Holiday and vacation policies

by | Nov 18, 2015 | Employment Law

We have discussed in past blogs the importance of hiring the right team members to help grow your business. The next step is retaining those valuable employees once you bring them on board, and offering attractive benefits is one way to do that.
As you prepare for Thanksgiving weekend and the winter holidays that follow, it is a good idea to review your holiday and vacation policies using these tips:
Put it in writing
If you don’t have an employee policies manual already, write one. Written policies help clarify benefits for your employees and help prevent future disputes.
Consider standard practice
As you develop your policies around holidays and vacations, think about what other employers in your field offer. Typical holidays employers offer as paid time off include Thanksgiving (both Thursday and Friday), Christmas, New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day and Labor Day. In addition, some companies offer paid time off for other national holidays, such as Veterans Day or Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
Take it a step further
This part is up to you, but additional paid time off can be an attractive benefit. Allowing employees to take a paid holiday on their birthdays, for example, can help boost morale. Other companies close for the entire week of Thanksgiving or Christmas or offer flex-time arrangements.
Sick time
Be sure to spell out your sick leave policy. How many days of paid sick time will you offer and how can that time be used? Keep in mind employers are obligated to follow the Family Medical Leave Act (FMLA) as well, so you should take time to familiarize yourself with those rules.
Vacation time
Include vacation accrual in your employee policy manual. Again, the amount of vacation time you offer is up to you, but standard practice usually starts with two weeks of paid vacation and increases based on employee longevity with your company. Some companies also offer employee sabbaticals to long-term employees.
Legal considerations
Keep in mind that employers are legally obligated to allow time off for jury duty and military reserve training.
As you draft your employee policies manual, it can be helpful to consult with a skilled business attorney. Contact EmergeCounsel today to learn more about protecting your small business. 

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