Paid Time Off Employer Comparisons

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Want to benchmark your paid time off with that of other employers? Holiday weeks are popular times for employees to use their PTO days or take paid vacation days. Summers are also a challenge for employers because most employees take vacation days.

In the knowledge industries, employees can balance vacation with the demands of their jobs. In industries such as retail, manufacturing, food service and hospitality, though, having an employee on-site to serve customers is critical. This requires that managers carefully balance the number of employees using paid time off versus the employees who are on-the-job.

Would you like to more effectively work with employee time off? This is how managers and supervisors can manage vacation downtime and here are tips about how to handle unscheduled absences, the bane of customer-facing service industries.

PTO Comparison

You can compare your PTO or sick leave program and paid holidays for full time employees with other companies. In a May, 2010 study, differentiated between employers who provide traditional leave benefits that are divided by type of day off (vacation days, sick days, etc.) and employers who provide PTO.

The study found that PTO use by employers is increasing. In 2002, 71% of employers offered traditional paid time off days, in 2006, 63%, and in 2010, 54%. So, use of a PTO system has reached over 40% of employers, and if the study is correct, the percentage of employers is increasing. Very large organizations dominate in the use of traditional paid time off approaches.

The study also found that the "most common categories of leave under a traditional system are vacation (98%), jury duty (90%), bereavement (89%), sick leave (87%) and paid holidays (83%)." They also found that both groups of employers offer around 9 paid holidays a year.

Traditional paid time off plans offer a marginally greater average number of paid holidays in a year (nine) versus PTO bank-type plans at 8.7. Overall, paid holiday leave is most common for secular holidays.

Paid Holidays Are Voluntary by Employers

All of the employer paid time off that appears in an employee benefits package is voluntary. Did you know that no Federal law in the United States requires an employer to provide time off, paid or otherwise, to employees on nationally recognized holidays? Holiday pay practices are completely up to the employer. If you are paid for Labor Day, and have the day off, it is a benefit your employer provides.

Unfortunately, paid holidays have become an employee entitlement and few people stop to think about their place in a complete employee reward and recognition system. I think many employees think that their employer has to give them PTO and paid holidays; this, unfortunately contributes to the sense of entitlement many employees feel.

I've written before about the need to educate employees about their benefits. This need has never been greater with the coming skills shortage. I cannot emphasize enough the necessity of employers becoming employers of choice to attract and retain talent.