Managing Employee Vacation Requests

3 minute read

Employee vacation requests can provide a challenging situation for salon or spa managers. From an employer-employee perspective, there are several factors to consider like staff morale, retention, and equality. Add in client appointments that have already been booked, and it can get complicated.

Tips for Managing Vacation Requests

1. Set a vacation policy and ensure that all your staff understand it. Use these rules when deciding whether or not to approve requests.

  • Determine your minimum staffing level. It can vary depending on the day of the week or the time of the year. For example, you may want more staff during the busy Back to School season and you may be able to deal with less staff if your clients are away during Thanksgiving. Note: Have a plan in place for times when you are under the minimum staffing level as staff may call in sick, show up late, etc.
  • Figure out the priority of vacation requests. Will staff with more seniority get their vacation dates approved first, or will it be on a first-come, first-serve basis?
  • Set a minimum notice period. Require employees to submit vacation requests at least 4 weeks (for example) prior to taking the time off. This will provide ample time to get other employees to cover the necessary shifts and to notify affected clients and give them the opportunity to reschedule if they want to stick with their service provider.

2. From time to time, you may receive vacation requests without the minimum notice. Depending on the circumstances, you may try to accommodate these requests. An option may be to require the employee to handle their own arrangements (e.g. trade shifts with a coworker, work overtime to fulfill their rescheduled appointments, etc.).

3. As the manager, there may be times when you have to decline time off requests. Explain your reasoning (you can refer back to the vacation policy). To minimize any disappointment, you can suggest an alternative time period.

4. Educate your staff! Show them what factors you need to consider and how you decide whether or not to approve their request. It will help develop their understanding of how to run a business, and over some time, it will make your job easier as they will learn to only approach you with reasonable vacation requests.


As discussed, there are numerous factors to consider when employees request time off. Insight Salon & Spa Software helps you to consider these elements and to make the necessary changes.

  • Reports: Find trends in appointments and sales to determine minimum staffing levels.
  • Appointment Book: View the booked appointments for the requested vacation days. You can determine how many appointments will be affected and if there are enough resources to cover the missing employee.
  • Employee Scheduling: Easily book days off for your employee. You will be notified if any appointments will be affected and a Wizard will help you move these appointments to another employee or to an alternate date.
  • Payroll: Calculate vacation pay. You can specify if it will be paid out on every paycheck or if it is accumulated to be paid out at certain times.

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Topics: Management
Posted on October 21, 2015