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What Are The Paid Holidays?

employee enjoying the paid holidays.

Paid holidays are an integral part of employee benefits packages, offering workers the opportunity to take time off for specific national, cultural, or religious holidays while still receiving their regular pay. These holidays can vary widely depending on the country, industry, and individual company policies. Understanding paid holidays is essential for both employers and employees to ensure compliance with labor laws and to promote a healthy work-life balance.

What is meant by Paid Holidays?

Paid holidays are days when employees are not required to work but still receive their standard pay. These holidays are typically recognized by the government or agreed upon by employers and employees through contracts or collective bargaining agreements. They provide employees with the chance to rest, celebrate, and spend time with family and friends without financial loss.

Common Paid Holidays in the United States

In the United States, the following are commonly recognized as paid holidays:

  1. New Year’s Day (January 1)
  2. Martin Luther King Jr. Day (Third Monday in January)
  3. Presidents’ Day (Third Monday in February)
  4. Memorial Day (Last Monday in May)
  5. Independence Day (July 4)
  6. Labor Day (First Monday in September)
  7. Columbus Day (Second Monday in October)
  8. Veterans Day (November 11)
  9. Thanksgiving Day (Fourth Thursday in November)
  10. Christmas Day (December 25)

These holidays are typically recognized by federal employers and many private companies, although the specific holidays and the number of paid holidays can vary.

Paid Holidays Around the World

Paid holidays vary significantly across different countries. Here are a few examples:

  • Canada: Includes New Year’s Day, Canada Day (July 1), and Thanksgiving (second Monday in October).
  • United Kingdom: Includes New Year’s Day, Good Friday, Easter Monday, and Christmas Day.
  • Australia: Includes New Year’s Day, Australia Day (January 26), and ANZAC Day (April 25).
  • Japan: Includes New Year’s Day, Coming of Age Day (second Monday in January), and Showa Day (April 29).

Employer Responsibilities

Employers must clearly communicate their paid holiday policies to employees. This includes specifying which holidays are recognized and ensuring that employees are compensated appropriately. Employers should also consider any applicable labor laws or collective bargaining agreements that may mandate specific holidays or compensation rates.

Use Leave Tracker Software:

  • Invest in leave tracking software that includes holiday tracking features.
  • Ensure the software can automatically update holiday schedules.

Day Off

The #1 tracker for your team’s PTO, vacations and absences, Day Off will help you track your team’s leaves and absences in one place. In seconds you will set up your leave policies, approval workflow and enjoy a unique experience. The “Day Off” app concept revolves around providing users a platform to manage their personal, sick, and vacation days more effectively. features aimed at both individual employees and organizations.

  • Employees can track their balances up to date information about their available time off.
  • You can add unlimited numbers of employees.
  • Supports various leave types (e.g., annual, sick, maternity/paternity leave) and Supports Days and Hours balance, you can add unlimited numbers of leave types and leave policies.
  • You can Customize week starting day settings according to your company’s operational days.
  • Setting up public holidays specific to your country or region, by importing  holidays from Google.
  • The app can integrate with ( Slack, Google Calendar, Outlook Calendar and Teams)
  • Supports Accruals & Carry overs.

Employee Rights and Benefits

Employees should be aware of their rights regarding paid holidays. This includes understanding which holidays are covered, how compensation is calculated, and any procedures for requesting time off. In some cases, employees may receive additional pay for working on a holiday, often referred to as holiday pay or premium pay.

Balancing Work and Holiday Time

For employers, balancing operational needs with holiday schedules can be challenging. Planning ahead and communicating with employees can help ensure that business operations continue smoothly while respecting employees’ right to time off. Flexible scheduling, temporary staffing solutions, and clear policies can all contribute to effective holiday management.


Paid holidays are a valuable component of employee benefits, promoting well being and job satisfaction. Both employers and employees benefit from clear, fair, and well communicated holiday policies. By understanding the common practices and legal requirements surrounding paid holidays, companies can foster a supportive work environment and maintain compliance with labor regulations.