Choices for paid holidays
- On 13 January 2017
- Posted by Chantal Mariotti
If you offer paid holidays, consider eliminating “Christmas Day” specifically, and allow your employees to “choose their designated winter holiday,” such as Hanukkah, or Kwanzaa instead. Offer your employees options when it comes to deciding what holiday they want off. Your employees are likely to have different preferences and it’s important to acknowledge and take into consideration their different beliefs and traditions. Giving your employees a choice to choose their paid holidays show them that you care about them as individuals, and respect their individual beliefs.
By allowing your employees to choose their holiday, you can show them that you recognize other religious holidays. While Christmas is one of the main holidays celebrated during this season, it is important to realize that there are other important religious holidays that people take time off for. Respect your employees and increase good employee relations by allowing your employees to be involved and decide for themselves what holidays to take off, rather than assuming that Christmas Day is applicable to everyone on your staff.
Avoid discrimination. Discrimination, regardless of how subtle it is, can create negativity at work. Therefore, it’s important to take into consideration all of your available options and make sure all your employees feel acknowledged and appreciated. And…. Discrimination is against the law!
Review your handbook; make sure it is reviewed by legal counsel prior to distribution. Make necessary changes in your employee handbook to include a revised section on choices for paid holidays, if you haven’t already done so. This can provide accurate information as to which holidays are recognized days off for your company. Have your legal counsel look over your employee handbook to ensure the information is accurate and clear. This can help you avoid issues in the future related to compensation and your overall benefits package.
Communicate your new policies with everyone; have them sign the acknowledgment of receipt. Inform all your employees about any changes in your employee handbook, so that they can be informed on what’s new and what has changed in terms of paid holiday policies and practices. By having your employees sign a receipt of acknowledgment, it provides proof that they have received the information and are aware of the changes; a document you may need in the future as back up to a litigated claim by one of your employees.