Typically a company only has to follow the local holiday schedule, unless their main clients are in another country (such as a BPO). However, in today’s globalizing workforce, teams are usually made up of multiple nationalities representing different religions and beliefs. With so many different cultures represented, setting holiday schedules can get complicated, but here are a few tips on keeping things streamlined.

Publicize the company-wide holiday schedule to all candidates who reach the interview stage of applications. If anyone has a problem with following local holiday schedules, ask them to let you know before accepting the job to see if you can work it out. If an employee who is already working with you has an issue with the holiday schedule, ask them to bring it up at least 2 weeks before the holiday in question. For example, if someone celebrates the American Independence Day on July 4, they should bring it up with HR mid-June to discuss potential leaves.

Include holiday rules in employee contracts. Having an agreement in writing gives you something to refer to when decisions must be made. It also protects your company since you will establish an agreed-upon schedule, whether it’s to observe local holidays and none other, or any international holidays and ignore the local ones. Changes can be made at the administration’s discretion, but any holidays outside of the schedule will not be required.

Keep track of schedules in an accessible online calendar. Your team should have a place to look to for company holidays. Having a reliable calendar online where employees can check holidays and special events will go a long way to helping everyone plan accordingly. It also gives your HR team a place to record any changes in the regular holiday schedule, and will keep everyone updated.

How do you handle your holiday schedules? Does it go by local calendars, international ones, and do you make special accommodations for your team members visiting from other countries?

About the Author: Jocelyn Pick