Managing holidays is usually about finding room for guests, deciding on a holiday menu, and planning fun outings for the family. If you’re a business owner, however, it can mean something else. When you’re an employer, the holidays often bring up questions about time off, extra holiday pay, and how to create your company’s paid time off policy. Are you wondering how to manage an upcoming holiday at your company? This article should help answer some of your questions.
7 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Holiday Pay
Many questions from business owners fall into predictable categories involving religious holidays, overtime, and federal requirements. Here are the seven most frequently asked questions and how to address them.
Am I Required to Offer Time Off for Holidays to My Employees?
Federal regulations do not require you to provide holidays off to your employees. If you do choose to offer holidays off, you are not required to pay non-exempt employees. Non-exempt employees are those who work for an hourly wage or are subject to overtime. That being said, most employers choose to offer time off for certain major holidays. They use this as a way to reward their team and create a positive work environment.
Are There Any Holidays I’m Required to Observe?
There are no federal regulations on what holidays you need to observe and account for in your place of work. The most common holidays that employers offer time off for, either paid or unpaid, are:
• New Year’s Day
• Memorial Day
• Labor Day
• Independence Day
• Thanksgiving Day
Some businesses have a large contingent of employees who are from other countries or who practice different religions. If this is true in your case, you may also want to consider the holidays they observe in your policy. This enhances an inclusive workplace that values diversity.
Is Paid Time Off Considered Time Worked?
Some employers wonder if giving paid time off is considered time worked. This often comes up in issues of overtime. Paid time off is not considered time worked. Therefore, it does not need to be taken into consideration in overtime situations.
How Should I Handle Employee Religious Observations?
Depending on how diverse your workforce is, you may find that you have employees who observe a broad range of religious holidays. Though you are not required to offer paid time off for them or any other holiday, it’s always a good idea to take their beliefs into consideration. You may want to offer a ‘floating holiday’ option where they can take paid time off for the holiday or holidays they observe. This is similar to paid vacation but is given with the understanding that it will be used for religious holiday observation.
Am I Required to Pay a Higher Wage to Those Who Work Holidays?
If your office is open on holidays and you pay your workers an hourly wage, you may wonder if you’re required to pay them a higher wage if they work a holiday. Though there are a couple of states that require higher pay in these instances, the vast majority do not. If it fits into your budget, it’s always a good idea to offer incentives or rewards to those employees who come in on a holiday, but it is not legally required.
How Should I Manage My Team’s Vacation Requests?
Managing your team’s vacation requests can be a sticky situation, especially if you have to turn down requests. It’s good to have a policy in place that states during which holidays employees get time off. You should also spell out if those holidays are paid or unpaid, and what happens if the holiday falls on a weekend. Most companies offer either the day before or day after the holiday off in this case. You should also state how far in advance requests need to be made and what happens should you need to deny a request.
How Should I Track Holiday Pay or Paid Time Off?
Tracking multiple requests for extra time off during the holidays can be difficult for your HR team. If they also have to manage some employees with paid time off and others without, it gets even more time-intensive. Consider using paid time off tracking software to help your team effectively manage requests in an efficient manner. This not only helps them keep requests organized, but it also lets other employees see time off schedules. This assists them in planning around when other team members will be out of the office.
Part of a vibrant and fulfilling workplace culture is a fair and consistent policy regarding time off for holidays and other events. When considering your own company’s policy, you should take into consideration what holidays most of your workers observe and how important it is in your industry to have staff available on major holidays. This will help you build a plan that is effective and benefits both your team and your business as a whole.