Do part-time employees get holiday pay?

A guide to holiday pay for part-time employees.

Man drinking coffee looking at a calendar

It’s a common question that HR professionals and small business owners hear time after time: do part-time employees get holiday pay?

There are various factors to take into consideration, ranging from location to the number of hours the person works to company policy. 

Are part-time employees entitled to holiday pay?

Now, it’s time to answer the million-dollar question. In the United States, part-time employees can receive holiday pay but there is no government mandate that requires it. Instead, it’s decided at the company level.

It’s legal for an employer to give full-time employees paid holiday time and not extend the same benefit to part-time employees. But of course, it’s also legal for the company to provide holiday pay to every employee, regardless of if they’re full-time or part-time

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What about employees in other countries?

Just as the United States has its own laws regarding holiday pay, the same holds true for other countries. Here are some examples:

  • United Kingdom: Part-time employees receive the same holiday pay benefits as full-time employees, with the only difference being that it’s calculated on a pro-rata basis. 
  • Germany: There’s only one national holiday in Germany, but several other public holidays are regulated at the state level. Employers are not required to provide part-time employees with holiday pay.
  • Spain: In Spain, public holidays are celebrated by the community or city. Part-time employees are not required to receive holiday pay. 

How to calculate part-time holiday pay

Calculating part-time holiday pay starts with answering the following questions:

  • What is the company policy on holiday pay for part-time employees?
  • Does it matter if the person is not scheduled to work the holiday in question?
  • What are the employee’s regularly scheduled hours?

Once you know if your company offers holiday pay for part-time employees, you can focus on the second and third question. If the person is not scheduled to work the upcoming holiday, you must decide if they should still receive holiday pay. 

From there, make note of their regularly scheduled hours (% to full-time) and divide it by five (the number of workdays in a week in the United States).

Here’s an example shared by College of DuPage:

Andrew is a part-time employee regularly scheduled for 20 hours per week (.50 FTE). He typically works 5 hours on Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday and is normally not scheduled to work on Fridays. He should be paid for 4 hours of holiday pay for both November 28 and 29. He should be scheduled to work a total of 12 hours for Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday (November 25-27), to total 20 hours of pay for the workweek.

But once again, this is dependent on company policy and how holiday pay is calculated. 


As you can see, there’s no one-size-fits-all answer to the question of whether part-time employees get holiday pay. To complicate matters, this is decided at the company level in the United States but different regulations apply in other countries.

If you need any help calculating holiday pay for part-time workers, let Oyster be your guide. It doesn’t matter if your company is in the US, the Netherlands, the United Kingdom, or another part of the world; we’re here to assist you.

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