The government has announced its holiday schedule for 2019. The schedule is divided across three classifications: gazetted, restricted, as well as state and union territory.
Many foreign human resource managers struggle with India’s holiday schedule. That is no surprise: the federal and state governments have acknowledged a number of holidays every month to accommodate over 1.3 billion people spread over 36 diverse states and union territories.
Although there are many ways to manage this schedule, most companies in India offer 10 to 14 public holidays depending upon the company’s past practices and industry norms, as well as the discretion of the concerned states.
Public holidays in India are governed primarily through the following laws:
- The Weekly Holidays Act, 1942;
- The Industrial Employment (Standing Orders) Act, 1946;
- The National and Festival Holidays Act, 1963;
- The Negotiable Instruments Act 1981;
- The Companies Act 2013; and
- The Shops and Commercial Establishments Act.
Many businesses in India close offices on the gazetted holidays and grant employees several optional holidays that they may select to observe a non-gazetted holiday of their choosing.
Other businesses simply mirror the holiday schedule observed by the management of their office building.
Out of the following list of gazetted and non-gazetted holidays, the three national public holidays – Republic Day; Independence Day; and Gandhi Jayanti are mandatory. Irrespective of the law a company, industry, or organization follows, or whether they are public, private organizations or MNCs, every entity must necessarily remain closed on these days.
Gazetted holidays for 2019
- January 26: Republic Day
- March 4: Maha Shivaratri
- March 21: Holi
- April 17: Mahavir Jayanti
- April 19: Good Friday
- May 18: Buddha Purnima
- June 5: Id-ul- Fitr
- August 12: Id-ul-Zuha (Bakri Id)
- August 15: Independence Day
- August 24: Janmashtami
- September 10: Muharram
- October 2: Mahatma Gandhi’s birthday
- October 8: Dussehra
- October 27: Diwali (Deepavali)
- November 10: Id-e-Milad (Prophet Muhammad’s birthday)
- November 12: Guru Nanak’s birthday
- December 25: Christmas Day