Trends in PTO and Vacation Offerings—Just in Time for Summer

Whether it’s a family road trip with fruit snacks and beef jerky, getting another stamp or two on your passport or enjoying your own community with a staycation, time off is top-of-mind for many employees across the U.S. as summer quickly approaches. New data from the International Foundation shows what workers across the U.S. can expect for vacation and paid-time-off (PTO) benefits.

Trends in PTO and Vacation Offerings—Just in Time for Summer

According to the Employee Benefits Survey report, 59 percent of organizations provide a paid vacation plan, and 36 percent combine vacation time, sick time and personal days into one PTO bank. Only 3 percent of organizations offer unlimited vacation time and, inversely, 3 percent offer no vacation time or PTO at all.

Many workplaces base their offered vacation days and PTO on years of service the employee has contributed. For one year of service, ten vacation days is the most common offering. For five years, 15 vacation days; for ten years, 20 vacation days; and for 20 years, 20 vacation days as well.

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The number of days offered in the form of PTO is more varied:

  • One year of service—8% offer nine days or fewer; 21% offer ten days; 31% offer 11-15 days; 18% offer 16-19 days; and 22% offer 20 days or more.
  • Five years of service—6% offer ten days or fewer; 24% offer 11-15 days; 31% offer 16-20 days; 31% offer 21-25 days; and 9% offer 26 days or more.
  • Ten years of service—10% offer 15 days or fewer; 25% offer 16-20 days; 29% offer 21-25 days; 16% offer 26-29 days; and 20% offer 30 days or more.
  • 20 years of service—9% offer 19 days or fewer; 34% offer 20-25 days; 38% offer 26-30 days; 10% offer 31-35 days; and 9% offer 36 days or more.

I spoke with Julie Stich, CEBS, Associate Vice President of Content at the International Foundation. She said in order to attract and retain talent in our current competitive labor market, organizations are getting more tactical in offering a vacation structure that meets the unique demands of their specific workforce, providing added flexibility and work-life balance for employees.

Almost 70 percent of employers allow carryover for earned vacation/PTO to subsequent years. Almost one in four employers (24%) offer leave donation, allowing employees to donate time off to employees in need. Sixteen percent of employers allow employees to buy additional or sell excess time off with a buy and/or sell vacation/PTO policy in place. Twelve percent of organizations offer additional vacation/PTO days to midcareer hires.

Paid floating holidays are another way organizations are providing employees with added flexibility, allowing employees to choose their own day(s) throughout the year aside from the widely recognized holidays. One in five employers offer one floating holiday per year, and 15 percent of employers offer two. Over half don’t offer paid floating holidays.

As for the next federally recognized holiday coming up, the majority of employers (95%) are offering Memorial Day as a paid holiday. Most (96%) offer Independence Day (July 4), and 94 percent offer Labor Day as paid holidays.

For more information, or to access a copy of the report Employee Benefits Survey: 2018 Results, visit www.ifebp.org/BenefitSurvey2018.

Anne Patterson

Anne Patterson
Social Marketing and Communications Strategist at the International Foundation



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