How do I Determine Employee Paid Time Off?

Paid time off is a tremendous advantage you can give your employees and one of the important issues for new businesses. There are countless reasons why an employee might need a day or two or a week off from work. How do you figure out what amount of time is fair? Should you set limits on sick versus personal days? We will look at the national averages for employees in certain sectors and just what you need to know to determine your employee paid time off policy.

As you begin to formulate your PTO, or paid time off policy, you must first decide if you will make PTO days an assigned style. For example, do you want your employees to just have a set amount of days that they can use how they see fit, or do you want specific PTO days to fill specific needs. You can opt to make your employees' PTO days all around personal use days or you can designate so many for sick, personal, and/or vacation days. There are pros and cons to each approach. Let's look at how many PTO days are given on average in the United States.

Average PTO Days

According to statistics online, the average PTO days per year offered to US employees ranges from 14 days for less than one year employed, to about a month off for employees with 25+ years of service. When you figure that most full time employees work five days a week and 40 hours or more every week you can see that they do need a minimum of one year. Now, with newer employees it is important that they have a sense of "earning" their PTO time. You can arrange a system in which hours are accumulated with every month of service. So instead of having an automatic two weeks off, they earn so many hours for every month of service with your company. This keeps PTO usage to a minimum in the first years of service. It also offers longer serving employees an incentive to stay with your company.

Paid time off is not required in most places. It is a way you can attract good people to work for you. Let's face it, most business owners understand that people get sick, they need personal days for life's surprises, and their employer should be reasonable in accommodating reasonable needs. People with children also need to know that they can take care of their children when they are ill or attend an occasional event for their kids. These kinds of activities are going to keep your employees happier.

Productivity and PTO

When you make your workplace family friendly and healthy you can demonstrate that while you expect a lot from your employees you also understand that they are human beings with needs. Keeping sick people working is only going to make unpaid sick time explode. Your employees need to be able to stay home when they are ill and not spread illness to others. It is a good investment. If all you can offer right now is sick days it is a great place to start.

You can start with a minimum of 10-12 days a year in sick time. That is considered generous employee paid time off in some industries. What works for your company depends on your size and fiscal situation. Asking your employees for their opinion on this matter is one way to gather information. You might be surprised at how reasonable they are. This involves them in the policy making and they get a chance to be involved. PTO days is a wonderful benefit and you should be proud to offer it.

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