What is a floating holiday and why is it different than PTO (Paid time off)?
PTO is earned, so if you leave the company, it is paid out as time worked if it isn’t taken. Floating holiday is a “gift” and is not required to be paid out. Always use floating holiday first.
Different companies might treat it differently (ie there is no fixed rule) but floating holidays are declared by the company (employee has no say) but PTO is something that the employee generally decides.
It gets a bit messy because some companies make floating holidays a “mandatory PTO” day.
A floating holiday is a holiday that can happen any time during the month and there is no set day like thanksgiving (usually the second Monday of October or the third thursday of November for my US pals). where there is set date holidays like Christmas (dec 25 every year) and it doesn’t matter if it falls on Saturday or Wednesday or whenever. In most cases a floating holiday is treated the same as a regular Holiday for paid time ect. Hope this helps
For my employer PTO is approved based on work place needs and first come basis. Only a certain percentage of employees can use PTO at the same time. Even though it’s a paid benefit.
We also get one personal holiday that, if we choose, can be assigned to a short list of less recognized holidays. This arrangement must be made at the start of year, but allows the employee to have that day off regardless of how many others have the day off. If the employee does not choose to assign that day to a holiday it is handled like a PTO request.
Both are paid.
Different regions have different laws regarding what you must be paid out for when you are fired/quit
Your employer may be required to pay out PTO but not floating holidays since they don’t pay out normal holidays (you don’t get paid for christmas if you quite in June)
Having “days off” in different buckets can let the employees get more flexibility and have more days without increasing the company’s liability. Aka you effectively get +1 vacation day per floating holiday but they don’t have to worry about paying you for it if they fire you