Each medical office will observe Christmas differently based upon the patient demographic, the preferences of the practice owner, and the needs of the employees. As an office policy for mandatory holidays and days that will not be observed as holidays is created, a copy should be shared with all team members as they are hired. If special exclusions are needed due to religious holidays, then team members will need to manage this with the practice owners individually.
Holiday pay will vary depending on each category of employee (salaried, full-time hourly, part time hourly, and temporary). The office policy should clearly outline how each staff will be compensated if they work on a holiday.
It is also important to state what happens when observed holidays fall on a non-work day. These holidays can be observed by closing the office the day before or the day after the holiday. The holiday can also go without a day of observance — it depends on personal preference.
The office policy should also address how time off request will be remunerated, how many employees can be off at the same time, and if too many employees want the time off, how you will determine which time off requests are approved.
In summary, the 5 elements of such a policy for Christmas and other holidays should include:
- Mandatory and observed holidays based upon patient makeup, the preferences of the owner(s), and the composition of employees.
- A statement describing the rationale for holidays chosen, especially religious holidays. (It is not required to observe special days of every religion, but it is important to address the accommodation, if any, that can be made for a practitioner of a religion whose holidays the office does not observe.
- Holiday pay for each category of employee should be addressed. This should include how staff will be compensated if they work on a holiday (i.e. double time, triple time, and time off on another day are all options to consider).
- Observed holidays that fall on non-work days. These holidays can be observed by closing the office the day before or the day after the holiday. From some holidays, it may make sense to close the office at noon the day before.
- Additional time off around a holiday. Your policy should address how that time will be charged, how many employees can be off at the same time, and how you will determine which time off requests are approved if multiple employees want the time off.
Communicate Christmas Closures to Patients
Once the team and office policy on the holiday closure dates and process is outlined, it is very important to communicate what and when the holiday closures are to all patients.
Medical Practice Holiday Closure notices should be sent out at least a month in advance, and appointments should be confirmed and not scheduled on those dates. You can send them via email, posted mail, social media, and the practice website. Also consider signage in the practice reception area so that visiting patients can see it.
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Considering the space and operations for your medical practice can be challenging, with multiple factors influencing your day-to-day operations and accessibility law requirements. Whether you are starting from scratch or in the early stages of planning your move, Boulevard Medical Properties has the expertise and knowledge to help guide you.