Everyone’s heard of paid vacation time, but it turns out there are a lot more than one type of Paid Time Off (PTO) an employer can offer their employees.
While the type, length, and pay varies with state laws and circumstances, PTO is unanimously seen as a great way to not only promote employee well-being, but also retain staff, limit training costs, and entice desirable new workers to choose your business out of the job pool.
If you’re thinking about offering more PTO to your employees, here are 10 qualifying types that you can provide.
1) Vacation Time
Perhaps the most well-known form of PTO, vacation days can be used by employees to take time off for travel, family, or rest.
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, over 70% of businesses offer paid vacation time, though the length of days can vary, along with the rules.
A standard vacation policy usually requires notice several weeks before the planned vacation.
2) Sick Days
As the name implies, sick leave can be offered to prevent illnesses from spreading throughout the workplace, while also giving the employee time to recover. Some businesses have to provide sick days under mandatory sick leave laws, while sick days can also apply to employees suffering from an injury as well.
3) Personal Time
For the days that don’t qualify under vacation or sick leave, but time off is still needed for things like doctor’s appointments, special events, or car maintenance, personal time may be given to an employee instead.
There are no specific rulings regarding personal time, but it’s generally used by businesses to help preserve an employee’s vacation time for a rainy day.
The average employee receives PTO for eight holidays a year, and most of those follow federal holiday guidelines, such as Christmas, Memorial Day, and Thanksgiving. However, some employers offer “floating holidays”, which are essentially a certain number of single days that can be used for PTO at any time during the year.
Used when an employee’s family member or friend passes away, bereavement leave allows them to grieve and make funeral plans without their paycheck suffering. Bereavement policies differ with the business, but generally stress specificity in what qualifies, while some require proof of death such as an obituary.
6) Parental Leave
For maternity/paternity leave or adoption, parental leave is usually required by federal law depending on your company’s size. Similarly, several states have strict parental leave laws, so be sure to check in with your state PTO guidelines!
7) Jury Duty
For some states, PTO for employees serving jury duty is required by law to ensure their service doesn’t affect their income. If that’s the case for your state, it’s not uncommon to ask for an official summons letter to verify first, before offering PTO.
8) Voting Day
According to statistics, approximately 44% of employers offer PTO to allow their workers the time to vote – though usually only for a few hours. This can apply for both presidential and local elections, and some states even require time off be provided, whether paid or not.
9) Military Leave
Under the USERRA Act, up to five years of unpaid time off must be given to all employees in active military duty. However, some employers provide PTO for employees who are temporarily gone for active duty, trainings, or drills as a “thank you” for their service.
10) Compensatory Time
Last but not least, compensatory PTO can be given to employees immediately following overtime. However, as it’s illegal in the case of nonexempt workers to private, non-governmental businesses, employers should always consult FSLA laws before offering this benefit.
No matter where you stand, PTO is just good for all involved. So, check your state laws, consider your options, and make your employees happy this year.