In Human Resources terms, a floating holiday is a paid day off an employee can take besides their official paid time off (PTO). It can be either for sick leave, vacation, or even personal leave.
The paid day off is called the floating holiday because employees can take it whenever they want to in the year. Unlike PTO, employees can use their floating holiday instantly.
Floating holidays have become popular in office culture, which is attracting a growing number of employees each year. It efficiently boosts workplace morale and promotes flexibility, work-life balance, and a healthy employer-employee relationship.
What are the Advantages of a Floating Holiday?
Floating holidays play a crucial role in boosting employee efficiency and building company morale. It benefits not only the employees but also the company by ensuring an increase in productivity.
Here are some primary advantages of floating holidays:
1. Reduces Administrative Burdens
It can become difficult for the administrative department to schedule and accommodate each employee’s leave requests. Floating holidays minimize this issue and allow employees to choose paid leaves that are convenient for them.
2. Compensates for Working on Standard Holidays
A company can have rigid schedules and strict deadlines, resulting in missing out on public holidays. But with a floating holiday, a company can easily compensate for the day by allowing employees to take a day off later.
3. Builds Diverse Work Culture
An inclusive and diverse workplace can develop employee satisfaction, build performance, and increase engagement. It helps to acknowledge people of different cultures by giving them a leave to celebrate a day that is not on the company calendar but is considered special in their culture.
4. Improves Work-Life Balance
Work can become hectic and create an imbalance in an employee’s personal life. Offering floating holidays ensures employees don’t burn out in their work and can enjoy their life.
5. Attracts and Retains Talents
A company can easily have the upper hand over its competitors by offering floating holidays. It can attract new talented employees as well as hold on to the current experienced and skilled employees.
When Can Employees Take a Floating Holiday?
There are no specific dates for when an employee can take a floating holiday because the holiday is designed to accommodate the varied interests of employees within the workforce.
Many employees use the holiday for cultural or religious practices, while others use it to celebrate special people’s birthdays or anniversaries.
Companies also offer employees to choose the holiday from their government, cultural, or religious holiday list. However, employers can decide to make the floating holiday unavailable to employees for specific days in the year to accommodate high work pressure and strict deadlines.
What are the Company Policies for a Floating Holiday Schedule?
In order to establish transparency and prevent miscommunication, employers usually write up Floating Holiday Policies. These policies help maintain a balanced work environment and give employees opportunities to take advantage of their floating holiday.
The following floating holiday policies should be in the employee handbook:
The number and availability of floating holidays throughout the year
The availability of floating holidays for both full-time and part-time employees
The eligibility of a new employee to get a floating holiday
How early a floating holiday request must be initiated and approved by a supervisor
Specifications of the time duration of the floating holidays
Other company restrictions regarding employees’ floating holidays
What are the Disadvantages of a Floating Holiday?
Floating holidays can only become disadvantageous if there is a clash between different employees’ schedules. So, while approving any floating holidays, it must be kept in mind to provide each employee an equal chance.
Moreover, one should ensure that the work or project of the employee on leave gets done by the other employees competent for the work.
What Happens to an Employee’s Unused Floating Holidays?
U.S. federal law doesn’t say much regarding an employee’s unused floating holidays, but there can be some state laws regarding it. However, many companies follow the policy of “Use it or Lose it” in the case of floating holidays. So, it’s better for an employee to use their entitled holidays in the specified year.