WHAT IS HOLIDAY PAY?: Who’s Entitled to its Benefits

holiday pay
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Although it is not mandatory to give holiday pay to salaried and hourly employees, many businesses do so in order to remain competitive. This holiday pay, which can be in form of time and half, can help you attract and retain top talent while also increasing employee morale and engagement. According to research, organizations with strong employee engagement frequently have higher profitability due to reasons such as improved productivity, work quality, customer loyalty, and employee retention. 

What is Holiday Pay?

Holiday pay refers to any sort of alternative compensation provided by an employer to employees during holidays. It could be fully or partially paid time off. On the other hand, it could be a bonus or additional hourly compensation for work done on a holiday.

Holiday pay is most commonly expressed in the United States as time-and-a-half pay. This means that an employee is paid their regular rate plus one-half of their regular rate for each hour worked on a holiday. It might also be a holiday bonus check or paid time off on a holiday.

In the United States, typical paid holidays include::

  • New Year Day
  • Easter
  • Christmas Eve
  • Christmas Day
  • Labor Day
  • Thanksgiving Day
  • The day after Thanksgiving (Black Friday)
  • Memorial Day.
  • Independence Day

Some businesses may also give their hourly employees holiday pay for other federal holidays, such as Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents Day, or Veterans Day. 

Who Is Entitled to Holiday Pay?

Anyone who works on an annual holiday is entitled to holiday pay, which does not have to be greater than the eligible employee’s regular pay rate. Employers may offer higher pay rates on certain holidays as a benefit and incentive to employees.

What is the Procedure for Holiday Pay?

With three exceptions, holiday pay is normally treated the same as regular salary.

#1. Overtime 

According to the Fair Labor Standards Act, nonexempt employees who work more hours than usual during the holiday season (but not on the holiday itself) are entitled to overtime pay for any hours worked in excess of 40 per week “at a rate not less than time and one-half their regular rates of pay.”

#2. Time and a half 

While it is not required by law, as an employer, you may choose to offer time-and-a-half pay on particular holidays in order to incentivize employees to work on such days or to promote morale.

Time and half pay is 50% of an employee’s regular pay rate. This means that for every hour of overtime worked, an employee must be paid their regular rate plus half of their regular rate.

To determine an employee’s time and a half overtime pay, multiply their regular rate by 1.5.

#3. Bonuses 

You may choose to present a bonus, which is effectively a holiday gift to your staff. Holiday bonuses are set at the discretion of the firm and may be based on years of service, basic salary, or performance.

There are no unique regulations or laws surrounding holiday compensations. You must simply obey all state and federal employment laws, which do not require any particular considerations for paying employees during holidays, with the exception of overtime for nonexempt employees.

How Much Is Holiday Pay?

Calculating remuneration for employees who are eligible for overtime can be difficult. The crucial thing to remember is that overtime is calculated weekly under federal law. This means that if employees work more than 40 hours during the week of a normally paid holiday, such as Thanksgiving, Christmas, or New Year’s Day, they are entitled to “time and a half” for the additional hours worked.

There is also a daily overtime requirement in some states. If an employee works more than eight hours in a day, they are entitled to “time and a half” for each hour worked in excess of eight hours. Assume you own a firm in California and your employee works 10 hours on Christmas Day. Overtime pay for two hours is required under state legislation.

Some businesses may choose to provide double-time to employees working on holidays as an incentive. This means that their regular wage is multiplied by two. 

How To Calculate Holiday Pay

If you give time-and-a-half pay for working on a holiday, simply multiply the regular hourly rate of the employee by half. For example, if an employee’s usual hourly wage is $12, their holiday pay would be $18. When you utilize online payroll software, it usually handles all of the computations for you.

Under federal law, overtime is computed weekly. This means that if you offer overtime pay to nonexempt employees, they are entitled to time-and-a-half pay for any hours worked in excess of 40 per week.

Benefits Of Giving Your Employees Holiday Pay

There are several advantages to providing holiday pay to employees in any form:

#1. It may boost productivity.

Employees who receive holiday pay may feel more valued, which may increase engagement. Overtime pay can also encourage employees to work more hours, increasing overall productivity for your company.

#2. It can increase motivation.

Paid holidays off can be a major motivator for employees because they know they will be given days off without losing pay. Paid time off has been shown to reduce stress, improve mental health, and increase productivity. All of these are beneficial to both employees and businesses.

#3. It provides an incentive to work during the holidays.

It’s no secret that few employees want to work on holidays. Therefore, offering holiday compensation, such as time-and-a-half or extra pay, is a wonderful way to make it worthwhile for your employees’ time. This is especially crucial if you must remain open or conduct the majority of your business on holidays. This is especially likely if your firm is retail.

#4. It has the potential to attract elite personnel.

Giving your employees holiday pay demonstrates that you love and care about them and their personal time, which helps you attract strong job prospects.

How to Create a Holiday Pay Policy for Your Company

The most important thing to remember when creating this policy is to be explicit and specific about what is allowed, what is not, and how any holiday compensation is computed. This assists you in avoiding angry staff and potential legal action. Your vacation policy should include the following four components:

#1. Define floating vacations.

If you choose to provide floating holidays to employees to cover religious or cultural holidays, clearly define how and when they accrue (e.g., three days at the start of each calendar year) and whether any unused floating holidays can be carried over to the following year or cashed out when an employee leaves the company.

#2. Be specific about who is eligible.

Your policy should specify which employees are eligible for holiday pay and which criteria render them eligible or ineligible. For example, you could specify that employees must be scheduled for at least 20 hours per week and be in good standing with the company to be eligible for holiday pay.

#3. Explain how time and a half is computed.

If you have hourly employees who are entitled to time and a half holiday pay, explain how that pay is computed and determined in detail. Holiday hours must be compensated at no less than the ordinary rate of pay, according to the legislation. The FLSA does not mandate overtime, time-and-a-half, or double-time pay for hours worked on holidays. However, it does mandate time-and-a-half pay for any hours performed in excess of 40 in a given workweek.

#4. Describe exempt employees’ holiday pay.

If your company only has salaried, exempt employees, explain in full how holiday pay will function. For example, if your company closes for the week between Christmas and New Year’s, specify whether those days will be paid or unpaid in the policy. The FLSA requires that any exempt employee receive their entire wage for each workweek in which they work and that any business shutdown (including holidays) is not an approved FLSA deduction. This means that salaried, exempt employees must receive their full pay if the business closes for a holiday.

Is Holiday Pay Mandatory?

Employers are frequently required by international labor rules to provide paid time off during major holidays. However, in the United States, it is not mandatory, nor are employers compelled to pay additional compensation for labor performed during holidays. Employers are required by federal law to make reasonable accommodations for employees to celebrate religious holidays, but they are not required to provide holiday time off or additional pay.

Holiday Pay for Hourly Employees

Do firms in the United States have to provide holiday pay to hourly employees? The Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) does not require private firms to pay employees for unworked time at the federal level.

If you have the option of offering paid holidays, following certain guidelines can assist you in developing your policy. As with any policy, having an employment lawyer examine it before adding it to your employee handbook might be beneficial.

Holiday Pay Laws

All businesses that are open for business on a state or federal holidays should strictly adhere to holiday pay requirements. Employers are not required by federal law to pay their employees extra compensation (i.e., time and a half) for working on a holiday. In truth, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) only compels businesses to pay employees for time spent; employers are not required to pay employees for holidays when they are not required to work. For example, if an employee takes the day off on Christmas Day, a federal holiday, he or she is not entitled to pay for that day.

Having said that, many firms do normally offer and pay for holiday time off to all employees. Employers should specify which holidays employees will have off and whether or not they will be paid for that time off in the employment contract. Employers should also mention whether or not additional compensation will be paid for employees working on holidays.

Exempt Employees

Exempt employees are individuals who are paid an annual pay rather than an hourly wage. When the company is closed, all exempt employees get compensated. If such employees are not paid, the employer risks having the exempt employee’s status converted to non-exempt. At this point, employees can be paid overtime for the extra time worked over the standard 40 hours. Furthermore, an exempt employee is not eligible for supplemental remuneration or overtime pay if he or she works on Christmas or any other federal holiday.

Non-Exempt Employees

Non-exempt employees are paid on an hourly basis, as opposed to exempt employees. Employers are not required to pay non-exempt employees extra remuneration for working holidays, yet most do. Most employers will give non-exempt employees time and a half for working on a holiday. However, if a non-exempt employee does not get the time and a half, all hours worked in excess of the 40 hours must be compensated for. As a result, if a non-exempt employee works 45 hours in a week, employers must pay time and a half for the additional five hours.

In Conclusion,

Because holiday pay is typically at the discretion of the employer, it can vary from person to person. It is critical to understand what holiday pay is, how it is calculated, and how to develop a holiday pay policy before deciding how much, if anything, to pay employees who work or do not work on holidays.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is holiday pay different from normal pay?

In general, holidays are treated like regular workdays, and employees are paid for the time spent. If a federal holiday falls on a weekend, it is usually observed on the next available weekday.

How do you explain holiday pay?

Holiday pay refers to any sort of alternative compensation provided by an employer to employees during holidays.

What is time and half for $20 an hour?

Time and a half for $20 an hour is $30 an hour.

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