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Employees are increasingly expecting paid time off, or PTO. Paid time off for vacations, holidays, and sickness is highly essential to almost three-quarters of American employees in 2021, and more than 60% would reject down a job if the firm did not offer a PTO programme.

When it comes to paid time off, labor market standards are altering, therefore there’s never been a better time to explore creating a paid time off policy at your company. And matching job seekers’ expectations while aligning with your own business aims can be beneficial to both parties. Here are some things to think about before making a decision.

The basics of what paid time off involves

There is no federal law requiring employees to take paid time off. “These benefits are matters of agreement between an employer and an employee (or the employee’s representative).”  according to the Department of Labor. Nonetheless, the United States is presently the only advanced economy that does not require paid time off. This disparity is becoming more of an issue as workers return to a labor market rocked by the pandemic. As pro-PTO supporters like to emphasize out, even the ancient Egyptians had paid sick days.

PTO and the law

Despite the fact that the United States lags behind other countries in terms of nationally mandated PTO, 13 states and Washington, D.C. have approved their own laws regarding paid time off for illness. State legislation may also govern how PTO is accumulated. In Connecticut, for example, which was the first state to enact PTO rules in 2011, businesses with more than 50 employees must provide one hour of sick leave for every 40 hours worked, up to a maximum of 40 hours per year.

PTO banks can free up managers and staff

A PTO bank is an increasingly popular method of establishing paid time off. Employees who have a PTO bank have a set number of hours or days that they can use whenever they want for any reason. The quantity of PTO in the bank normally increases the longer a person stays with the employer – the US average is 10 PTO days each year.

The benefits of implementing a paid time off policy

A PTO bank is an increasingly popular method of establishing paid time off. Employees who have a PTO bank have a set number of hours or days that they can use whenever they want for any reason. The quantity of PTO in the bank normally increases the longer a person stays with the employer – the US average is 10 PTO days each year.

Establishing a PTO bank has obvious appeal for employees, but it can also benefit companies.

  • Saves manager’s time: Managers’ time is saved because, as long as time is booked in advance (with the exception of sick days, where advance notice may not be possible), there is no need for the employee to explain why they are taking time off, and thus no need for managers to spend time deciding whether requests are justified.
  • Builds Trust: Managers don’t need to know whether someone is taking a day off for a hospital checkup or to see a new movie on opening day. You treat employees as responsible adults, not as schoolchildren who must defend their actions.
  • Reduces unapproved absences and tardiness: Having a PTO bank allows employees to plan ahead for everything from vacations to appointments without missing out, allowing work and life to coexist.

  • Reduces deception: 96% of workers in the United States have lied to get out of work. While it is impossible to totally prohibit this type of time theft, PTO eliminates the need for employees to fabricate an excuse to take time off. They simply make use of their time.

Potential issues with establishing paid time off

Implementing PTO is not without challenges, as it is with any significant change in workplace culture.

  • Earning more Paid time off is hard: There is a generational divide in employment tenure, which can limit workers’ capacity to increase their PTO allowance. The average length spent at a job for people over 55 is nearly 10 years, while it is now only 2.8 years for people aged 25 to 34. This sets a soft limit on how much PTO new employees can take, which can lead to trouble in attracting personnel as well as animosity and diminished motivation among newer employees. As employees begin to level the playing field, several employers are now offering 15 days of PTO as standard.
  • PTO goes unused: Employees in the United States are lousy at using their given benefits – they frequently do not use their time off and then feel burned out and aggrieved if they cannot roll those days and hours over to the next year. Ninety percent of American workers admit to coming to work sick rather than taking a sick day for fear of losing pay. It is critical to educate employees that PTO may and should be used for all sick days, vacations, and other situations.
  • Requests for time off must be treated fairly: Not everyone will be able to take the desired days off; for example, there is sometimes a rush to take time off at the end of the year, and some individuals will have to miss out in order to keep the firm running. Changing your corporate calendar to expire earned PTO in the spring rather than on New Year’s Eve can help to avoid this.
  • Unlimited PTO isn’t a magic bullet: The concept of limitless PTO is gaining popularity among newer businesses and office-based startups. Employees may find the concept enticing, but it has drawbacks. Most employees on unlimited PTO schemes do not take advantage of their unlimited time off, taking less days than they would have had anyhow, and hence miss out on rewards for unused PTO at year-end.

A paid time off policy isn't required for your company right now, but it might be soon.

The public vision of a regular eight-hour workday at a job you’ve had for decades, with two weeks of vacation and national holidays every year, endures but does not reflect the reality for millions of U.S. employees in 2021. Workers are more aware than ever of the perks they desire, with 57% now putting paid time off as a Top 3 priority when searching for jobs, alongside perennially popular advantages such as health insurance and a pension.

Given that there is no legal duty to do so, it is natural that not every business will want – or be able – to implement a paid time off policy right now. But, due to regulations and staff expectations, it may not be a possibility for much longer. Whether you believe the moment has come to implement PTO in your organization or choose to wait and see,‘s workforce management solution will assist you in managing time off requests swiftly and painlessly.

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