Vacation and leave benefits are a part of most employee benefit packages, but there
s a wide variance in the how its given, how much is given, and the methodology behind it all. With summer here, your employees are likely to begin cashing in on theirs (or at least taking time away), which makes this the perfect time to evaluate your current policies and make sure theyre up to par.

Vacation and Leave Benefits aren’t Mandatory, But You Should Offer Them

There is no federal law that requires employers to give employees vacation leave, according to the Department of Labor. That means its entirely up to your company to decide what to include in your benefits package. However, before you make a decision, you should know that time away from work leads to better morale, increased productivity, healthier employees, and a wealth of other benefits for employers to cash in on. Moreover, it makes your company more enticing to quality employees. In other words, its typically in a companys best interests to find ways to encourage employees to take time away and establish work/ life balance.

Paid Time off and Vacation Plans Differ

There are four main ways employers in the US provide their employees with time away from work; sick leave, paid vacation, paid time off, and paid personal plans.

Sick Leave

Many jurisdictions do force the issue of sick time. If youre unsure if your city or state requires you to offer it, please double check. With that said, other benefit plans that include sick leave are often legally acceptable in these cases. According to a 2016 SHRM survey, companies providing sick leave as a separate benefit usually vary the allowance by number of years of service. Averages are found below:

Years of Service Number of Sick Days
< 1 7
1 10
2 11
3 16
4 14
5-9 17
10+ 19

Paid Vacation

Employers who give their employees paid time off typically provide specific federal holidays off and offer a handful of days based on tenure alongside them for employees to utilize as they wish. Averages are as follows:

Years of Service Number of Vacation Days
<1 8
1 10
2 11
3 12
4 12
5-9 15
10-19 19
20+ 22

Paid Time Off

Instead of providing specific days off, some employers choose to give their employees vacation, holiday time, and sick leave as a lump, so that they can pick and choose when to take time. Although they generally receive less time overall, they do have more flexibility to honor their own traditions. Averages below:

Years of Service Number of PTO Days
<1 13
1 15
2 15
3 16
4 17
5-9 20
10-19 24
20+ 26

Paid Personal Plans

On average, employers without tenure-based schedules that allow employees to take personal days provide four per year.

Get Help Creating Your Benefits Package

There are pros and cons to every leave package offering, and its up to you to decide which one is right for your team. If youd like help establishing or reevaluating your companys policies, contact HR Source today.

 

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