10 Types of Paid Time Off You Can Offer Employees

Over 70% of employees have access to paid days off from work for sick or vacation time. Although these are common paid time off programs, sick and vacation days aren’t the only time off work you can offer. Get the scoop on different types of paid time off below.

10 Types of paid time off

Under federal law, you are not required to offer paid time off. But, taking time off work is critical for employees to manage their lives. You can encourage morale, engagement, and productivity by offering paid time off.

Some businesses choose to offer a lump sum of days employees can use for time off from work. Other businesses offer a certain number of days per type of time off. You can manage paid time off, as well as time off requests, with time and attendance software.

Be sure to include your paid time off policy in your employee handbook. State which employees are eligible for which types of paid time off, how much time they receive, whether they receive their regular pay rate for time off, when paid time off is available to use, and what happens to unused time at the end of the year.

When creating your paid time off policy, consider the following types you can include.

1. Vacation days

Vacation pay is paid time off you give employees to travel, spend time with family or friends, or take a break from work. Seventy-seven percent of employees receive paid vacation days.

The number of vacation days that businesses offer varies. A typical vacation policy should explain rules relating to when and how employees can take off for vacation. For example, you may require employees to give you ample notification before using vacation days.

Psst … The FLSA doesn’t require paid vacation time off.

So, what exactly does the FLSA do? Download our free cheat sheet to find out.

2. Sick leave

Paid sick leave is time off that an employee can use when they are sick or injured. Offering sick pay can reduce the chances of illnesses going around your small business by encouraging sick employees to stay home.

Depending on where your business is located, you might have to offer sick pay. Check with your state and follow mandatory sick leave laws.

3. Personal time

Employees can use personal time off to handle things like doctor’s appointments, car checkups, attending events (e.g., parent-teacher conferences), and anything else that doesn’t fall under sick or vacation time.

Personal time doesn’t have to be used for anything specific. Employees can use personal time without having to dip into their vacation days.

4. Holidays

Holiday pay compensates employees for time off during holidays. According to the BLS, employees who earn holiday pay receive an average of eight paid holidays per year.

You might follow the federal holiday schedule when determining which days employees have off. Examples of federal holidays include Memorial Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.

You may also offer floating holidays to employees, which are days off they can use at any point in the year.

5. Bereavement

Paid bereavement leave is time off employees receive when a family member or friend passes away. Employees can use bereavement to cope with their loss, make arrangements, and attend funeral services.

Some businesses give different amounts of bereavement time off, depending on the employee’s relationship to the deceased. Be explicit when creating your bereavement time off policy. And, you may require employees to provide proof, such as an obituary or funeral program.

6. Parental leave

Paid parental leave is time away from work that employees can use for maternity leave, paternity leave, or adoption.

Under federal law, you might be required to offer unpaid parental leave, depending on your business size. And, your state might have more restrictive parental leave laws.

7. Jury duty

If an employee gets called to serve on a jury, you might offer jury duty pay for the time they are away. You must offer paid jury duty if your state has jury duty pay laws.

A federal, state, or local court will send your employee written notice summoning them for jury duty. You might require that employees show you their jury duty summons letter before offering them paid jury duty.

8. Voting time

Paid voting time is time off employees can use to vote in presidential and local elections. Generally, paid voting time is limited, as employees only need a few hours to vote.

According to one SHRM study, 44% of employers offer employees paid time off to vote. Your state might require you to offer paid or unpaid time off to vote.

9. Military leave

You might also provide paid military leave to employees for active duty, active duty training, or inactive duty training.

All employers must follow USERRA (Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act). USERRA requires you to offer an unpaid leave of absence to employees in the military for up to five cumulative years.

10. Compensatory time

Comp time is paid time off that employees receive in lieu of receiving overtime pay. But in many cases, offering compensatory time is illegal.

You cannot give comp time to nonexempt employees if you own a private, non-governmental business. Follow compensatory time off rules to avoid violating FLSA laws.

Interested in simplifying your employer responsibilities? Track employee time off and hours worked with Patriot’s online payroll software. Run payroll in three easy steps and get access to free setup and support! Try it for free today.

This article has been updated from its original publication date of November 5, 2018.

This is not intended as legal advice; for more information, please click here.

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