Giving Your Employees Time Off – the Right Way

The Keys to Giving Your Employees Time Off the Right Way


Giving Your Employees Time Off
Giving Your Employees Time Off

Running a company has many challenges. Even getting a company off the ground is an impressive achievement by itself; however, being in a position of power also comes with great responsibility. It’s important not just to take care of the company and its clients but also the people you employ as well. And providing time off for employees is a step in the right direction.

It’s just as important to make sure that you take personal time for yourself as it is to make sure your employees are taking care of their own personal health as well. For those new to the boss’s chair, it can be a challenge to appropriately offer time off. While coffee breaks and lunch time is important, other big considerations include major holidays, jury duty, and the FMLA act. For the basics of navigating these waters, read below.


Government and religious holidays are the big ones. Employees deserve paid holidays and vacations just as much as you deserve the hard work they put in for the company. Providing these basic benefits is essential to attracting the best and brightest people to provide production for your growing company. It is highly unusual for employers not to offer paid holiday and vacation time because it is a staple of most careers.

This allows employees to spend much needed time with family and friends. During the busy work week, it can be a challenge to keep in touch and spend time with those who matter most. These holidays provide ample time for employees to reconnect with loved ones and recharge with more energy to provide for the company. For those unfamiliar with this landscape, the most important holidays include Christmas, Thanksgiving and the Friday after, New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, the Fourth of July, and Labor Day.

Other common practices include giving the Wednesday before Thanksgiving off, Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Presidents’ Day, or listing off the minor holidays and letting employees choose a subset of these to take off as well. Some of the most popular employers will even grant people their birthday off! As proof, less than 1% of companies give employees less than seven paid holidays per year.



Vacation time varies, but the most common practice is to start employees with between 10 and 12 vacation days per year. Vacation time then gradually increases with years of service. Many companies give a third week of paid vacation after 5 years of service. Employees commonly grant a fourth week of vacation between ten and fifteen years of service.

Some companies will add a fifth week of paid vacation for those working 25 or more years. Vacation rollover time from one calendar year to the next and buying back vacation upon leaving a company will vary in practice from company to company. As long as the company has a policy similar to this, employees are likely to stay happy and not complain.


Social Duty
Social Duty

Performing Social Duty

Unfortunately, sometimes your employees will require to take time off for less positive reasons. Jury duty falls under this category. There isn’t flexibility in this because it’s written into law along with our right to trial by duty. Employees receive pay from the government for jury duty and the employer should make up the difference between the jury duty pay and company salary.

Military training is another reason for people to grant time off. For those serving our country, allowing time off to complete this training should be a given. While companies vary in paying employees during this time off or allowing people to take their vacation time for this training, it is better to air on the side of the employee.


Employee sick leave
Employee sick leave

Sick Days and Family Deaths

If an employee is truly sick, it doesn’t make sense to force this person to come in. Even worse, the employee can spread the illness to other people, including you. Most companies start employees at 5 sick days per year. Days beyond this require employees typically eating into their vacation time. Make sure you keep your office healthy and don’t force people to come in while sick. Longer serving employees should get the benefit of the doubt.

Most companies also grant employees adequate bereavement time to mourn a death in the family. Furthermore, it is unlikely that an employee will be productive at work after suffering a traumatic loss. While this is not legally required, an employer should be a good person and grant this benefit to their employees. It is more likely that employees will give their all for a person who they believe has their best interests at heart.


The Family and Medical Leave Act requires people who employ fifty or more people to offer twelve weeks of unpaid work leave for certain medical and family obligations. While all of the paid benefits are discussed above, ensure that your company complies with the FMLA act if legally required to. Employee recordkeeping is a key part of delivering a paid time off policy. A good way to ensure time-off is reported properly, make sure you use sound vacation request forms. They will typically make this procedure more streamlined.


Article provided by Neches FCU, an Equal Employment Opportunity Employer.
Neches FCU is one of the most trusted Texas credit unions. Their superior team of professionals is famous for providing top notch service to its 45,000+ members. They are well-known for a positive work atmosphere, where all clients are known by name.

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