What is a Floating Holiday?

A floating holiday is a paid day off that employees can schedule at their discretion. Unlike standard paid holidays, which occur on fixed dates, floating holidays move to the date that the employee selects.

Why Offer Floating Holidays?

Offering floating holidays can boost employee morale and help businesses attract top talent. By accommodating diverse needs, floating holidays provide employees with more flexibility in scheduling time off.

How can Floating Holidays Be Used?

Employees can use the floating holiday to take the day off for a religious or cultural observance or to celebrate a personal milestone such as a birthday or a friend’s wedding. Some organizations restrict the use of floating holidays to company-approved cultural, religious, or government holidays and events. Blackout dates, when no one is allowed to use a floating holiday, can also be enforced during busy times at work.

Floating Holidays: Is Their Provision Required?

No laws exist in the US that require employers to provide floating holidays, just as no laws exist that require employers to provide paid holidays such as Labor Day or Christmas. Some labor unions may negotiate floating holidays as part of their contracts.

Floating Holiday Policy Recommendations

All companies that provide floating holidays should create and publish a policy about their utilization. This policy should be present in the employee handbook and answer vital questions such as:

  • What is the company’s policy on the use of floating holidays? • Can a floating holiday be carried over into the following year? • Are there any blackout dates for using floating holidays?
  • Can a Floating Holiday Be Carried Over into the Next Year?
  • Decisions on whether a floating holiday can be carried over into the following year are left to individual companies since no federal law regulates this area. Employers can choose to implement a use-it-or-lose-it policy for floating holidays, causing the holiday to be forfeited if not used by its expiration date.