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Floating holidays

Floating holidays are flexible leaves that an employee can take whenever needed. As the name suggests, these holidays’ float’ means the date changes every year. This can be a paid or unpaid holiday. Usually, organizations offer floating holidays as benefits on top of the paid leaves. 

Floating holidays generally boost employee morale in the company. These are used for different reasons like cultural events; employees might take off on their or a friend’s birthday, hike among the woods, or relax at home. Although these holidays can be used on any day, some companies offer a limited list from which the employee has to choose. 

There are no laws requiring employers to provide floating holidays, but it is considered beneficial for the company’s growth. Usually, floating holidays have a use or lose it policy, and they do not continue to the following year.

It is crucial to establish a policy around floating holidays, who can benefit from them, when the employees can use these holidays, when to apply for the holidays and how to get them approved, and other restrictions.

Floating holidays and PTO 

Paid time off (PTO) and floating vacations are similar yet different in several respects. For instance, PTO is awarded to the employees according to their experience and performance over time. In contrast, floating holidays are awarded when the employee joins the company and at the beginning of every year. Employees can accumulate PTO when not used and use it later, but floating holidays expire at the end of the year.

Benefits of offering a floating holiday

  • It provides flexibility.
  • It improves team morale.
  • Improves work-life balance, thereby improving productivity.
  • Suitable for diversity and inclusion in the workplace.
  • Helps in employee retention.


Disadvantages of floating holidays

  • Taking off in a certain period might be less favorable for the business for some positions.
  • Inconsistency with the date and people allowed to take floating holidays can lead to miscommunications among team members.
  • Not keeping track of floating holidays can affect the business.


Things to consider while developing a floating holiday policy

  • When can they take off- Ensure a clear time period in which the employees can take floating holidays.
  • How many holidays- Make a clear note on how many floating holidays are allowed in a year.
  • Procedure for requesting- What is the process for requesting these holidays? How long before should they apply for it, and how long does it take to get the approval? Make sure these aspects are evident in the policy.
  • Paid or unpaid- Mention whether the holidays are paid or unpaid.
  • Keeping everything on the paper- List all the details in a document or part of the PTO policy.
  • Decide based on your business requirements- There is no one-size-fits-all policy for floating holidays. Design the policy according to the company’s needs.
  • Consistency and communication- Being consistent in the restrictions of sanctioning holidays and communicating them well to the employees is crucial for the policy to succeed.
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