MRA’s 2023 Holiday Practices Survey Results Show a 4% Increase in Paid Holidays Offered

November 10, 2022
Press Release
Read time: 4 mins


Media Contact

Kathryn Klopfer, Marketing Communications & PR Manager
[email protected] | 262.696.3426

MRA’s 2023 Holiday Practices Survey Results Show a 4% Increase in Paid Holidays Offered

MILWAUKEE, WI (NOV. 10, 2022) – Employers are using holiday time off or “holiday pay” to attract and retain employees, according to the just released MRA 2023 Holiday Practices Survey. Survey results show organizations offering from 10 to 10.5 paid holidays has increased 4 percent from the previous year, as organizations find creative benefits to offer employees.

Those companies that cannot shut down or close over the holidays prefer to add holiday pay as a way to compensate employees who are required to work on holidays. Sixty-three percent of organizations include holiday pay on top of their regular pay in some form (which could include time and one-half or double time plus holiday pay).

As an added benefit for part-time employees, almost half (46 percent) of survey participants offer a day off with prorated pay for holidays.

“Holiday pay is one way to demonstrate your employee value proposition (EVP). Holiday observances can also be an effective way to help enhance satisfaction and retention” said Kristie Haase, SPHR, SHRM-SCP, Employee Engagement Survey Director for MRA.

Employers are also getting more creative with special benefits to attract and retain employees. Floating holidays are being offered, in addition to regularly scheduled holidays, to help show appreciation for employees. Floating holidays allow an employee to take a day off on holidays not offered by an organization or use as a personal day as needed. According to the MRA survey, 37 percent of organizations offer between 0.5 to 2.5 days of floating holidays a year.

The survey also found that organizations are offering additional benefits to their employees. The top five company-paid days or events to help recognize employees for their work and increase engagement are:

  • Appreciation lunches
  • Holiday or end-of-year party
  • Team-building events
  • Company picnic
  • Organized summer activity or event

In addition, the survey revealed that holiday parties are coming back. After two years of COVID-related interruptions, 53 percent of organizations plan to hold a 2022 holiday party compared to last year’s 33 percent. End-of-year celebrations are an effective way for organizations to express gratitude to employees. The goal is to help employees celebrate safely and responsibly. Employers should be careful to provide a discrimination- and harassment-free workplace. The top five steps organizations use to limit liabilities during holiday parties include:

Make attendance voluntary (58 percent)

Hold event off-site (54 percent)

Plentiful offering of food (if alcohol is served) (48 percent)

Limit the length of the event (44 percent)

Hold an event on a weekday (39 percent)

MRA’s survey also looked at inclement weather compensation policies and found:

  • 36 percent of organizations do not pay unless time was actually worked
  • 29 percent of organizations pay if management closes the office
  • 16 percent of organizations pay if charged against accrued time

While no law requires an employer to pay employees for unworked time, it is a valuable benefit for employees in all positions and industries. MRA recommends that it is up to the organization to create a policy that works for their culture and business practices. When creating a holiday pay policy, it is important to be specific about what is involved in the policy and what isn’t, as well as how holiday pay is calculated. Paid time off benefits, including holidays, should be clearly outlined in your employee handbook. Doing so can help mitigate any additional questions and/or legal action. Some ways to ensure a solid holiday pay policy:

  • Be clear on eligibility
  • Describe holiday pay for exempt and nonexempt employees
  • Determine how holiday pay is given
  • Define floating holidays
  • Review state laws                                                                      

MRA’s 2023 Holiday Practices Survey included 945 participating organizations from 2,697 regional locations across the United States. Manufacturing and construction made up 54 percent of the participating organizations. The survey was conducted in September 2022. To obtain a copy of MRA’s full 2023 Holiday Practices Survey, contact the Surveys team at 800.488.4845 ext. 3508.

About MRA — The Management Association: Founded in 1901, MRA is a nonprofit employer association that serves 4,000 employers, covering more than 1 million employees worldwide. As one of the largest employer associations in the nation, MRA helps its members thrive by offering comprehensive HR services, talent management, learning and organization development opportunities, and total rewards planning. MRA helps organizations build a successful workplace and a powerful workforce. Headquartered in Wisconsin, MRA has regional offices in Iowa, Illinois, and Minnesota. To learn more about MRA, visit