As the school year draws to a close and temps heat up, folks across the country are starting to plan for summer fun! Whether you’re getting another passport stamp, sticking around for a staycation or taking a Friday afternoon off for a round of golf, paid time off (PTO) is a hot topic for many employees right now. Here’s a recap of data from the Paid Leave in the Workplace: 2024 Survey Report that shows what U.S. workplaces are offering for PTO benefits.

Most organizations have a paid leave system with separate vacation, personal and/or sick time (54%). Thirty-eight percent of employers offer a PTO bank (with everything combined), and 8% offer unlimited PTO or vacation time.

VACATION TIME PER YEARS OF SERVICE

Although federal law does not require employers to offer vacation time to their workers, the overwhelming majority (98%) of organizations surveyed offer this benefit. Roughly eight in ten organizations base vacation days on years of service for their salaried and hourly workers. Only 13% base it on a flat number of days regardless of service for salaried employees.

Here’s a breakout of the average number of days offered per years of service for salaried workers:

  • Six months: Ten days
  • One year: 12 days
  • Five years: 16 days
  • Ten years: 19 days
  • 15 years: 20 days
  • 20 years: 22 days

BLACKOUT PERIODS

Most (80%) organizations do not have blackout periods when vacation days can’t be used. Five percent of organizations implement a blackout policy when there’s a sudden or expected increased workflow.

CARRYOVER POLICIES

Vacation carryover policies are similar for both salaried and hourly employees. Roughly half of employers allow salaried and hourly workers to carry over some unused days, while one-quarter allow employees to carry over ALL unused vacation.

UNUSED VACATION

For unused vacation, 16% of employers offer a cash conversion. Four percent allow the donation of days to other employees in need. Almost half of organizations say most employees use their vacation. For those who don’t use it, heavy workload was cited as the main reason followed by lack of adequate staffing. Seven percent of employers said their employees prefer a cash payout for days not taken, which is the reason for not using vacation.

Roughly three-quarters of organizations encourage their employees to take vacation but don’t require them to take a minimum amount. To dig into the data yourself, view the Paid Leave in the Workplace: 2024 Survey Report.

Anne Patterson

Associate Director, PR and Communications Favorite Foundation Product: Foundation Community. It’s like LinkedIn but only for Foundation members. They can post questions, share best practices, etc—all with fellow members who also live and breathe employee benefits. Benefits-related Topics That Interest Her Most: Mental health, diversity, equity and inclusion, behavioral decision making, family-forming benefits, payroll audits. Personal Insight: When she’s not busy keeping up with her two little ones, Anne finds joy in home renovation and décor, haiku writing, watching Jeopardy, crafting charcuterie boards, and bicycling.

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