What Is a Floating Holiday?

A floating holiday, or floater, refers to a paid day off that employees can take whenever they want.

How Can Employees Use a Floating Holiday?

Floating days are not mandatory. Thus, companies can decide under which circumstances employees are entitled to use a floating holiday.

The most common usage of a floater include:

  • To celebrate an anniversary, a birthday, a cultural event, a wedding, etc.
  • To give additional time off to an employee
  • To encourage work-life balance
  • To encourage employees to take care of their mental health
  • Etc.

What Are the Benefits of Offering Floating Holidays?

Benefits of offering floating holidays include:

What Are the Drawbacks of Offering Floating Holidays?

The drawbacks of offering floating holidays include:

  • Creating tension between employees when floating holidays are not granted
  • Creating scheduling conflicts

Do Employers Have to Offer Floating Holidays?

Floating holidays are not mandatory. Companies can decide to offer them depending on their values, management strategies, or goals.

Can Floating Holidays Be Carried into the Next Year?

Companies can decide if the floating holidays can be carried into the next year. They have no legal obligation to do so.

What Is the Difference Between Floating Holidays and PTO?

Floating holidays are used at the discretion of the employees to celebrate special occasions or take additional time off for several reasons. They can’t typically be carried into the next year.

Paid time off (PTO) is part of the employee compensation and is mandatory in most countries. If an employee does not take their PTO, they receive compensation in-lieu.

What Is the Difference Between Floating Holidays and Paid Vacation?

Floating holidays are not mandatory whereas paid vacation typically are by law. They are both part of the compensation of the employee.

What Should be Included in a Floating Holiday Policy?

A floating holiday policy should include:

  • Whether floating holidays are automatically available at the beginning of the year or if they need to be earned
  • Which employees have access to floaters
  • The minimal delay to ask for a floating holiday
  • Any other restrictions

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