SHRM Survey: Small Percentage Offer Floating Holidays

By Kathy Gurchiek October 15, 2013

A little more than one-third of 606 HR professionals reported that their organization will offer floating holidays to their employees in 2014, with most of them providingno more than five such holidays a year.

The findings are from the 2014 Holiday Schedules survey report that the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) released Oct. 15, 2013. The question about floating holidays was new to the annual poll.

SHRM Research defined a floating holiday as providing employees with paid time off to observe a holiday that the organization has not scheduled. That could include allowing workers to take their birthday as a floating holiday. Among the 38 percent offering floating holidays, nearly all (96 percent) give up to five per year to full-time employees.

Also new to this year’s survey, conducted with a random sample of SHRM members from July 29 to Aug. 12, 2013, was a question about whether respondents’ organizations were open on weekends. Researchers found that 64 percent of organizations are not open on weekends, 26 percent are open on Saturdays, and 9 percent are open on Sundays.

Paid Holidays

More than three-fourths (78 percent) of organizations offer their full-time employees six to 10 paid holidays, and 51 percent give part-time staff up to five paid holidays.

Nine out of 10 organizations will observe New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day in 2014. This is similar to previous years.

Only 18 percent in 2014 will close the Wednesday before Thanksgiving, and 2 percent the Friday after Thanksgiving.

Few organizations close for religious holidays except for Christmas Day; a much smaller percentage will close Dec. 24 (35 percent) than Dec. 25 (95 percent), and 32 percent will close early Dec. 24.

Good Friday—the Friday before Easter—is the next most common religious holiday observed, with 21 percent of HR professionals saying their organization will close their offices that day in 2014. Only 5 percent will close early.

Thirty-six percent said their organization will close for Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, on Monday, Jan. 20, and 35 percent will shut their doors on Presidents Day, on Monday, Feb. 17.

Looking ahead to 2015, 92 percent plan to close their offices on Thursday, Jan. 1.

The survey’s margin of error is plus or minus 4 percent. Seventy-nine percent of respondents are at organizations that are U.S. based. The largest percentage of respondents—40 percent—has 100 to 499 employees at their organization.


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