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The Journal Gazette

Thursday, December 15, 2016 12:28 pm

Survey reveals how companies schedule, reward employees around holidays

Lisa Green | The Journal Gazette

It might seem like the holidays aren’t your friend this year.

Christmas and New Year’s Day fall on Sundays – already a day off for many.

And as is typically the case when those holidays fall on a weekend, the calendar will limit the number of paid days off compared to last year, according to Bloomberg BNA, which has been tracking U.S. holiday employer practices since 1980.

Three or more paid holidays are slated for employees at less than one-half of organizations -- 46 percent. Last year, when the holidays were on a Friday, 57 percent of employers provided three or more paid days off.

Aside from the Mondays following Christmas and New Year’s, the days employers are most likely to provide as paid days off are the Fridays preceding Christmas (38 percent) and New Year’s (22 percent).

This year’s survey is based on input from senior human resource and employee relations executives representing nearly 450 employers in various industries. The survey was administered in September.

Three out of 10 businesses (31 percent) will have at least a few employees on duty for one or both holidays. Those employees most likely to be at work on Christmas or New Year’s are public safety and security personnel (at 16 percent of employers) and service and maintenance workers (13 percent).

More than four in five organizations (83 percent) will provide employees extra compensation for holiday work. Additional forms of payment include time-and-one-half pay (33 percent), double-time pay (22 percent), both extra pay and compensatory time (10 percent), and regular pay in addition to comp time (8 percent).

Survey responses also suggest yearend gifts and bonuses are slated for more than two in five employees. Forty-one percent of employers will give gifts or bonuses to their workers. Approximately one-third of employers will award holiday bonuses, while one in 10 will provide merchandise, gift cards or gift certificates.

Holiday gifts are modest for all employees. The median estimated expenditure per employee for gifts is $50 and the median cash award $500.

Bloomberg BNA, owned by business news provider Bloomberg L.P., provides legal, tax and compliance professionals with workflow solutions and other services.