Everything HR

Happy Holidays: Understanding the Basics of Paid Holidays

September 08, 2020

For employees, a paid holiday is a welcome treat, but for employers, coordinating all the details can be a headache. It’s easier if you’re closed for the day, but many businesses, especially small ones, can’t close completely and therefore have to worry about substitute days off and calculating pay for working on a holiday.

The rules are intricate and varied, and the issues can be uncommon enough that employers don’t have the knowledge of habit to guide them. Unfortunately, employers have to master these rules; failing to pay an employee what they’re entitled to, or failing to give them the legislated time off, can land employers in serious legal trouble.

Each jurisdiction has its own set of holidays, and even within jurisdictions holidays might have unique rules about whether businesses can operate or whether employees receive pay for the day. And if your organization can open on a holiday and you choose to, there might be additional rules about whether you can require employees to work, and what pay they receive for working the holiday.

Employers have to confirm eligibility for holiday pay and perform the necessary calculations. When employees agree to work on a holiday, this not only affects their pay, employers also have to provide a substitute holiday within a given period. All of this takes time to understand and get right. Download our FREE Guide to Understanding Holiday Pay to learn more so you can make sure paid holidays are just as relaxing for you as they are for your employees.


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