Providing time off isn’t only a good way to restore motivation and energy. It is also, in some cases, a legal obligation. Knowing when you should be offering time off can help you to stay out of legal trouble and keep your employees motivated. Here are a few basic guidelines for offering time off:

For Holidays and Vacations  

These staple benefits can be a big part of motivating your employees. There are a lot of holidays during the year that you can give your employees time off for. The most important ones are New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, Independence Day, Labor Day, Thanksgiving and the Friday after, and Christmas. Most companies honor these big holidays, and there are many others for you to choose to give time off for. 

Employers are not required to offer a set amount of vacation time. Usually, companies will increase vacation time for employees based off of the time they’ve spent in the company. For example, an employee with one year of service might get two weeks of vacation time while and employee with 5 years of service would get three weeks of vacation time. Do whatever works best for your company

For Family or Medical Leave

There are legal requirements that are specified under the Family and Medical Leave Act. The Family and Medical Leave Act requires an employer of 50 or more employees to provide up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave for certain family or medical issues. There are also several times when time off is not required, but highly recommended. One of these is when there is a death in an employee’s family. Death, especially in the immediate family, can be devastating. Companies generally average 1-3 days for bereavement leave, but you may extend as long as you feel necessary.

Other optional types of leave include sick days (averaging at six), personal leave, Sabbatical (usually reserved for more executive employees), and flex-time. Understand your legal obligations and then think about the additional time off benefits that would be most appealing to your current and future workforce.

When You Have a Legal Responsibility

There are several times when you are required to give employees time off. Some of these include jury duty, and military reserve training

Paying attention to these guidelines will help you to know when to offer time off to best motivate employees, and stay out of legal trouble.