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The holidays are upon us! What is your holiday schedule in 2014?

November 21, 2013

Article courtesy of SBAM Approved Partner ASE

By Kevin Marrs  

October and November bring two clear signs that the holidays are upon us: The wind blows a little colder (and, as we have seen this week, a little stronger); and, we begin to hear the all-too familiar pitches on the radio about a child who wants a hippopotamus for Christmas. As much as they signal the onset of the rush and stress of the holiday season, they are also sobering reminders that the year is coming to a close and a new one is beginning.

This is a great time of year for HR departments to look ahead at holiday plans for 2014.  In late September, the American Society of Employers released its annual Holiday Schedule and Practices Survey.  This survey covers both scheduling-related issues and important practice- related topics.  Over 200 firms participated in this statewide survey.

Below is a list of common holidays observed and the percent of responding employers who will provide a full day off with pay in 2014:

      New Year’s Day (Wednesday, January 1, 2014)……………………… 99%

      Martin Luther King, Jr. Day (Monday, January 20, 2014)…………… 20%

      President’s Day (Monday, February 17, 2014)………………………… 7%

      Good Friday (Friday, April 18, 2014)…………………………………….. 55%

      Easter Monday (Monday, April 21, 2014)……………………………….. 7%

      Memorial Day (Monday, May 26, 2014)………………………………….. 100%

      Independence Day (Friday, July 4, 2014)……………………………….. 100%

      Labor Day (Monday, September 1, 2014)……………………………….. 99%

      Columbus Day (Monday, October 13, 2014)……………………………… 3%

      Veteran’s Day (Tuesday, November 11, 2014)…………………………… 5%

      Thanksgiving Day (Thursday, November 27, 2014)……………………. 99%

      Day After Thanksgiving (Friday, November 28, 2014)…………………. 83%

      Christmas Eve (Wednesday, December 24, 2014)……………………… 70%

      Christmas Day (Thursday, December 25, 2014)……………………….. 100%

      New Year’s Eve (Wednesday, December 31, 2014)…………………….. 59%

The other staple of the season is office holiday parties.  As eager as we are to usher in the new year, this is the traditional time for companies to celebrate the achievements of the year and to simply socialize.  The survey examines some important practice issues surrounding the 2013 holiday season. Notably, the survey indicates that two-thirds (67%) plan to have a holiday party this year, down slightly from 69% the previous year.  However, it appears that holiday parties have recovered from 2009, where fewer than half of firms surveyed were hosting seasonal soirees.

Of course, one of the biggest concerns for any holiday party besides cost is liability.  Common practices to mitigate risk include making attendance voluntary (59%), not serving alcohol (36%), limiting drinking by instituting cash bars or drink tickets (20%), and providing transportation for those who may have enjoyed the party to excess (20%).

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