FLOATING HOLIDAY: Meaning, How It Works, and Benefits


A flexible time-off choice that might help your workers feel appreciated is floating holidays. A floating holiday could be compensated or not, depending on the corporate policy. Read this article to learn more about a floating holiday and its benefit.

What Is Floating Holiday?

A “floating holiday” is a paid day off that an employee can take whenever they want. A floating holiday is one that moves every year to the date that works best for the employee, hence the name. In addition to the regular paid holidays that most firms offer as a reward, a “floating” holiday is typically granted. Employers are giving floating holidays to their workers more often because they boost morale and attract the best workers.

Why Is It Called a Floating Holiday? 

A paid day off that each employee can choose when to use is known as a floating holiday. A floating holiday is one that travels to the employee’s preferred date each year, hence the name.

What Is the Use of a Floating Holiday?

A floating vacation can satisfy a range of requirements and interests. Some employees use it to take the day off for a holiday that is important to them. However, this isn’t one of the company’s paid holidays, like a religious or cultural event. Some people choose to go on a floating vacation on a memorable day, like their birthday or a friend’s wedding. Others may choose to do anything they want with their floating vacation, like go fishing on a lake or just spend a quiet day at home relaxing.

However, some companies only let employees choose from events and holidays that are important to their culture, religion, or government. Some businesses also have “blackout” dates when no one can take a floating holiday because it is a very busy time at work.

What Purpose Does a Floating Holiday Serve?

It doesn’t seem like floating holidays are really necessary if you provide your employees with enough vacation time and other benefits. Therefore, this is an excellent question. In practice, though, the floating holiday gives your employees one or two days off a year to relax and, if they want, stay home and relax.

To put it another way, a floating holiday is a terrific way to guarantee that your staff members have some flexibility in their schedules. It also lets people take personal holidays that your company may not recognize, like important religious or cultural days that aren’t on most federal or state holiday calendars.

Floating Holiday Examples 

Employees are given paid days off known as “floating holidays” to replace public holidays. They do not coincide with any particular day. Most employees are free to do whatever they want on these paid days off.

Employees who don’t observe federally recognized holidays now have flexibility. As an illustration, consider a Jew who wants to take time off for Hanukkah, Rosh Hashanah, or Yom Kippur. It should be a floating holiday, so they don’t have to take time off for these religious events.

Presidents Day or MLK Day are two other instances. Floating holidays are also available to employees on certain days. Though some people use floating holidays on special occasions, businesses that offer them normally permit their use at any time of the year as long as some kind of warning is given.

Floating Holiday vs PTO 

The main benefit of the floating holiday is that it gives workers the chance to celebrate their own cultural holidays that don’t fall on the standard holiday calendar. Businesses typically offer two to three floating vacations at the start of the year, which can be used or not and are not carried over to the next year. PTO, on the other hand, refers to paid time off (for example, sick, casual, maternity, etc.) that is not associated with a specific day. Employees can choose to receive them all at once at the beginning of the year or to accumulate and earn them throughout the year. To know more about floating holidays vs. PTO, let us look at their definitions separately. 

Floating Holidays

Holidays that don’t fall on a specific day are ideally referred to as “floating holidays.” These days are often referred to as “optional holidays,” and at some workplaces, employees are free to use them as they see fit. Others let their employees choose from a list of national, religious, or cultural holidays to use their floating holiday time. To assist employees in planning their vacations, these holidays are offered to them in one cash payment at the beginning of the year.


According to the company’s PTO policy, employees can take time off without getting paid for it. It is made up of a variety of leaves, including bereavement, marriage, casual, sick, and floating leaves. Some businesses distribute the yearly allotment of PTO at the start of the year, while others let the PTO accrue throughout the year (monthly, quarterly, or half-yearly). A growing number of businesses are also thinking about offering limitless PTO!

Are Floating Holidays Considered Paid Time Off?

No. In contrast to PTOs, floating holidays are distributed all at once at the beginning of the real year. PTOs can be given in one lump sum or accumulated throughout the year. PTOs can be given out and added up throughout a job, but floating vacations are set. Also, PTOs can be carried over, however, floating holidays must be used up immediately.

Advantages of Floating Holidays Compared to PTO

  • A floating vacation is a fantastic method to draw in a variety of talent. According to a 2015 SHRM poll, 42% of employers offer floating holiday benefits, while PTOs give employees the work-life balance they demand. A Flexjobs report found that 4 out of 5 parents value work-life balance over salary.
  • Non-mandated floating holidays SHRM 2017 reports that employers offer two floating holidays annually. For PTOs, the country you work in requires it.
  • American workers can work on 10 public holidays without paid time off over the holiday, They don’t because floating holidays reset annually and most businesses have a use-it-or-lose-it policy. It is permissible during PTO, but your PTO policy controls who can do it, when they can do it, and how much time can be slid over.
  • Floating holidays are subject to the jurisdiction in which the office is located. If floating vacations were like PTO, employees could utilize them after quitting. But, paid time off can be cashed out upon termination or resignation. The company’s PTO policy and state labor regulations decide who can cash out, how many, and how.

What Is the Benefit of Floating Holiday? 

With a floating holiday benefit, you can give your employees more freedom, boost team spirit, and show your support for diversity and inclusion at work. Here is a closer look at some of the main advantages of floating vacations:

#1. It May Keep Your Company Operating During the Holidays

This is one significant benefit of a floating holiday. Some places of work give their employees time off automatically around certain holidays, which may also be their busiest times of the year. Companies can give floating holidays so that some employees can take time off while the business remains open. This keeps the business from losing money. This kind of policy is advantageous for your company and your employees.

Remember that you might need to impose floating-holiday limitations on the number of employees who can take the same day off.

#2. Administrative Burdens Will Lessen

It can be difficult to choose an inclusive holiday plan that fits the needs of every employee. You can provide floating vacations to reduce these scheduling concerns. This gives you the flexibility to decide which key public holidays to include in your normal PTO policy and gives your staff the freedom to decide which additional holidays are most convenient for them.

#3. Employees Get More Freedom and a Better Work-Life Balance Because to It

This is another benefit of floating holiday. Although everyone enjoys their paid time off, not everyone’s life fits into the same timetable of vacation days. A floating holiday schedule gives employees more freedom, so they don’t have to take days off when they’d rather be working (or vice versa). This can reduce stress and improve the balance between work and life. Working parents who must spend some days of the year at home with their kids might also benefit from floating holidays.

#4. It Fosters a Welcoming Workplace Environment

Many firms put diversity and inclusion in the workplace at the top of their priority lists, and with good reason. Diversity and inclusion initiatives can make employees work better, be happier, and stay with the company longer. Adding a floating holiday to your employee benefits package would make it possible to help with these projects. Most businesses don’t take paid time off for many religious and cultural holidays. Therefore, floating holidays let workers observe the holidays that are important to them.

#5. It Aids in Enticing in and Keeping Top Talent

A floating holiday is a cheap and popular perk that can help you keep your best employees and attract new ones. You let employees take the time off they require rather than providing them all the paid vacation days you believe they will want. This perk encourages employees to take time off when they need it and shows that you care about their mental health, culture, and work-life balance.

Can I Use My Floating Holiday Anytime?

A paid “floating holiday” is a day off that an employee can take whenever they want. This day “floats,” which means that the employee can use it any time during the year.

Is a Floating Holiday the Same as Vacation?

The more time a person spends working there, the more PTO and vacation days they normally receive. Employees can accrue more PTO days over time if the firm provides a base number of days. Floating holidays, on the other hand, are given out at the beginning of the year and then lost.

What Are the Floating Holidays 2023?

  • Holiday Work Models
  • Day of the New Year: January 1.
  • King, Martin Luther Jr.
  • George Washington’s birthday, or Presidents Day, is on the third Monday in February.
  • Memorial Day: final Monday in May.
  • June 19 is Juneteenth.
  • July 4th is the national holiday.
  • First Monday in September is Labor Day.

What Are 4 Floating Holidays?

As an illustration, consider a Jew who wants to take time off for Hanukkah, Rosh Hashanah, or Yom Kippur. It should be deemed a floating holiday, as they shouldn’t have to take time off for these religious observances. Presidents Day or MLK Day are two other instances.

Should I Use PTO or Floating Holiday?

PTO is used for vacations, sick days, and personal time away from work. Floating holidays, on the other hand, are usually used for national holidays or cultural events.

Do You Get Paid for Floating Holidays?

Employees are given paid days off known as floating holidays with the intention of replacing a public holiday. They do not coincide with any particular day. Since these are extra paid time off days, most employees are free to utilize them as they see fit.

Can I Use My Floating Holiday Anytime?

A “floating holiday” is a pay – per – click day off that the worker can use as they please. Due to the employee’s flexibility throughout the year, this day “floats.”

Is New Years Day a floating holiday? 

Christmas Day, Boxing Day, New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day, Friday after Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, Boxing Day, and A Floating Holiday.

How Many Companies Offer Floating Holidays?

48% of businesses allow employees to observe a holiday of their choice through the use of “floating” holidays. Some businesses offer additional paid vacation days. In America, 46% of people opt not to take their paid holidays.


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