The Fourth of July is almost here! That means fireworks, parades, barbecues, and picnics….and, because the holiday falls on a Tuesday, a headache for many U.S. employers and HR departments.
So what are employers to do when midweek holidays pop up? How should they handle the leave requests that inevitably come before or after the day (or days) off without compromising the organization’s health? Here are some thoughts:
1. Publish your holidays in your handbook in advance, so no one is left wondering what days are “days off.”
Also, make sure your time-off policy is clear. For example, some companies require employees to submit requests at least 60 days prior. Others have employees submit requests at the beginning of the year or during slow months, if their business is seasonal. (You can read more about this topic in our article, Managing Vacation Requests During Peak Seasons.)
Inform your employees about when requests need to be submitted and under what conditions they might not be approved. Also, determine who gets priority for time off requests and record this policy in your handbook; two common methods are based on seniority and “first come, first served.”
2. Coordinate days off before granting individual requests.
As it says in this Inc. article, this idea is a good one “as long as there is balance throughout the office departments. Some department managers coordinated days off among their staff before approving individual requests.”
By working it out in advance with your colleagues, you can at least make a good effort to see that every employee is considered, even if they aren’t thrilled with the outcome.
3. Consider floating holidays.
It’s pretty common to use a floating holiday if an observed holiday lands on a Tuesday or Thursday, as it did for Independence Day 2017. This year, some companies will give employees a floating holiday or forced day off on Monday, July 3, and close the company doors instead of trying to manage a disengaged, half-there workforce.
4. Make employees take vacation time.
This one’s probably the most obvious and cost-efficient method—if employees want the time before or after a midweek holiday off, then they should request it in normal fashion. It may cause some frustration, but with plenty of forewarning and clear written policies and procedures for time off, the frustration should at least be minimal.
Need help with your vacation policy?
If dealing with midweek holidays (and holidays and HR in general) is stressing you out, let’s talk about creating a plan to make your life easier.