Giving Employees Additional Time Off For Holidays

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HR Services

It is more and more common that companies are providing employees with additional time off around traditional holidays. Either closing early or giving additional days off for an extended holiday. The revolution may be that providing employees additional time promotes overall appreciation and added company value. Depending on the industry, select companies are able to provide employees this added time over the holidays and some find it more difficult due to seasonal relevance or client/customer obligations.

Companies are shifting to a more flexible workplace that promotes a stronger work-life balance and that may be reflected during various holidays throughout the year. There are many ways small, medium and large corporate companies are approaching this trend, especially during the summer months and the holiday season. If you are considering this for your employees, see some tips that can help make this time off as efficient for the company and employees.

Set Expectations

When announcing the company closure schedule, set expectations that all work-related activity must be completed beforehand. Ensure that employees are aware that all pressing work matters and deadlines are to be met prior to the holiday. See our 

Ask Employees To Be Available

It is not unrealistic to ask employees to be available if work-related matters arise while out of the office. Oftentimes, this may be more of a factor when clients are involved who are working during the time of the office closure.

Inform Customers / Clients

It is just as important to let any customers, clients, outside vendors and consultants know ahead of time of your company’s holiday schedule so that they are aware and can plan accordingly. This will reduce the amount of request and expectations during that time.

Employee Refresh

Extended time off from work also allows employees to refresh. Having this time away from the office can promote a recharge when returning. Encouraging this mindset can help heighten productivity during times when overall productivity may be lower than average.

General Holiday Time Off Policy

As a benefit to workers, many companies opt to pay non-exempt employees for certain holiday closures. In fact, according to a Society for Human Resource Management Benefits Survey, 97% of responding employers provide some type of paid holidays to their employees. The company may set its policy in this regard, and it has a good deal of discretion regarding the payment and calculation of the holiday pay. This may also include “shifting” the days of the recognized holiday so as to reduce the amount of vacation, PTO or unpaid time employees may experience during the holiday closure. We simply recommend creating a written policy regarding holiday pay and applying it consistently among employees.

It is also important to note that the law only requires the employer to consider actual hours worked versus hours paid when calculating overtime pay.  If the employer provides paid holidays, it is not required to count the unworked paid holiday hours towards the overtime calculation for a non-exempt employee.

Our HR Guides help companies determine the best HR practices for their company culture and how to regulate the HR obligations that come with these actions.


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