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<!–:en–>2011 YEAR-END HOLIDAY PRACTICES<!–:–>

December 9, 2011

With both Christmas and New Year’s Day falling on Sunday during the upcoming holiday season, it is expected that most U.S. employers will observe the following Monday as holiday. According to the Bureau of National Affair’s (BNA) Year-End Holiday Practices survey, which is based on responses from 392 U.S. companies, 93% of all employers will observe Monday, December 26th as a paid holiday for Christmas and 81% of all employers will observe Monday, January 2nd as a paid holiday for New Year’s Day. In addition, 35% of all employers will observe Friday, December 23rd as a full paid holiday and 10% will observe the day as a half-day paid holiday. Highlights of BNA’s survey, which has been conducted for over the last two decades, include the following:

  • With Christmas falling on Sunday this year, 93% of employers will make the following Monday, December 26th a full-paid day off. In addition, more than a third of employers (35%) will give employees a full day off with pay on Friday, December 23rd. These percentages are similar with those in 2005 and 1994 when Christmas fell on a Sunday.
  • As in previous years, the calendar will affect employers’ paid leave policies during the 2011 holiday season. With both Christmas Day 2011 and New Year’s Day 2012 falling on successive Sundays, paid time off is increased compared to 2019 when both holidays fell on Saturdays. While the proportion of employers offering paid leave is comparable to 2005-2006, when Christmas and New Year’s Day both fell on Sundays, it is down significantly since the 1994-1995 season, when both holidays also fell on Sundays.
  • While most employers (51%) will give 2 to 2 ½ days paid leave during the 2011 holidays, a substantial 42% will grant workers three or more days off with pay. In contrast, 41% of employers in 2010 gave their workers 2 ½ days off and 36% granted 3 or more days of paid leave.
  • This year, 42% of employers will give their employees 3 or more days of paid leave this holiday season. This number compares to the 43% of employers that gave their employees 3 or more days of paid leave in 2005, when both Christmas and New Year’s Day also fell on Sunday. However, in 1994, under the same calendar conditions, 53% of employers provided 3 or more days of paid leave.
  • Paid Christmas leave is widespread across categories of industries, workforce size and union status. No few than 87% of surveyed employers will offer full-paid Christmas holiday leave on December 26th, no matter the industry, size and union membership. However, full-paid holiday leave on December 26th will be less prevalent among not-for-profit organizations (87%) than among their manufacturing and non-manufacturing counterparts (96%). Large organizations (88%) will also be somewhat less likely than their smaller
    counterparts (95%) to make December 26th a fully paid holiday.
  • More than half of the surveyed manufacturing organizations (56%) will designate Friday, December 23rd as a fully paid holiday, compared to 30% of non-manufacturing and 32% of not-for-profit organizations.
  • As with Christmas, a large majority (81%) of employers will schedule Monday, January 2nd, 2012 as a fully-paid holiday. This figure is practically unchanged from that recorded on January 2, 2005 (79%) and identical with those on January 2, 1994 (81%) when New Year’s Day also fell on Sunday.  12.09.2011