Vacations and Holidays

The number of paid holidays also varies considerably from employer to employer from about 5 days to 13 days or more; as of 2006 the average was 8. The most common paid holidays include New Year day, Memorial day, Independence day, Labor day, Thanks giving day, and Christmas day, Other common holidays include Martin Luther King Jr day, Good Friday, President’s day, Veterans day, the Friday after Thanksgiving the day before Christmas day, and the day before New year’s day.

Firms have to address several holiday and vacation related policy issues. They must decide of course, how many days off employees will get, and which (if any) will be the paid holidays. Other vacation policy decisions include:

1) Will employees get their regular base pay while on vacation or vacation pay based on average earnings (which may include overtime)?
2) Will employees get paid for accrued vacation tem if they leave before taking their vacations?
3) Will we pay employees for a holiday if they don’t com to work the day before and the day after the holiday?
4) And, should we pay some premium – such as time and a half – when employees must work on holidays?

Wage surveys and Web sites like provide sample vacation policies for inclusion in the firm’s employee manual.

Sick leave

Provides pay to an employee when he or she is out of work because of illness.

Sick leave provides pay to employees when they’re out of work due to illness. Most sick policies grant full pay a specified number of sick days – usually up to about 12 per year. The sick days usually accumulate at the rate of say one day per month off service.

Sick leave pay causes trouble for many employers. The problem is that while many employees use their sick days only when they are legitimately sick, others use it for personal leave and as extensions to vacations whether sick or not. In one survey personal illnesses accounted for only about 45% of unscheduled sick leave absences. Family issues (27%) personal needs (13%) a mentality of entitlement (9%) and stress (6%) were other reasons cited. One survey found that the average cost of absenteeism per employee per year was $789 with personal illness accounting for about a third of the absences.

Cost reduction Tactics

Employers have tried several tactics to reduce excessive sick leave absence. Some repurchase unused sick leave a the end of the year by paying their employees a sum for each sick leave day not used. The drawback is that the policy can encourage legitimately sick employees to come to work despite their illness. Others have experimented with holding monthly lotteries in which only employees with perfect monthly attendance are eligible for a cash prize. Marriott has a program called Bene Trade through which employees can trade the value of some sick days for other benefits. Others aggressively investigate all absences for instance, by calling the absent employees at their homes when they are out sick.

Many employers – about 66% — use poled paid leave plans. These plans lump together sick leave vacation and holidays into a single leave pool. For example one hospital previously granted new employees 25 days off per year (10 vacation days, three personal days, and 12 sick days) .Employees used, on average five of those 12 sick days ( as well as all vacations and personal days) The pooled paid plan allowed new employees to accrue 18 days to sue as they saw fit. (Catastrophic leaves- defined as short term absences like jury duty and bereavement leave—were handled with separate accounts). The poled plan reportedly resulted in a savings of almost $400,000 over there years in lower overtime and $350,000 reduced temporary help.

Many of the manager’s day to day leaves related questions involved legal issues.

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