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What Paid Holidays Should You Be Paying Your Employees?

Mar 23

Every year, American employees leave 430 million vacation days up for grabs. (If you were wondering, that’s 1,178,082 years of unused vacation every year.)

Or in other words, way too much time.

We already know Americans are by and large workaholics. But still, if you own a small business, there are some days you should definitely give off to your employees. And it’s helpful to know what that mix of days should be.

That’s where I come in. I’ll show you how to build your own paid holiday schedule for your small business, using benchmarking data as our trusty guide.

The bigger PTO picture.

Let’s start with the main question on your mind: How much time off do people normally get? An average full-time employee in a small, privately-owned business in the U.S. receives about 7.6 paid holidays per year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That number also breaks down even further:

  • Technical/professional employees get 8.5-ish days a year.
  • Clerical/sales employees get 7.7-ish days a year.
  • Blue-collar/service employees get 7 days a year.

While that’s the average, other studies have shown most employees report getting about nine paid holidays per year. Think about these benchmarks as you decide on the number that will work best for you business.

There are no federal laws requiring employers to give PTO, but most companies offer it anyway. Why? Because it’s a must to attract and retain great employees. In fact, PTO is the second most important benefit to employees, right after health insurance.

Now, onto the next layer of the paid holiday puzzle: Choosing the actual days you give off.

So, what paid holidays should I offer?

Click through this link to my Gusto post to get the rest of this riveting content! 

No, really, I promise, it’s good stuff! Have I ever steered you wrong?

1 Comment to “What Paid Holidays Should You Be Paying Your Employees?”

  1. Think you missed what is the most important reason for consistent holidays. Most have the same holidays because most of the rest of the country/world has off as well, and working on those days would be unproductive in most industries. Giving employees the choice would result in huge amounts of random days where productivity would suffer. And, really, when employees get to choose their own holidays, just like vacation, they often don’t take them all. Why do few work on holidays? Because, unlike vacations, almost everyone else is off. Why do we not take all our vacations days? Because almost everyone else is working, and it is either boring, or your staff is working, or your customers are working, etc. Holidays are the time for family, neighborhood, friend gathering times, because most those others are not working. Leave holidays alone. Perhaps we should be like the teachers – there is an established time for vacation.

    Parker Davis
    Mar 26, 2018

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