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T-learning!
Guess what this idiom means

skeleton staff

Choose the correct definition a, b or c.

a) overworked employees

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b) minimum staffing

Well done ! That’s the right answer.

a skeleton staff’ refers to the minimum number of employees needed for a business or organisation to operate, during a holiday, weekend, or other period when people do not normally work, or full staffing is not necessary.

French translation

personnel réduit

How NOT to translate : *squelette de personnel

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Examples in context

‘’It’s a nightmare’ : Americans’ health at risk as shutdown slashes EPA

The Environmental Protection Agency has been cut to a skeleton staff, meaning work to ensure clean air and water is left undone.

The US government shutdown has stymied environmental testing and inspections, prompting warnings that Americans’ health is being put at increasing risk as the shutdown drags on.’

The Guardian, 9 Jan. 2019

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Everyday usage

The warehouse has a skeleton staff on Sundays.

There is currently a skeleton staff on site supervising routine maintenance work.

All of those organisations run on a shoestring, with skeleton staff.

c) labour dispute

Sorry, wrong answer. Please try again.


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