What is a Floating Holiday?

What is a Floating Holiday?

A paid day off that each employee can choose when to use is known as a floating holiday. A floating holiday "floats" or shifts to the employee's preferred date. In addition to the regular paid holidays that most firms offer as a reward, a floating holiday is over and above this.

You can give your staff the benefit of a floating holiday in addition to paid time off (PTO) or vacations. Employees can utilize it to replace a public holiday and usually decide for themselves what days they wish to take off (such as religious festivals, important occasions, or birthdays).

Employees who don't observe federally recognized holidays now have flexibility. As an illustration, consider a Jew who wants to take time off for Hanukkah, Rosh Hashanah, or Yom Kippur. It should be deemed a floating holiday, as they shouldn't have to take time off for these religious observances.

A flexible time-off choice that might help your workers feel appreciated is floating holidays. A floating holiday may be paid or unpaid, depending on the corporate policy. You will find out more about the topic in this post, enabling you to decide if having a floating holiday policy is the best course of action for your company.

Employers who offer floating holidays normally let these days be taken at any time of the year, as long as some notice is given, but some people take them on important days.


Related: Time Off Request

What is a floating holiday: Floating holiday examples

What is a floating holiday

In place of public holidays, compensated "floating holidays" are granted to employees. They do not fall on any specific day. Most employees are free to do anything they wish on these paid days off.

There is now flexibility for those who don't observe federally designated holidays. Consider a Jew who wants to take time off for Yom Kippur, Hanukkah, or Rosh Hashanah as an example. They should not have to take time off for these religious events because they should be a floating holiday.

Two such examples are MLK Day and Presidents Day. Businesses that offer floating holidays typically permit use throughout the year, even if some only use them on special occasions.

On the other hand, employees can make up missed time on floating holidays. As a result, you won't need to create a lengthy list of holidays for your company to celebrate; instead, you can let your employees pick the holidays that work best for them.

Make a list of the different holidays that are included. They might consist of the following:

  • Religious ritual

  • Birthdays of those in your close family

  • Birthdays of employee

  • Holidays honouring culture

  • Additional holidays not included in your company's vacation policy


Related: How Vacation Improves Your Well-being and Productivity

What is a floating holiday: Floating holiday vs PTO

Floating vacations and paid time off (PTO) have similarities and differences. Because they both permit employees to take personal time off, floating holidays and PTO appear to be the same at first glance. Although PTO and floating holidays are all types of paid time off, you should be aware of significant variations between the two to create the best leave policy for your company.

1. Floating holidays are often used for particular national holidays or cultural occasions.
PTO is utilized for time off for personal, vacation, or medical reasons.
2. Employees, for instance, receive PTO based on their performance and experience over time.
According to Flex jobs research, 4 out of 5 parents prioritize work-life balance over compensation; therefore, PTOs help employees achieve the desired work-life balance.
3. Most businesses have a use-it-or-lose-it policy regarding floating holidays, which reset annually.
How much of your PTO can be carried over depends largely on your PTO policy, both your eligibility and the possibility of doing so. The corporation typically allows tenured employees to accumulate their PTO or has a cap on the amount that can be carried over to the next year.
4. Typically, a corporation offers a certain number of floating vacations that remain constant from year to year.
PTO often rises in proportion to how long an employee stays with a company.
5. On the other hand, floating holidays are given both at the start of each year and when the employee first joins the organization.
Employees, for instance, receive PTO based on their performance and experience over time.

Related: 13 Reasosn why Every Employee Needs Paid Time Off

What is a floating holiday: Floating holiday policy

A floating holiday policy explains the conditions under which floating vacations may be taken at your workplace and provides a list of all previously scheduled floating holidays.

It would cover topics like holiday notices, permission notices,  the number of available floating holidays, and more.

Every team has different requirements, so your company should have its floating holiday policy. To create an effective floating
holiday policy
, employers must follow a few simple guidelines. It is best to have a flexible holiday policy that staff members can refer to if necessary. But before you draft a floating holiday policy, take into account the following:

  • Eligibility requirements

  • How many days?

  • Pre-designated holiday schedule

  • Details on carryover and encashment

  • Approving procedure

  • Blackout duration

Unlimited PTO and floating holidays both have their ambiguities. Therefore, if you are considering providing them, it is crucial to develop a policy that instructs staff members on what to do and what not to do. Here are some items that human resources can include in your employee handbook if your company is considering offering floating vacations.

  1. Describe a floating holiday's purpose and operation. The first stage describes a floating holiday's purpose and operation at your firm.

  2. Specify the beginning and ending times for the available floating holidays. Define the rolling period if you don't want
    employees to be
     confused about when they can take floating holidays. For instance, if you grant your staff five floating vacations, let them know they may use those five days between January 1 and December 31.

  3. Specify when and how employees must submit time-off requests. The firm will be impacted if employees can call in at work and seek time off on the same day. Except in emergencies, when it ceases to be a floating holiday.

Many workplaces provide floating holidays as a benefit in addition to the more conventional vacation days and sick leave. Even though they are not required by state legislation, it is a good idea to consider if they are practical for your team.

Trish Makiwa
This article was written by Trish a Consultant at Industrial Psychology Consultants (Pvt) Ltd

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