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Topic: Policies

birthdays policy
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Birthdays policy

Birthdays policy

Use our birthdays policy if you want to permit your employees to take their birthday off work as an additional day’s leave outside the normal annual leave provisions. This can be a useful motivational tool. It’s best to keep it separate from annual leave entitlement to avoid confusion.


When it comes to determining who is eligible for the day off, you should think about the following:

Will it apply to all employees from the start of their employment or will they be required to have a minimum period of service before they qualify? We’ve drafted our Birthdays Policy on the basis of the latter and left you to insert what that minimum period is. If you don’t want a minimum service requirement, just delete that provision.

How will you apply it to part-time employees - will they all get a full day or will it be pro rata according to the hours they work? Our policy provides for the one day to apply equally to part-time employees because it might be hard to pro rata it properly and it’s not really much of a benefit if you still have to come into work for part of your birthday. However, if you have two equal job sharers, then half a day is easy enough to give and you can amend the wording to provide for it to be pro rata.

How will it apply to those absent on sick leave on the relevant day? Our policy provides they won’t qualify for an additional day off if they’re already off sick on their birthday, except at your absolute discretion. Your only consideration here is to ensure you’re not treating disabled employees unfavourably because of their sickness absence - you would then need to show your treatment is objectively justified.

As regards those on maternity, paternity, shared parental and adoption leave, they have a general right to benefit from the terms and conditions of employment that would have been applicable if they had not been absent (except for remuneration), so arguably they should still accrue this additional day off, to be taken on their return from such leave. 

Policy operation

Firstly, we’ve provided that the employee must have notified their line manager in advance of the date of their birthday - they should only need to do this once at the outset of their employment and then it can be appropriately diarised. Secondly, we’ve provided that where the employee’s birthday falls at the weekend or, say, on a bank holiday, then they can take off either the day before the weekend or bank holiday or the day after, as agreed in advance with their line manager. Thirdly, we’ve provided that the policy is subject to your operational requirements and the need to maintain adequate staffing levels. Thus, you reserve the right to postpone the employee’s birthday day off to another date. We’ve also stated that the employee can request to postpone their day off - it’s entirely up to you whether you want to agree to this. Finally, we’ve provided that birthday days off can’t be carried forward into a new year and neither will you pay in lieu for any birthday days off that aren’t taken.

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