HR Makes Slight Schedule Changes for Holidays in 2010

By SHRM Online staff Dec 1, 2009

A higher percentage of U.S. employers plan to treat Christmas Eve as a paid holiday for employees in 2010 than in 2009, according to a new Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) poll. Part of the reason for the change by employers might be that the federal government will treat Dec. 24, 2010, as a federal holiday because Christmas that year falls on a Saturday.

Meanwhile, slightly less than half of the 428 SHRM members surveyed said their organizations will treat the Monday after Christmas as a paid holiday in 2010.

The survey, conducted online Nov. 12, 2009, through Nov. 19, 2009, asked about other holidays not noted in previous years’ polls.

Only 1 percent of respondents, though, said their organizations planned to treat Passover (March 30, 2010), the Jewish holiday Shavuot (May 19, 2010), the Muslim holiday Ramadan (Aug. 11, 2010), the Jewish holiday Rosh Hashana (Sept. 9, 2010), the Hindu holiday Diwali (Nov. 5, 2010), the Muslim holiday Eid al-Adha (Nov. 17, 2010) and the Chinese New Year (Feb. 14, 2010) as paid holidays for their employees.

There is little change from 2009 in the percentage of employers treating more traditional American holidays, such as Thanksgiving, as paid days off. Among 2010 employer-paid holidays, according to findings SHRM released Nov. 23, 2009:

  • Christmas Eve, Dec. 24—79 percent; 42 percent of 542 respondents in 2009 said this was the case. Only 10 percent plan to close early in 2010 vs. 33 percent that plan to do so in 2009.
  • Monday after Christmas, Dec. 27—40 percent plan to close early.
  • New Year’s Eve, Dec. 31—48 percent; 21 percent in 2009. In 2010, 16 percent plan to close early vs. 25 percent who plan to do so in 2009.
  • New Year’s Day, Jan. 1—98 percent; 97 percent in 2009.
  • Martin Luther King Jr.’s Birthday, Jan. 18—34 percent; 36 percent in 2009.
  • Presidents Day, Feb. 15—35 percent; 33 percent in 2009.
  • Good Friday, April 2—30 percent; 26 percent in 2009.
  • Easter Monday, April 4—5 percent; 7 percent in 2009.
  • Memorial Day, May 31—95 percent, both years.
  • July 2, the Friday before Fourth of July—17 percent; 66 percent in 2009. In 2010, 7 percent will close early vs. 12 percent who planned to do so in 2009.
  • July 5, the Monday after the Fourth of July—82 percent; 6 percent in 2009 treated the Monday after the Fourth of July as a paid holiday.
  • Labor Day, Sept. 6—96 percent; 95 percent in 2009.
  • Columbus Day, Oct. 12—13 percent, both years.
  • Veterans Day, Nov. 11—16 percent; 18 percent in 2009.
  • Wednesday before Thanksgiving, Nov. 24—3 percent; 5 percent in 2009. Only 15 percent plan to close early on this day in 2010 vs. 16 percent who planned to do so in 2009.
  • Thanksgiving, Nov. 25—98 percent; 97 percent in 2009.
  • Friday after Thanksgiving, Nov. 26—75 percent; 72 percent in 2009.

As in 2009, few organizations plan to give employees the week off between Christmas and New Year’s Day—11 percent in 2010 and 16 percent in 2009. Among those that will close that week, 93 percent said it didn’t have anything to do with the soured U.S. and global economy.

Holidays can disrupt daily workplace routines, and staffing firm OfficeTeam offers the following reminders to employees who will be out of the office during those times:

  • Coordinate vacation dates with team members as early as possible to avoid scheduling conflicts or projects not being covered.
  • Include in out-of-office e-mail and voice mail notices an alternate contact number for any co-worker filling in for you during your holiday absence.
  • Make it easy for those colleagues by providing them with the information they will need. Don’t forget to thank them for their efforts.
  • Indicate on group calendars when you will be absent during the holidays.
  • Change any soon-to-expire passwords before leaving for the holidays in order to be able to log in upon your return.
  • Ensure that your e-mail inbox has plenty of storage capacity so any large files sent during holiday absences can be received.
  • Be specific with co-workers as to when you will be accessible if you plan to check in with the office during your holiday absence.
  • Avoid scheduling meetings the morning of your return, to allow time to catch up on business.

Related article:

Day After Thanksgiving Remains Paid Day Off for Many, HR News, Nov. 3, 2008

Employers Grapple with Mid-Week Holiday Dilemma, HR News,June 20, 2007

Related resource:

SHRM Holidays Toolkit


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