skeleton staff

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skeleton staff (plural skeleton staffs)

  1. The minimum number of employees needed to operate a business during a vacation, weekend, or other period when people do not normally work, or full staffing is not necessary.
    • 1947 March and April, “The Position of the Festiniog Railway”, in Railway Magazine, page 74:
      The line was closed officially on August 9, , and only a skeleton staff retained.
    • 2004, Des Conway, The Event Manager's Bible: How to Plan and Deliver an Event, page 121:
      But you must keep skeleton staff on duty at all car parks while the event is still open.
    • 2018, Lee Child, Past Tense, page 63:
      The police department was operating with a skeleton staff.