Paid leave is a valued perk for employees. A generous policy can help you attract higher quality employees. Once on the job, using leave improves job satisfaction and engagement.
There are many benefits for business owners as well.
When employees take periodic vacations, they are more productive.
But American staff members don’t take enough vacations. Many of us are burned out by the daily grind.
The U.S. Travel Association has conducted numerous studies on vacation trends.
According to the association, U.S. workers only use 77% of earned PTO. That equals about 5 vacation days per year.
Paid sick leave is crucial for health reasons. When an employee stays home due to a contagious illness, it prevents other team members from catching it. If the sick employee they knew would lose money if they stayed home, they would be more likely to go to work and tough it out.
Do Employers Have To Provide Paid Leave?
No. However, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires businesses to provide unpaid leave. And employers can’t terminate the staff member if the time an employee takes off qualifies under FMLA.
Types Of Leave
Some employers separate leave according to the purpose:
- Sick Time: Time off for health reasons.
- Vacation or Personal Time Off: The employee can do whatever they choose.
- Holidays: Holidays designated at the federal level. Also called ‘company holidays.’
- Bereavement Leave: Leave taken after the death of a family member.
- Floating Holiday: This is another name for a random paid day off of the employee’s choosing.
- Jury Duty: Employers are required to permit employees to miss work for jury duty.
Paid Time Off (PTO)
Paid time off has become more popular in the past few years. Many employers have switched to a PTO policy. In this type of policy, leave is not categorized. Employees can do whatever they want during their time off.
How Does Leave Accrue?
PTO accrues as employees work their regular shifts/schedules.
Some organizations allow workers to take paid leave off before earning it. Each employee is given a set number of days or hours at the beginning of the year. If they quit before the year ends, however, they may have to forfeit its value from their final paycheck.
Some businesses increase the amount of PTO with the employee’s tenure at the company.
What Is The Average Amount Of Leave In The U.S.?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the average U.S. worker gets 10 days of vacation leave annually.
As explained previously, conventional leave is categorized—sick days, personal days, vacation, etc.
The acronym PTO usually refers to leave that isn’t categorized.
PTO or PTO Banks
Each employee gets the same number of annual paid days off. Employees can use them however they like.
Do you have an issue with absenteeism? Consider this:
54% of organizations that switched to a combined PTO policy saw a 10% decrease in unscheduled absences, according to a survey by the Alexander Hamilton Institute. 4% saw a decrease of 20%.
PTO Purchase Plans
A ‘PTO buy-sell’ or purchase plan allows staff to buy and sell vacation days. Note that businesses that allow PTO buy-sell have to pay attention to tax regulations. Including them in a cafeteria program can keep you in compliance.
Some companies trust their employees to manage their own schedules. This policy has been a success in many workplaces. Most organizations haven’t seen an increase in absenteeism. Or a decrease in productivity.
If you are struggling to find quality workers, consider unlimited PTO. If you are hesitant, you could do a trial run for one year to see how it works out.
Manage Leave Policies With TimeWorksPlus
TimeWorksPlus simplifies leave management. It also makes it easy for employees to request leave. Plus, it gives managers a systematic way to see all requests and approve them.
SwipeClock LLC offers WorkforceHUB, the unified Human Resources portal that makes it easy to optimize the performance of your supervisors, employees, and company.
WorkforceHUB includes TimeWorksPlus, TimeSimplicity, and TimeWorksPlus Mobile. We’ve just added onboarding, benefits enrollment, performance reviews, and employee engagement! WorkforceHUB is designed for busy employers like you who need to streamline scheduling, automate time and attendance tracking, maintain regulatory compliance, and reduce labor costs.
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We can get you up and running with Workforce Management Suite in minutes. Contact us today to set up a demo.