What is Restricted Holidays?
A restricted holiday is paid time off that is not mandatory, and the employee can choose if they want to take leave on the days. Restricted holidays are also known as optional holidays. The companies can operate on these days as these are not mandatory holidays. The employees can decide to take leave on the days from the list of Optional holidays curated by HR of the company.
The holiday list prepared in any organization is according to the Shop and Establishment Act of the respective state. According to this act, some special days which have local or religious significance but are not applicable to every working professional are included in the list of restricted holidays.
This provision is made to promote cultural and religious diversity. In the diverse culture of the country, there are numerous festivals in different regions. Every festival does not have to be a nationwide holiday, but those for whom the day is significant should get the time off to celebrate.
On the occasion of the restricted holiday, the organization operates as usual, but employees can utilize the restricted holiday as their paid time off. The company’s list of holidays can have multiple numbers of restricted holidays for the year depending on various local cultural events as well as religious festivals. An employee is, however, choosing a limited number of days from the list.
List of Restricted Holidays in India 2024
Following is the list of restricted holidays in 2024 released by the central government of India. The restricted holidays are for the employee who belongs to the culture or to a religion that is known to celebrate particular festivals and can take leave on these restricted holidays.
|Name of Restricted Holiday
|New Year’s Day
|Magha Bihu/ Pongal
|Guru Gobind Singh’s Birthday
|Hazarat Ali’s Birthday
|Sri Panchami, Basant Panchami
|Shiva ji Jayanti
|Guru Ravi Das’s Birthday
|Birthday of Swami Dayananda Saraswati
|Chaitra Sukladi / Gudi Padava/Ugadi/ Cheti Chand
|Vaisakhi / Vishu
|Meshadi (Tamil New Year’s Day) / Vaisakhadi (Bengal) / Bahag Bihu (Assam)
|Birthday of Guru Rabindranath Tagore
|Parsi New Year’s day/ Nauraj
|Ganesh Chaturthi / Vinayaka Chaturthi
|Onam or Thiru Onam Day
|Dusshera (Mahashtami) /Dussehra (Mahanavmi)
|Maharishi Valmiki’s Birthday
|Karaka Chaturthi (Karwa Chouth)
|Pratihar Shashthi or Surya Shashthi (Chhat Puja)
|Guru Teg Bahadur’s Martyrdom Day
Top 5 key characteristics of a Restricted Holiday
Though the restricted holidays are optional, still there are some characteristics, on which the company focuses at the time of arranging the holiday list before starting the new financial year.
Employees have the option to choose whether or not to observe the restricted holidays. Unlike mandatory holidays, individuals can decide whether they want to take these holidays based on their personal or cultural affiliations.
2. Limited Number
The number of restricted holidays available to employees is typically limited. Organizations may allocate a specific number of days or designate a few specific dates as restricted holidays for employees to choose from.
3. Employee Discretion
Employees are usually required to inform their employer in advance if they intend to take a restricted holiday. This allows the organization to manage staffing and ensure operational requirements are met.
4. Differentiated Policies
Organizations may have different policies regarding the implementation of restricted holidays. Some organizations may provide a list of pre-determined restricted holidays, while others may allow employees to choose their own dates for observance, subject to management approval.
Restricted holidays are typically unpaid, meaning employees are not entitled to additional pay or benefits specifically for taking these holidays.
However, organizations may have specific policies in place to compensate employees who choose to work on restricted holidays or provide alternative paid time off.
What are some of the rules for a Restricted Holiday?
The rules for restricted holidays can vary depending on different organizations and countries. Before finalizing the list of restricted holidays, employers go through some rules and regulations before finalize the restricted holiday listing.
Here are some common rules and guidelines that may apply to restricted holidays:
➔ Discretionary Nature
Restricted holidays are optional and discretionary, meaning employees have the choice to observe them or not.
➔ Advanced Notice
Employees typically need to provide advance notice to their employer if they intend to take a restricted holiday.
➔ Limited Number
There is usually a limit on the number of restricted holidays that can be availed by an employee in a given year.
➔ Eligibility Criteria
Organizations may establish eligibility criteria for employees to qualify for taking restricted holidays.
➔ Management Approval
Employees are generally required to obtain management approval for taking a restricted holiday.
Employees may be required to provide documentation or evidence related to the purpose or nature of the restricted holiday
How many restricted holidays can an employee take in a year?
The number of restricted holidays is variable countrywide. Besides, the number of restricted holidays one employee can take is solely dependent on the organisation’s decision, policies, and other establishments.
If we take some scenarios like in the European Union, employees get a minimum of 20 paid leaves per year. While in the united states, there is no federal law for providing paid time off.
In India, national holidays which are technically restricted holidays for all are scheduled at the beginning of the year.
In India, there are
- 3 National Holidays
- 2 Restricted Holidays/optional holidays,
- 14 Gazetted Holidays available to them as time off.
How do restricted holidays for employees differ from gazetted holidays in India?
Restricted holidays are the ones that are optional holidays for an employee. These holidays can be taken on different occasions in the year. Whereas, gazetted holidays are mandatory holidays for the organizations or institutions such as banks, schools, as well as most businesses in the country.
Restricted holidays are beneficial for both the employee and the employer. It is a way where employees get to spend time with their loved ones and celebrate days that are significant to them. They don’t have to take leave on the day from their leave balance.
The employer also gets benefitted from restricted holidays as they don’t have to make it a holiday for the entire staff and the company can operate with a few employees on leave on specific days.