Rethinking PTO: Considerations for Employers Implementing PTO Banks

July 8, 2016

Most employers recognize the importance of paid time off (PTO) as a means for employees to recharge and return to work refreshed. In fact, research shows that employees who take time off are more productive than those who stay at work and do not use their PTO.

But do traditional PTO plan designs and administration strategies work? Or are there better alternatives?

These were questions posed in a recent article in Employee Benefit News (EBN) on PTO banks. In contrast to traditional PTO plans, which allocate a set number of days for specific types of PTO such as sick leave, personal days, and other reasons, PTO banks leave the decision of how paid time off is spent to the employees–a move that employers report has resulted in less absenteeism.

However, according to Jackie Reinberg, national practice leader for disability management for Willis Towers Watson, employers considering PTO banks need to take into consideration both national and state regulations related to mandatory paid sick leave when they design their PTO banks. In the EBN article, Reinberg noted there is wide variation from state to state.

In addition to addressing the challenge of complying with regulations, Reinberg recommended three questions employers ask themselves when designing PTO banks to ensure they are meeting the needs of their workforce:

  • What kind of culture do you have? What is your current program like and what is the compelling business case for change?
  • Are you competitive? Are you in sync with your business rivals and your clients?
  • Are your demographics changing? Millennials put a high value on discretionary time off.

For more on PTO banks, read the complete article in EBN.

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