Top 2016 Paid Holidays: Thanksgiving, New Year’s Day, Memorial Day and Independence Day, SHRM Survey Finds

November 4, 2015

ALEXANDRIA, Va. — The vast majority of U.S. organizations (92 to 94 percent) will close their doors in 2016 to observe New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day and Thanksgiving, according to the 2016 Holiday Schedules Survey released today by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM).

Top holidays that most organizations will observe in 2016 are:

  • Thanksgiving Day (94 percent).
  • New Year’s Day (93 percent).
  • Memorial Day (93 percent).
  • Independence Day (93 percent).
  • Labor Day (92 percent).
  • Christmas Day, Sunday, Dec. 25 (80 percent of organizations that are normally open on Sundays)
  • Day after Thanksgiving (71 percent).

Christmas falls on a Sunday in 2016, and 80 percent of companies that are usually open on Sundays (25 percent of companies) will close for the holiday. However, in 2014 and 2015, when Christmas fell on a weekday, the vast majority (95 to 97 percent) of companies surveyed said they would close for the holiday.

A new addition to this year’s report is a question on swapping holidays, in which employees request to work one company-paid holiday in exchange for one the company does not offer. Fifteen percent of organizations indicated they allowed full-time employees to “swap holidays,” whereas 11 percent allowed part-time employees to do so.

“Some companies may offer employees the option to swap holidays as a way to accommodate those who may have different religious or personal needs. It also helps promote workplace diversity and a culture of inclusion,” said Evren Esen, director of survey programs for SHRM. “For example, a Jewish employee may wish to work Christmas Eve and Christmas Day in order to take off during Rosh Hashana, a rarely offered paid holiday.”

SHRM surveyed 385 HR professionals from a randomly selected sample of its members throughout the United States.

The full survey is available online at

For more surveys/poll findings, visit Follow SHRM Research on Twitter @SHRM_Research.

Media: For more information or to schedule an interview, contact Vanessa Gray at 703-535-6072 and or Kate Kennedy of SHRM Media Relations at 703-535-6260 and

About the Society for Human Resource Management
Founded in 1948, the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) is the world’s largest HR membership organization devoted to human resource management. Representing more than 275,000 members in over 160 countries, the Society is the leading provider of resources to serve the needs of HR professionals and advance the professional practice of human resource management. SHRM has more than 575 affiliated chapters within the United States and subsidiary offices in China, India and United Arab Emirates. Visit SHRM Online at and follow us on Twitter and Instagram @SHRMPress.


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