American workers enter the holiday season in a festive mood thanks to extra paid time off, workplace celebrations and year-end gifts and bonuses, according to findings from Bloomberg BNA’s 2014 Year-End Holiday Practices Survey.

In its annual survey of U.S. employers — conducted since 1980 — Bloomberg BNA sheds light on a number of interesting workplace holiday trends.   Matt Sottong, Director of Surveys and Research Reports, is available for interviews on the survey’s findings and trends among American businesses, including:

  • 61 percent of workers will enjoy three or more paid days off during the holidays.

o   33 percent of organizations will have some workers on duty for Christmas and/or New Year’s.

  • 77 percent of employers will offer holiday parties, up from 70 percent last year.

o   61 percent of employers will provide alcohol, and of those organizations, 90 percent will provide some sort of safeguards against excessive consumption.

  • 43 percent of employees can expect holiday gifts or year-end bonuses.

Enclosed is a press release on the survey along with an infographic you can publish on your Website (contact me for a higher-resolution format).  If you’d like to schedule an interview with Matt on these or other findings from the report, and/or receive a full copy of the survey to quote from with attribution to Bloomberg BNA (it is not for posting, publication or dissemination), please contact me.



Annual Survey Highlights Perks Employees Will Receive This Holiday Season, With 61% to Enjoy At Least Three or More Paid Days Off


Arlington, Va. (December 16, 2014) — As American workers enter the heart of the holiday season, many will be in a festive mood thanks to extra paid time off, workplace celebrations and year-end gifts and bonuses, according to findings from Bloomberg BNA’s 2014 Year-End Holiday Practices Survey.  HR professionals can access a complimentary copy of the survey here.

“With both Christmas and New Year’s Day falling on Thursday this year, a majority of American workers can look forward to a restful few weeks with friends and family,” said Matt Sottong, Bloomberg BNA’s Director of Surveys and Research Reports.  “It really ‘pays’ for employees when these holidays are on a Thursday as giving workers Friday off is an easy way to make it a four-day weekend.  This year, employers are doing their part to get their employees in the holiday spirit with extra paid time off, company-sponsored holiday celebrations, a little something extra to take home to the family, and the opportunity to make a difference in the community.”

Paid Time Off

Three or more paid days off are slated for employees at more than six in ten organizations (61 percent).  This is up from 52 percent in 2013 and 2014 when the holidays fell on Wednesdays.

Holiday Work

One-third of organizations (33 percent) will have at least a few workers on duty for one or both of the holidays.   Those most likely to be at work on the holidays are service and maintenance workers (13 percent), public safety and security personnel (12 percent), and technical staff (11 percent).   And health care institutions, hotels and restaurants, retailers and call centers are among those businesses that will have workers on hand for the holidays.

Over 85 percent of workers drawing holiday duty will be well compensated for the inconvenience.   Two-thirds (65 percent) of employers will provide time-and-a-half or double time, 12 percent will give compensatory time off on top of premium pay, and another 9 percent will provide additional compensation including “2.5 times pay,” and “time-and-a-half pay plus holiday pay.”


Company-wide parties are on the upswing.  More than three out of four companies (77 percent) will provide an opportunity for employees to celebrate the holidays with some sort of sanctioned event.  Fifty-nine percent of all organizations will host a company-wide party.  Smaller, departmental-level workplace celebrations will occur in 35 percent of companies.

Alcohol is on tap at well over half of all celebrations – as are alcohol safeguards.  Over three-fifths of company-sponsored celebrations will feature alcohol (61 percent), and of those organizations where libations are available, 90 percent will also employ some safeguards to prevent excessive consumption.

Gifts and Bonuses

Year-end gifts and bonuses are slated for over two-in-five employees.  This year, 43 percent of employers will award gifts or bonuses to their employees.  Approximately three in ten employers will award holiday bonuses while half as many will distribute merchandise, gift cards or gift certificates.

Holiday gifts for all employees are modest but the gap between management and non-management bonuses is significantly larger.  The median estimated expenditure per employee for gifts is $45.00 for managers and $32.50 for non-management.  The median cash award for managers is $400, twice the amount for non-managers ($200).

The vast majority of employers monitor the handling of gifts.  Over four out of five organizations (84 percent) have formal policies on gift acceptance, including 24 percent that ban all tokens of appreciation.

Charitable Endeavors

The spirit of giving is alive and well at the majority of organizations.  Nearly two-thirds of organizations (64 percent) will sponsor community or charitable events at year-end.  Toy collection for children in need are in place at nearly half of all companies with charitable programs (46 percent) with food drives not far behind (42 percent).  And “adoption” programs, through which toys, food and clothes are provided directly to local families – are arranged by 30 percent of employers.

Bloomberg BNA has been tracking year-end employer practices since 1980 and this year’s report is based on a survey of over 350 senior human resource and employee relations executives representing a broad cross-section of U.S. employers.

About Bloomberg BNA

Bloomberg BNA, a wholly owned subsidiary of Bloomberg, is a leading source of legal, regulatory, and business information for professionals. Its network of more than 2,500 reporters, correspondents, and leading practitioners delivers expert analysis, news, practice tools, and guidance — the information that matters most to professionals. Bloomberg BNA’s authoritative coverage spans a full range of legal practice areas, including tax & accounting, labor & employment, intellectual property, banking & securities, employee benefits, health care, privacy & data security, human resources, and environment, health & safety.

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