Celebrating the Days That Matter Most

McKesson’s new policy empowers employees to take time off when meaningful to them.

Read time: 3 minutes

We can’t work 24/7. That’s why time off is a key element to any balanced and fulfilling work experience.

McKesson, like most companies, has historically provided time off for federal holidays in addition to a set number of paid time off (PTO) days for vacation, illness and other personal events. But in the U.S., the federal holiday calendar is fixed, which poses a significant challenge for employees with diverse cultural backgrounds and religious beliefs. Employees trying to leave work to celebrate a different holiday – such as Yom Kippur, Ramadan or Juneteenth, for example – have less freedom to do so without tapping into their PTO or taking an unpaid day.

With McKesson’s new floating holiday policy, employees now have the ability to take paid time off for their preferred holidays, religious or traditional practices. In addition, a floating holiday can also apply to a special event or even a day to recharge their mental wellbeing.

The updated corporate calendar provides seven fixed holidays, as well as five floating holidays that can be used at any time. Floating holidays are a substitute for public holidays and give employees the flexibility to choose which days they want to take off from work.

“At McKesson, we recognize the diverse world in which we live and work,” says Neisha Strambler-Butler, senior vice president, Total Rewards at McKesson. “Our company supports the many ways our 78,000-plus employees are different, and acknowledges that everyone deserves time away to celebrate the holidays that are most meaningful to their lives – regardless of whether the event falls on the federal holiday calendar or not.”

McKesson’s ICARE values serve as the guiding principles our company anchors to when implementing new policies to best support our employees. With these values at the helm, McKesson’s culture continues to evolve into one that not only embraces all aspects of diversity, equity and inclusion, but one that allows us to succeed during periods of complexity and adversity as well.

The new policy is especially meaningful to McKesson employee Nidhi Kharbanda, who plans to take time off for Diwali later this year.

“In Hinduism, Diwali is a holiday for celebration and connection that symbolizes the triumph of light over dark,” says Kharbanda, who works as a lead software developer in McKesson Technology. “Because it’s our largest yearly festival, taking a few days off is required to prepare for all of the festivities leading up to and during the holiday. We deep clean and light up our homes, cook special meals and sweets, exchange gifts with family and friends, dress up, do our prayers, and then cap off the events of the day by lighting fireworks after dinner. I love that McKesson’s new policy allows me to have the flexibility to use the days I need to feel energized and fully enjoy this special time with family.”

McKesson has a long history of promoting and adapting new policies aimed at bringing out the best in our employees, whether that’s improving diversity, equity and inclusion or promoting a flexible work-life balance – all of which now applies to how we celebrate holidays.

“As a company, we’re dedicated to advancing the health of patients everywhere for a better tomorrow,” explains Strambler-Butler. “But we know that we’re only as good as the people who help us deliver on that mission. That’s why we’re also committed to always putting our own employees’ health and wellbeing first – and that includes fostering an inclusive and flexible workplace where they can thrive.”