Holidays are a period of the year when we pause for one last time to take it all in before moving on to the next year. Holidays, especially public holidays like Christmas and New Year’s Eve are special not only to the persons involved in its celebration, but to the entire community at large. Holidays have a way of changing people’s perspectives about life, bringing out the best in people and causing them to look forward to the next year with excitement and anticipation. It is this very sentiment which brings us to the subject of corporate christmas holiday gift baskets.
A holiday is typically a day set apart by government or tradition where normal daily activities, particularly work or business related activities like school, are halted or reduced significantly. In most cases, holidays are meant to let people celebrate or commemorate a significant event or tradition of historical or cultural interest to them. This could be an annual event like the birth of a child or a national holiday. For businesses, however, holidays serve to reduce employee workload and provide an opportunity to spend quality time with family and friends. Both of these goals can result in improved morale and productivity, as well as more satisfied employees.
For companies that care about their employees’ feelings and want to give them a good holiday break, they will naturally want to take every opportunity to remind them of the benefits of being employed with the company. The easiest way to do this is to ensure they have all the tools necessary to maximize productivity, including adequate holiday pay, paid vacation, and sick leave. All of these contribute to the feeling of satisfaction that employees experience when they return to the workplace each year. As such, many employers will extend every possible holiday option, offering cash incentives for every hour or fraction of an hour that an employee can use to ‘celebrate’ his or her holiday with the rest of the workforce.
The Department of Labor sets many rules and regulations regarding holidays. Among these are the rules on paid holidays, which are required by all employees irrespective of their religion or national origin. Overtime pay for holiday pay employees may be granted only three days a year, or any part of it, whichever is greater. Similarly, unpaid holidays and sick leave are subject to strict rules that mandate their availability and generous benefits. Under federal law, holidays must be given at least two days before and after the holiday. Holidays also must be scheduled for a reasonable length of time, so that employees have no reason to miss them, and the actual holiday may be scheduled close enough to coincide with the start of the next working week to avoid missed days of work.
Although many people think of employer-paid holidays as being primarily for holidays, some also take advantage of them as opportunities to buy gifts for family members and friends. These include purchasing tickets for sporting events and shows, buying luxury items like cars, electronics, and holidays to places like Las Vegas and Hawaii. Even though the rules may differ from state to state, there are certain states that allow employers to have a say in how vacation days are to be used. For example, in Florida, an employer can prohibit employees from taking a second holiday during the same calendar year as their first, or they can give employees a choice of using one holiday in Florida and one holiday in another state. This would mean that an employee could use Florida employer-paid time off and take a cruise in Alaska; however, they could not take off for a couple weeks and fly back to Florida for a quick family getaway.
There are many complicated issues involved in implementing this type of plan. In addition to the complexities of implementing laws that protect holiday pay and other types of holiday, there are also several companies that are wary of implementing such plans because of the possible costs involved. In addition to costs, some employers also fear that granting employees a break for a few days will encourage their employees to take up vacation themselves, putting the company at risk. Despite the potential costs, many organizations have begun using the “holidays with pay” approach, and it appears that the outlook for adoption is good.