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Import Holidays into an SLA calendar

Calendar Management

For those of us who administer Service Level Agreements (SLAs) in Jira Service Desk , the ability to associate a calendar with an SLA is critical to configuring the SLA. Out of the box, JSD comes with 2 calendars: a 9-5 weekday calendar and a 24x7 calendar. For most of us, this is all we need. When you configure a calendar, you indicate the days of the week that will count against an SLA and the hours of each day that are included. Naturally, for the 24x7 calendar, the SLA is always counting. For the 9-5 weekday calendar, this is 9am to 5pm (or 17:00) Monday through Friday. Changing these calendars or adding a new one is simple.

Setting the Working days and hours

What has not been as simple is adding in the holidays that need to be accounted for in the SLA. For instance, you probably don't want to count Christmas or New Year's Day against your SLA. This has required filling out the holiday calendar each year. Only those days that recur on a specific day can be entered regularly. However, this doesn't work for holidays whose observance moves each year, such as Thanksgiving Day in the US and Canada.

Fortunately, starting in JIRA Service Desk 4.4, Atlassian has added a much needed capability to import a holiday calendar. They support the Internet Calendar and Scheduling (ICS) format (.ics files). There a several free sources for holiday calendars for many different countries. Having looked through several sites, the best one appears to be (Note, I have no connection with this organization). When you look for an ICS calendar, make sure that you can download it, not just subscribe to it. There are ways to download a subscribable calendar - those are outside the scope of this article.

Once you have downloaded the .ics file, click on Import Holidays under the holidays section and import that file.

Click on Import holidays

This will provide you with a list of holidays that are defined in this file. As you can see in the image below, using the 2020 U.S.A holiday calendar, there are holidays that we don't need to include in our file such as Valentine's day, Mother's Day,  and Father's Day (we love you all, but these don't affect our SLAs).

Shows the imported list of holidays

You can remove these from your holiday calendar by clicking on the "x" to the left of the holiday. Then click import and you will have an updated list of holidays for your specific location.

Edit the list of holidays that you want to keep

This makes setting up our calendars so much easier than in the past.



Kat Community Leader May 06, 2020

Don't forget to add a reminder somewhere to update your SLA calendar/s in December.

 I wrote Tis the season to update your public holiday calendar in Jira Service Desk in December to remind people that while some public holidays fall on the same calendar day each year, many public holidays move around like Easter or Mondayised "observed" dates to give us long weekends. 

A helpful website is which lets you download an ics calendar file that you can upload into your SLAs.

Like Derek Fields likes this

Hi @Kat  and @Derek Fields ,


am I correct that there is currently no option for Service Desk Cloud projects to import those ics-files ? 


Like # people like this

Hi, I can't find this feature in cloud either. You could at least just mention in the article that it's only applicable to Jira server and not cloud to inform us...

This feature is badly needed. I'm getting a bit sick of having to open up all of our JSD projects and adding holidays to each one every time there is a public holiday. It's tedious, and I'd expect better from Atlassian.

Like # people like this

Hi Atlassian Team,

This feature should be considered as "essential" for calendars, as we need a "global calendar" and it's terribly annoying to add holiday one by one for each country needed.

When do you think this should be implemented on Cloud environment?

@Derek Fields @Kat 

Kat Community Leader Sep 17, 2020

@Pablo Scheveloff  - neither Derek or myself are Atlassian employees so we do not have any visibility of Atlassian roadmaps or development plans.


There was an article posted this week called Service level agreements get a facelift. You could try posting a reply to that article as it is being monitored by at least one Atlassian.

Hi @Kat ,

thanks for the hint ! will have a look - but anyway many thanks to highlight this feature ;) 

Hi @Kat , sorry for the confusion. I'll check on the article you mentioned. Thanks for sharing it!

Hi Atlassian Team, @felix_weber @Derek Fields @Kat 

Here are some changes?

"am I correct that there is currently no option for Service Desk Cloud projects to import those ics-files ?"

Maybe there is such a plugin?


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