Winterizing Your Time Off Policies: Answers to 5 Common Questions

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Winterizing Your Time Off Policies

With our unseasonably warm temperatures this fall you’ve probably been putting off putting away the patio furniture and covering up the grill. But in HR, it is never too early to start thinking ahead to what the winter months will mean for your organization, and of course, for your employees. Often of particular concern at many employers are the reasons that employees will want to (or need to) take time off in the coming months. From holidays to sick days to severe winter weather, here are some key questions that you might want to brush up on before that first snow hits.
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7 Creative Ideas for Your Staff Holiday Party

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company holiday party ideas office holiday party ideas 7 Creative Ideas for Your Staff Holiday Party

The holiday season is here again which means it's time to plan your company holiday party.

Holiday parties are a great way to recognize and celebrate your staff's success and accomplishments, nurture coworker relationships, and cap the year off at the end of the year. But, over time, holiday parties can sometimes feel more like an obligation than anything else, so it's important to keep them fresh, entertaining, and enjoyable. Here are seven creative office holiday party ideas.
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Tis the Season for 5 Holiday HR Issues

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Tis the Season for 5 Holiday HR Issues

Tis the season for several HR and compliance issues associated with the holidays. Here are five (5) holiday HR issues that you should revisit as the holidays ensue.

1. Holiday decorations

Holiday decorations tend to make their way into the workplace and employees' workspaces this time of year. What an employer allows in terms of decorations in the workplace is up them, but they should not discriminate and should be consistent and reasonable with their policies. 

Organizations need to be particularly careful with religious decorations, however. Refusal to accommodate an employee who wants to display a religious holiday symbol or decoration to commemorate a holiday should be considered very carefully as these can be minor religious accommodations that are protected under law and generally acceptable.

Additionally, according to the EEOC, holiday decorations should not be avoided just because someone objects to them, but organizations should ensure that all holiday decoration displays are reasonable and non-disruptive.
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Popularity of Holiday Parties on the Rise

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Popularity of Holiday Parties on the Rise

According to the 2013 annual ERC Holiday Practices Survey, there has been a steady increase in the number of employers who are planning to host holiday parties. In 2013, as the figure below illustrates, the percentage of employers planning holiday parties jumped to 83%, up by 10% over 2012.

Despite the jump in those planning parties, budgets will remain relatively flat. In addition, many employers are taking measures to reduce costs such as hosting weekday and lunch parties. Compared to 2012, there is also a slight decrease in the trend to invite family members as well.
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