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PTO vs. Individual Leave Policies

April 3, 2015

Employers have a number of options when offering paid leave benefits to their employees. Many employers offer separate paid time off benefits to their employees, like vacation, sick leave, and personal days. Other employers offer more flexible paid time off benefits that incorporate all of the leave policies into one all-inclusive PTO policy. However, there are several advantages and disadvantages to be aware of when combining your company’s separate paid time off benefits into a single PTO policy.

Advantages of a Single PTO Policy

  • Employees may be discouraged from stretching the truth about being sick or having a doctor’s appointment in order to use all of their annual sick days.
  • Employees are likely to take more vacation time and less sick days. This benefits employers because they'll typically receive more notice about scheduled vacations. Also, employees generally return to work more refreshed and productive following vacation leave, which is less likely for employees taking sick days.
  • Employers only have to track PTO hours rather than separately tracking vacation, sick, and personal days.

Disadvantages of a Single PTO Policy

  • Employees are more likely to use all of their PTO, when they may not have used up all of their sick or personal days in the past.
  • Employees might save all of their PTO for vacation and still come to work when they're sick, spreading illness among other employees.
  • In some states, all earned PTO must be paid out upon separation of employment. With separate sick leave and vacation policies, state law often requires that only unused vacation time be paid out upon separation of employment.

No matter how many paid leave benefits you choose to offer your employees, Virtual TimeClock can keep track of them all.

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