Alternating schedule between two teams where one team is -also- the escalation

We have two teams; let’s call them “Home” and “Away”. I’d like to set up a schedule/escalation policy so that

  • every week, the oncall person from each team rotates
  • every 12 hours, the primary oncall switches between Home and Away
  • if the currently on-call Away person doesn’t respond or escalates an issue, it goes to the corresponding Home person.

So, for example, on Week 1, Alice Home is on call for 12 hours, then Angela Away is on call for 12 hours, alternating. On Week 2, Bob Home is on call for 12 hours, then Bradley Away is on call for 12 hours, alternating, etc. If Angela doesn’t respond or manually escalates, Alice gets paged; if Bradley doesn’t respond or manually escalates, Bob gets paged.

What’s the best way to set up this kind of thing? My first thought was to set up a schedule with separate Home and Away layers, each of which is limited to 12 hours a day, but then it seems like I would have to set up a second schedule to handle the escalation level, and that seems like a nuisance for scheduling overrides. My second thought was that I could have a schedule with two layers such that Home is always on call but Away takes over for 12 hours of each day. But I’m not sure if escalation in that second one would work the way I’m thinking of.

Hello JD,

There are no scheduling functions in escalation policies, so you will need to configure this entirely in schedules. Regardless of the team each user is on, they will need to be on the same schedule and same layer in order to alternate. You can learn more about configuring schedules, and creating split day/shift schedules in our knowledge base.

As only one person can be on call at a time on a schedule, you’ll have to create a second schedule for escalations regardless, to be placed on the second level of the escalation policy.

If you have further or more specific questions about schedule configurations, please reach out to us at


Hey JD,

From my experience, what you’re looking for does require at least two schedules running in tandem of each other. I’ve helped a few of my own teams with similar schedules and your first thought is identical to how I’ve accomplished it.

The good news is the nuisance of two schedules needing overrides is seems fairly small, especially with the new “My OnCall Shifts” view.

Thanks, folks. It looks like at least two schedules will be required for the escalation.

Tatiana, I’m not sure I understand your comment about “Regardless of the team each user is on, they will need to be on the same schedule and same layer in order to alternate” - why can’t I have the members of the two teams each be on separate layers, with time restrictions so the Home layer is only on from midnight to noon, and the Away layer only on from noon to midnight?

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My apologies, you don’t. Since the two teams run different shifts, you are right to put them on different layers restricted to different times.