A floating holiday is a paid day off given to employees. There are many required public holidays scheduled in the US, but floating holidays are not required and are different per company and person.

The purpose of a paid floating holiday is to allows employees to take paid time off when their practices don’t match the typical work schedule. It helps them to take time off to meet their own needs when the company does not recognize the holiday like Christmas, Rosh Hashanah, Hanukkah, or maybe they prefer to take their birthday off instead.

If you wish to set up a floating holiday policy, the one thing you can do to ensure it’s success is to set up the policy from the beginning.

Below are some considerations to keep in mind when developing a floating holiday policy:

  • Eliminate black-out dates. While this might be difficult, the purpose of a floating holiday is to help employees achieve work-life balance, and it can be difficult if there are some dates blocked off that they need.
  • Determine if and how it is accrued. Do employees need to be full-time for six months or one year before employees can request their paid day off?
  • Create a procedure for requesting and tracking time off. It’s crucial that you create a simple and straightforward process for employees to request the time off. Is it emailing you (or HR), submitting it through a Google form, or maybe you want them to request it through a software? Whatever the process, make sure that everyone follows it and that you also create a method for tracking the time off to ensure it did take place.
  • Will the day roll-over if unused? What happens to the paid day off if employees do not use it? Does it roll over or do they lose it?
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