Employers Rework Traditional Vacation Time Model

Some companies have implemented a novel approach to vacation time benefits, allowing employees the right to buy and sell days as part of a work-perk.

This amendment to otherwise outmoded and strict vacation time models permits workers more efficient personal time management, extra days for trips, time with loved ones, or a little more down time for illness recovery.

Workaholics, who have a few extra days left each year and don’t intent to take them, can also elect to sell those days off for extra cash or donate them to a general pool for other co-workers.

A Society for Human Resource Management survey found that nine percent of employers allowed workers to cash out unused vacation time; five percent let employees purchase additional vacation days through a payroll deduction; and an additional seven percent allowed employees to donate vacation time to a general pool that can be used by other workers.

Of the 52 percent of employers offering PTO plans, 19 percent offered a cash-out option and 15 percent offered a donation program. The cost for the additional time off is usually one week’s salary, pro-rated over the course of the year.

Other employers have gone a step further, assigning workers their personal time off (PTO) – a comprehensive benefit combining vacation time, sick leave, and personal days – and adding paid Holidays, allowing them the choice to work during traditional days off like Memorial Day, Labor Day, even Thanksgiving, and using the time off at their preferred convenience.

Interestingly, schedule flexibility is one of the primary areas of concern among employees, which can influence efficiency, performance, and stress. A growing number of workers – especially 20-somethings being introduced into the labor market – cite flexible hours as one of their desired work-perks.

No one wants to adhere to a traditional 9-to-5 schedule. Instead, people would rather be allowed more adaptability in their coming and going so they can freely tend to important middle of the day, unavoidable Monday thru Friday errands like a trip to the DMV or picking up a sick kids after they’ve arrived at school.

Research has shown that flexible work arrangements can reduce stress because employees are more satisfied with their jobs, with their lives, and experience better work-family balance – optimizing overall performance and efficiency.

[Image via Shutterstock]