PTO software Westlake

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 workers take periodic vacations, they are more productive. 

But American associates don’t take enough vacations. Many of us are burned out by the daily grind.

The U.S. Travel Association has conducted several 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 critical for health reasons. When a team member 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 Companies Have To Provide Paid Leave?

No. However, the Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) requires businesses to provide unpaid leave. And business owners can’t terminate the worker 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 staff member’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 workers 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 organizations 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.

Traditional Leave

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. Workers can use them however they like.

Do you have a problem with absenteeism? Consider this:

54% of businesses 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 labor force to buy and sell vacation days. Note that organizations that allow PTO buy-sell have to pay attention to tax regulations. Including them in a cafeteria program can keep you in compliance.

Unlimited PTO

Some companies trust their staff members 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 employees, 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 streamlines leave management. It also makes it easy for staff members to request leave. Plus, it gives supervisors a systematic way to see all requests and approve them.



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Accurate Data Payroll Processing offers WorkforceHUB, the unified Human Resources portal that makes it easy to optimize the performance of your managers, employees, and business.

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