Do You Get Paid Holidays?

It’s a holiday today in (at least) the US and the UK, which got me wondering, do you receive holiday pay? And/or the day off?

I remember being shocked as a teenager when I discovered that sometimes people had to work on holidays — even if they weren’t in critical jobs like emergency care. I’m not sure why this was such a shock, since I had of course done things like go to the movies and out to eat on holidays before…

Surely it should have been obvious to me that not everyone receives holidays off, but it wasn’t. It only really came home to me when I was required to work holidays.

In my current job, I am lucky enough to both have the day off and to get paid for it, but I know that many people in areas where today is a holiday either must work or else don’t receive pay.

So, in general, do you receive holiday pay? Why or why not? Do you get holidays off?


  • CH

    I get the day off (paid) as well, but if I had to work, I would get holiday pay. Basically, they would pay me my 8 hours of holiday pay regardless of whether I am there or not, and so the time I was actually at work would all be overtime. So it’s like earning 2.5x pay for going in on a holiday, or 1x pay for not.

  • I get the day off and get paid for it. It’s really nice to have that happen. But it would also be nice to work today and receive 2.5x pay. Either way would be fine for me, but getting paid to do nothing is pretty probably the best.

  • I am off and getting paid (salaried). My sons both work jobs that include holidays and weekends (one in retail and the other in emergency medicine).

    One of the benefits of an “office job” is weekends and major holidays off.

  • Sounds like most of us get the day off with pay, which is nice. My husband gets the day off as well, but unpaid because he does contract work.

  • I get both.. off days and pay as well..
    spoiled ones haaa :)

  • I get 8 paid holidays: New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving Day, the day after Thanksgiving, Christmas Day, and a floating holiday around Christmas (the day before or after depending on when it lands). If a holiday lands on a Saturday, we get Friday. If it lands on a Sunday, we get Monday.

    As a teacher, my husband gets all of them and summers and two weeks around Christmas. But he teaches 8th graders Science, so I see this as a fair trade.

    • Budgeting in the Fun Stuff, these are the same eight I get. Our CEO picks the floating holiday but it’s usually President’s Day as we’re ready for a three day weekend between January 1st and Memorial Day.

      It does seem like teachers get a lot of time off to those of us with regular schedules but not only do they have to put up with the kids (work for saints) they don’t have the freedom to choose when to take vacations.

  • April

    But what happens if you are salaried in a private sector, you normally get major holidays off…but the holiday falls on a weekend. Are employers required to give a different day off to compensate?

  • CH

    @ April – I don’t know that employers are ‘required’ to do anything regarding holiday pay. However, any company that I have worked for who gave holiday pay typically has a list of holidays for which they give holiday pay. If that particular holiday falls on a weekend, then it is ‘observed’ on another weekday. For example, 4th of July is on a Sunday this year, I get the 5th off. Also, the stock market is closed on July 5th as well. On a side note, the stock market will often have ‘half-days’ leading up to holidays like Christmas, Thanksgiving, or New Years, which means that many folks in financial services get half days as well.

  • April, CH’s explanation is what most of the companies I have worked for do too.

  • Tammy

    Is Easter typically a paid holiday?