In our previous calendar posts we’ve talked about paid time off for your Filipino virtual assistants. This time, I’d like to talk about something else, working over the other holidays.
I know that the Philippines has more holidays compared to other countries. This discrepancy has made working over the holidays a thorny issue for those who outsource.
Believe it or not, a lot of virtual assistants do understand that there will be holidays when they would need to work. Asking your VA to do that doesn’t have to be a contentious process. There are things you can do make this a painless process.
1. Check out the Philippine Holiday Calendar
The best place to start is to know how many holidays there really are in the Philippines. They have regular and special holidays. Regular holidays are the ones that most Filipinos observe. The banks, schools and government offices are closed on those days. Special holidays are usually religious holidays and often optional. To help you guys out, here’s the holiday calendar for 2019.
|New Year's Day||January 1||Tuesday|
|The Day of Valor / Araw ng Kagitingan||April 9||Tuesday|
|Maundy Thursday||April 18||Thursday|
|Good Friday||April 19||Friday|
|Labor Day||May 1||Wednesday|
|Independence Day||June 12||Wednesday|
|National Heroes Day||August 26||Monday|
|Bonifacio Day||November 30||Saturday|
|Christmas Day||December 25||Wednesday|
|Rizal Day||December 30||Monday|
|Chinese New Year||February 5||Tuesday|
|EDSA People Power Revolution Anniversary||February 25||Monday|
|Black Saturday||April 20||Saturday|
|Ninoy Aquino Day||August 21||Wednesday|
|All Saints Day||November 1||Friday|
|Additional Non-Working Holidays||November 1||Friday|
|Feast of the Immaculate Concepcion of Mary||December 8||Sunday|
|Last Day of the Year||December 31||Monday|
2. Create your own calendar on what holidays they can have the day off and the holidays they need to work.
Now that you know what the Philippine holidays are, you also need to look at your own holiday calendar. Combine them into one calendar. On that calendar you mark:
- what holidays your VA absolutely needs to work
- what holidays are negotiable
- what holidays they can take the day off
We recommend that you do this every year. Laying this out ahead of time gives your virtual assistant the opportunity to plan their schedules. This will also allow you to budget for their holiday pay (if you want them to work over the holidays) early on.
3. Lay-out your policies on paid and unpaid time off
Now that it’s clear what holidays can take their days off, you need to set up policy on filing leaves and vacation days. What your virtual assistant need to do if they want to take a holiday or sick leave. Do they need to email you? Call you? Do you have a form that needs to be filled out? How many days in advance do they need to do this?
This system varies from business to business. You can use your experience as a guide or talk to your staff to figure out what your best work for you as a team.
4. Include the holiday schedule and paid time off policy in your onboarding process.
Presenting these leave policies early on not only is good employment practice, it helps avoid any misunderstanding that might arise once the holidays come up. When VAs know as soon as they’re hired,
- when they can start earning leave credits,
- what holidays they need to work,
- what paid holidays they have off,
- how much their holiday pay is,
- and how they can file leaves,
they can get to work right away. They (and you) don’t have to feel anxious when holidays come up. You have a system in place that you can use when needed. And with clear policies like this, outsourcing can be a less stressful experience.
Don’t forget to subscribe to our Philippine Holiday Calendar. It will open your google calendar in a new tab, where you’ll be prompted with the image below. Just click add.
Julia has been working for OnlineJobs.ph since 2012, first as a writer and now as its social media manager and content development specialist. She also founded the Davao Virtual Assistants Association, the biggest VA association in Davao City.
She’s a full-time wife and mom and volunteers her time as an internet rights advocate.
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