - and because he prefers not to plan 9 months in advance won't commit at this stage to definite dates. That's why I was asking about the allocation issue, ie how is it done and if you don't use the first come/first serve basis how do you manage it, as we're going to try and come up with a solution this week.

tallulah Mon 12-Sep-11 18:50:22

Where I am now we can all pretty much have what we want. We are supposed to give a month's notice I think, but that isn't enforced.

DH's work has a very unfair system whereby the Leave sheet gets put up on some random day before the beginning of the leave year and the people who happen to be in that night get first pick for the whole year. They can only have so many people off in any week so when you get some clever soul who has booked "every Monday for 2 months solid" that causes problems.

i think the fairest way to do is is to let everyone pick their main holiday of up to 2 weeks, then when everyone has done this let people book any additional time. Stops one person in the office bagging every school holiday.

Maisiethemorningsidecat Mon 12-Sep-11 18:55:10

Tallulah - that's a good idea about the main 2 weeks. Would you suggest that this should be done by a certain point in the year - end Sept for the following year? We're in Scotland, so earlier summer hols. Does that seem reasonable, giving that some don't like planning in advance?

Maisiethemorningsidecat Mon 12-Sep-11 20:31:23

Bump smile

letmehelp Mon 12-Sep-11 20:56:18

We have to request our main two weeks by a set date (usually in Dec, so not really early enough IMO) At that time the holiday dates will be allocated in line with the rules re seniority and numbers allowed off at anyone time etc.

Then a 3rd week is done in the same way. After that it's first come first served for the remaining days.

Anyone who doesn't get their dates in by the deadline dates takes pot luck on a first come first served basis.

The days between Christmas and New Year are done by a ballot, although, you do have the option to pick those as part of your main holiday if you want to be sure

Maisiethemorningsidecat Mon 12-Sep-11 21:13:04

That's great, Letme - it sounds as if the first thing we need to sort out is a system to allow the main 2 weeks to be booked asap in the year. If 2 or more people want the same fortnight, do you take it in turns each year?

letmehelp Mon 12-Sep-11 21:29:10

Where I work the most the person in the most senior grade takes priority. If they're equal, then the one with the longest service gets it.

letmehelp Mon 12-Sep-11 21:30:26

The fact that we need to book 2 weeks, then a 3rd, then the rest etc, means that the senior staff can't just book all the school holidays, leaving nothing for ayone else though.

itbird Sat 15-Oct-11 05:16:09

we have probs with this in so much as xmas leave has been booked by 3 out 4 of the team (we need a body at work during xmas) this leave was booked in June and the 1 person who hasnt booked leave as not in the office that particular day when it was being discussed so they have been left to cover the lot, totally unfair - bearing in mind this one person has the longest service and the only one who has small children. i am apalled with my manager and now am struggling with working with 'the team' and have basically been sent to coventry because i voiced my displeasure. was shocked at the 'its all about me' attitude of these colleagues. Guess where i was in June when this was being sorted ? Signed off sick for two weeks - for stress as a result of workplace bullying - which was proven and person was reprimanded as a consequence. You really couldnt make it up. I dont want special treatment as i have children - i am more than happy to do my share i just want fairness and equality

HarrietJones Sat 15-Oct-11 08:02:51

We all fill in preferences for school hols & management share it put equally. We've just done Xmas.
Rest of leave is requested & usually granted.

It's a minefield - and I find this "main two weeks" thing odd too - not everyone has a "main two weeks" off each year.
I do like the idea of a "work list" though

HoneyPablo Sat 15-Oct-11 08:16:16

Ours is first come first served with parents (well mums, as it as female) having priority for school holidays.
Some people book months, in advance or even into next year for things like weddings and overseas trips.
All the holidays go on the wall chart, to help with planning as only 2 people can be off at any one time as we have minimum staff ratios to comply with.
Management are normally very flexible and it is possible to book time off with very short notice.

lalanamechanged Sat 15-Oct-11 08:16:58

Xmas was done by submitting requests by a certain date, normally Octoberish and then management decided. Where we worked most of the managers were pre-children or older people so we just let all the staff have the time off and the managers did their work, which sometimes led to interesting results confused but workload was less at that time of year so we muddled through. It was good for us!

School holidays we had enough people who didn't want school holidays for it not to be a problem. When I was pre children I used to take lots of long weekends to visit friends/do mini breaks and I would have been pee'd off by a system where you had to pick a 2 week slot. I never had 2 weeks in one go.

I think your colleague is being very unreasonable to effectively 'save' a month long slot. Your manager should not allow that. Most places will say the leave year 'opens' on x date, first come first served, if there are clashes then managers try and be fair, falling back to lottery if they have to. FWIW I would not let a member of staff have every Monday off for 2 months if it meant others could not take full weeks. The 'open' date should be well publicised and people should be able to leave requests with their manager if they are going to be away that day and it should be a year in advance to allow holiday booking.

LikeABlackFlameCandleBNQ Sat 15-Oct-11 17:46:26

I sign off my staff's leave on a first come first served basis. If someone wants a particlar day/ week/ fortnight off, they get it if no=one else has it. I try and encourage first two, middle two or last two weeks in summer, rather than ending up with 'single' weeks in the middle iykwim. Also, only Stat BH days to be taken in late Dec, as we are a 24 hour operation so need staff onhand then too, no shifts off or skeleton staffing.

I have a very small team, so only one member of the dept is allowed leave at a certain time (officially), though none of them are full timers so I can wangle their shifts around to allow some extent of overlapping.

I only ever WANT the feb half term, as we do an annual trip that week each year. One staff member has two daughters and likes to be off school hols. Another says "put me down for holidays whenever you want" as she doesn't go abroad, away ever. I tend to try and give her the leave on her birthday week, sons birthday week, rarely giver her xmas eve/day as she is so flexible the rest of the time. The others seem to fit in well with everyone else.

PointyBlackHat Sun 16-Oct-11 20:44:48

Where I am, anything more than a week requires 2 weeks' notice. it's first come, first served, no priority for seniority, length of service or parental status. It works for us as we have very few staff who are parents and need the school holidays - in fact most avoid the school holidays so those are easy to get.

We do require a bod in between Christmas and New Year at all times - but since I did duty last year and the year before, I'm not it this year. Since I cover for our admin, she and I do not get to go on leave at the same time, but it isn't a problem since we never want the same periods.

I'm also part of a wider team nationally where the rule is also first come, first served and no more than 3 of us to be on leave at any one time. 3 of us have school age children so we just co-ordinate our leave accordingly, planning months in advance because we are all that way inclined. It works well.

Bumply Sun 16-Oct-11 22:46:00

First come first served in my team, although we'll usually check with others if it's going to clash. In theory we should book more than two weeks in advance, and needs head honchos approval if requesting more than 2 weeks off at once ( which then has to be agreed to by others in the team). I book some holidays in advance, and others at last minute when I know there's nothing critical on work wise. I'm the only parent, one guy likes long weekends to go diving another couldn't care less and usually takes time off in November when it gets to the use it or lose it point. Not had any issues.

CMOTdibbler Mon 17-Oct-11 10:38:53

In my team we thrash it out among ourselves before telling our manager. Works for us, but we do have a bit of flexibility

brighthair Mon 17-Oct-11 16:43:50

First come first served. August next year is full as is another 2 months of the year

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