In the ever-shifting world of people management, the discretion over when time away from the job is justified has long been a source of friction and compromise. What is vacation? What is a sick day? What is an emergency? And who gets to make those final designations, the employee or the supervisor?
Paid Time Off, or PTO, offers a management strategy designed to alleviate or eliminate those points of possible contention, by changing the nature of the discussion. Under a PTO system, employees can “bank” a pre-determined number of hours – either by pay period, or by month, or annually – then draw from those hours for whatever purpose they want.
In addition to simplifying the administration of an employee’s time away, PTO treats the employee as an adult capable of managing his or her time responsibly while not needing to worry about justifying the reason to a manager, or offer misleading information about taking a sick day when not actually being sick. Also, PTO keeps healthy employees from feeling “penalized” for not taking sick days available to them.
Having a PTO system in place also makes a company more attractive to potential employees and increases loyalty among current employees, since time off is treated as a pool of hours, and not segmented into categories. This means, for example, that unused sick days can be automatically used to take more time for vacation.
Of course, some caution must be taken with plans like PTO. Managers must watch so that employees do not abuse the system, taking unreasonable stretches of time away that impact the company negatively. Also, managers must still take responsibility for sending home an ill employee, who would prefer to stockpile time for vacation instead.
But for organizations with a culture that welcomes flexible work schedules, PTO can be a great tool for all involved, as an attractive alternative to traditional vacation and sick time off.
Contact the Benefits team at The Reschini Group to learn more.
Copyright 2021 The Reschini Group
The Reschini Group provides these updates for information only, and does not provide legal advice. To make decisions regarding insurance matters, please consult directly with a licensed insurance professional or firm.