Careers Succeeding at Work Paid Time Off Employer Comparisons How Does Your Paid Time Off Compare With Other Employers? Share PINTEREST Email Print John Lund/Blend Images/Getty Images Succeeding at Work Human Resources Job Search Resources Hiring Best Practices Glossary Employment Law Employee Motivation Employee Management Management Careers Management & Leadership Employee Benefits By Susan M. Heathfield Susan M. Heathfield Susan Heathfield is an HR and management consultant with an MS degree. She has decades of experience writing about human resources. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 03/24/19 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—and if your employees don't use up all of their paid time off—know that they should. Their use of paid time off helps both their outlook and productivity, both of which are desirable for the employer. 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 paid 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. You can become a better manager of employee paid time off with the tools and software programs now available that help you schedule and track employee time. 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, WorldatWork.com 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, 71percent of employers offered traditional paid time off days, in 2006, 63 percent, and in 2010, 54 percent. So, the use of a PTO system has reached over 40percent 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 percent of employers), jury duty (90 percent of employers), bereavement (89 percent of employers), sick leave (87 percent of employers) and paid holidays (83 percent of employers)." They also found that both groups of employers offer around 9 paid holidays a year. Traditional paid time off plans offers 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. 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. In most locations, employers are not required by law to give employees paid time off. Consequently, for your employee paid time off benefits to be meaningful for employees, you have the need and potential payoff of educating employees about the worth of their benefits from their employers. This need has never been greater with the coming skills shortage. This fact cannot be emphasized enough: it is becoming increasingly necessary for employers to become employers of choice to attract and retain talent.