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Do Per Diem Employees Get Holiday Pay? A Comprehensive Guide

Working as a per diem employee comes with flexibility, but can also lead to questions around compensation like holiday pay. If you’ve ever wondered whether you’re entitled to extra pay on holidays as a per diem worker, you’re not alone.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer: It depends. Per diem employee holiday pay is determined by company policy, employment agreements, and applicable labor laws.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll cover everything you need to know about per diem holiday pay, including what per diem means, how holiday pay eligibility differs from full-time staff, factors impacting your holiday pay, and steps to take to understand your specific holiday pay situation.

Defining Key Terms: Per Diem and Holiday Pay

What is a Per Diem Employee?

A per diem employee is someone who is hired on a temporary or part-time basis, typically to fill in for regular employees who are absent or during busy periods.

These employees are not typically eligible for the same benefits as full-time employees, such as health insurance or paid time off. Instead, they are often compensated on a per-day basis, receiving a fixed amount for each day they work.

Per diem employees are commonly found in industries like healthcare, hospitality, and construction, where there is a need for flexibility in staffing. They can provide valuable support during peak seasons or when additional staff is needed due to unexpected circumstances.

What is Holiday Pay?

Holiday pay refers to the compensation that employees receive for working on designated holidays. In many countries, holidays are recognized as special days off, and employees are entitled to paid time off. However, for per diem employees, the situation may be different.

Whether or not per diem employees receive holiday pay depends on various factors, including the laws and regulations of the country or state they work in, as well as the policies of the company they are employed by.

Some companies may offer holiday pay to per diem employees as a way to attract and retain talent, while others may not provide such benefits.

It’s important for per diem employees to familiarize themselves with their rights and entitlements regarding holiday pay. They should consult their employment contracts or speak with their employers to clarify whether they are eligible for holiday pay and what the specific terms and conditions are.

For more information about per diem employees and holiday pay, you can visit the following websites:

Remember that the information provided on these websites may vary depending on the country or state you are in, so it’s always a good idea to check with local authorities or seek legal advice if you have any doubts or concerns.

Per Diem Employee Holiday Pay Eligibility

Per Diem vs. Full-Time Holiday Pay

When it comes to holiday pay, there is often confusion regarding the eligibility of per diem employees.

Unlike full-time employees who typically receive paid holidays as part of their employment benefits, per diem employees are generally not entitled to holiday pay.

Per diem employees are hired on an as-needed basis and are often not considered regular employees. This means that they may not receive the same benefits as full-time employees, including holiday pay.

Employer Policies and Contracts

However, it’s important to note that holiday pay eligibility for per diem employees may vary depending on the employer’s policies and the terms of any contracts or agreements in place.

Some employers may choose to provide holiday pay to per diem employees as a way to attract and retain talent.

It’s always a good idea for per diem employees to review their employment contracts or consult with their employers to understand their specific holiday pay entitlements.

Applicable Labor Laws

In addition to employer policies, applicable labor laws also play a role in determining holiday pay eligibility for per diem employees. Labor laws differ from one jurisdiction to another, so it’s important for per diem employees to familiarize themselves with the relevant laws in their area.

For example, in the United States, the Fair Labor Standards Act (FLSA) sets guidelines for minimum wage and overtime pay, but it does not specifically address holiday pay for per diem employees. However, some states may have their own laws that provide additional protections for per diem employees, including holiday pay.

It’s worth mentioning that while per diem employees may not be eligible for holiday pay, they may still be entitled to other benefits such as overtime pay, sick leave, or vacation pay, depending on the specific employment arrangement and applicable labor laws.

For more information on per diem employee rights and entitlements, you can visit the U.S. Department of Labor website or consult with an employment attorney for guidance specific to your situation.

Per Diem Employees

How Per Diem Holiday Pay is Calculated

Paid Hourly vs. By Day/Shift

When it comes to calculating holiday pay for per diem employees, the method used can depend on whether they are paid on an hourly basis or by day/shift.

For per diem employees who are paid on an hourly basis, holiday pay is typically calculated based on the number of hours worked on the holiday. This means that if a per diem employee works on a holiday, they would receive their regular hourly rate for the hours worked, plus any applicable holiday pay.

On the other hand, for per diem employees who are paid by day or shift, holiday pay is usually calculated based on the employee’s average daily earnings. This means that if a per diem employee is scheduled to work on a holiday, they would receive their average daily earnings for that day, which would include any applicable holiday pay.

Averaging Methods

There are different methods that employers can use to calculate an employee’s average daily earnings for holiday pay.

One common method is to average the employee’s earnings over a specified period of time, such as the 30 days preceding the holiday. Another method is to average the employee’s earnings over a longer period of time, such as the 13 weeks preceding the holiday.

It’s important to note that the specific averaging method used can vary depending on the employer and the applicable labor laws. Employers should consult their state labor department or an employment attorney to ensure they are calculating per diem holiday pay correctly.

For more information on per diem holiday pay calculations, you can visit the U.S. Department of Labor website, which provides detailed guidance on various wage and hour issues, including holiday pay for per diem employees.

Per Diem Holiday Pay Best Practices

Clear Communication

When it comes to holiday pay for per diem employees, clear communication is key. Employers should ensure that their policies regarding holiday pay are clearly communicated to all employees. This can be done through employee handbooks, meetings, or even email reminders.

By providing clear and concise information about holiday pay, employers can avoid misunderstandings and ensure that per diem employees are aware of the company’s policies.

It is also important for employers to communicate any changes to their holiday pay policies in a timely manner. This gives employees the opportunity to plan accordingly and make necessary adjustments to their schedules.

Written Policies

Having written policies in place regarding holiday pay for per diem employees is essential. These policies should outline the eligibility criteria, such as the minimum number of hours worked or the length of time employed, in order to qualify for holiday pay.

They should also specify the rate of pay for holidays, whether it is the employee’s regular pay rate or a higher rate.

By having written policies, employers can ensure consistency and fairness in the treatment of per diem employees when it comes to holiday pay. It also provides a reference point for both employers and employees in case any disputes or questions arise.

Honoring Commitments

One of the best practices for employers is to honor their commitments when it comes to holiday pay for per diem employees. If an employer has promised holiday pay to a per diem employee, they should follow through on that promise. Failing to do so can lead to employee dissatisfaction and even legal issues.

Employers should also be proactive in addressing any issues or concerns that may arise regarding holiday pay. This includes promptly responding to employee inquiries or complaints, and taking appropriate actions to resolve any discrepancies.

Do Per Diem Employees Get Holiday Pay

Steps to Understanding Your Holiday Pay

When you’re a per diem employee, understanding your holiday pay can sometimes be a bit confusing. However, by following these simple steps, you can gain clarity on how your holiday pay is calculated and what you’re entitled to.

1. Review Contracts/Policies

The first step is to carefully review any contracts or policies that you have signed with your employer. These documents often outline the specific terms and conditions regarding holiday pay for per diem employees.

Pay close attention to any clauses or provisions that mention holiday pay, as this will give you a good starting point for understanding your entitlements.

2. Ask Your Manager

If you’re still unsure about your holiday pay after reviewing your contracts or policies, don’t hesitate to have a conversation with your manager. They are there to help clarify any questions or concerns you may have.

Ask them about the company’s holiday pay policy and how it applies to per diem employees. Your manager will be able to provide you with specific information that is relevant to your situation.

3. Consult Handbook

Another useful resource to consult is your employee handbook. Employee handbooks often contain detailed information about various employment policies, including holiday pay.

Look for sections that discuss compensation, time off, or benefits, as these will likely touch upon holiday pay for per diem employees. If you don’t have a physical copy of the handbook, check if it’s available online or reach out to your HR department.

4. Contact HR

If you’re still uncertain about your holiday pay after consulting your contracts, policies, and handbook, consider reaching out to your HR department.

HR professionals are well-versed in employment laws and company policies, and they can provide you with accurate information regarding your holiday pay entitlements as a per diem employee. They may also be able to provide you with additional resources or guidance to help clarify any confusion.

5. Check Labor Laws

Finally, it’s always a good idea to familiarize yourself with the labor laws in your jurisdiction. Different regions may have specific regulations regarding holiday pay for per diem employees. Checking the labor laws can help you understand your rights and ensure that your employer is complying with all legal requirements.

You can visit your local labor department’s website or consult legal resources to get accurate and up-to-date information about holiday pay laws in your area.

By following these steps, you’ll be well-equipped to understand your holiday pay as a per diem employee. Remember, it’s important to advocate for yourself and seek clarification whenever you have questions or concerns about your employment benefits.


As a per diem employee, your eligibility for holiday pay depends on your employer’s policies and applicable labor laws. The best way to get clarity on what holiday pay you are entitled to is to thoroughly review any contracts, handbooks, and written policies.

Don’t hesitate to speak up and ask questions of your manager or HR department as well. While rules vary, you have a right to understand how holiday pay works at your company as a per diem staff member.

With a combination of proactive research, clear communication, and understanding your rights, you can make sure you receive fair holiday pay as a per diem employee. At the end of the day, you deserve to understand and receive the holiday pay benefits you are promised by your employer.

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