Paid Personal Days

Paid Personal Days Limit an Employer's Exposure to Unscheduled Absences

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Paid personal days are time off from work that an organization voluntarily provides employees as a benefit. The number of paid personal days often accrues to employees based on years of service to the organization and the level of their position.

Hours of paid personal days are often accrued over the calendar year, although most companies allow employees to use paid personal days before accrual.

Other companies, however, keep paid personal days simple - every employee receives the same number of paid personal days.

Paid personal days are used to provide employees paid time off from work for reasons that may include activities such as parent-teacher conferences, voting, preparing for a family holiday party, visiting healthcare professionals for preventive treatment, and so forth. Personal days are just that – personal - and are used at the employee’s discretion.

Why Might an Employer Provide Paid Personal Days Off?

Paid personal days are normally part of an employer’s comprehensive benefits package and supplement other paid time off such as paid sick days, paid vacation days, and paid holidays.

As part of this package, employers provide two-three paid personal days a year. Paid personal days are paid at an employee’s normal base salary or hourly wage.

Employers provide these paid time off opportunities to remain competitive as an employer. Comparable employers provide these types of paid time off for employees and an employer who doesn't is at a disadvantage when it comes to hiring superior employees.

The employer also has the opportunity through his or her paid time off packages to limit the number of days that an employee takes off. The provided number of days off, sets up an expectation with employees that this is the number of days  that they are allowed to miss work without affecting their standing in the organization.

In a workplace that emphasizes flexibility, this minimal number of days works because employees  may only need to use paid time off for events that will last 2-4 hours or longer. A one-hour parent-teacher meeting might allow the employee to leave work an hour early in the afternoon and start an hour early in the morning to make up the time. The employee would not use paid personal days in a flexible workplace.

Employers Provide Guidelines for Using Paid Personal Days

Employers have guidelines about when employees may use paid personal days. These guidelines often entail a process for requesting paid personal days off that gives the organization as much advanced notice as possible, except in an emergency situation.

This limits the employer's exposure, especially in jobs that require an employee at every work station, to unscheduled absences which can shut work down.

Additionally, managerial approval of time off for paid personal days depends on the needs of the department and the organization.

Employees must generally use paid personal days during the year for which they were allotted with no carry-over into the next calendar year. If an employee leaves the company, unused paid personal days are not eligible for payout at employment termination.

When an employee misses work because of reasons such as illness, jury duty, military service, bereavement, or vacation, paid personal days are not used. These absences are generally covered in other company policies and guidelines.

Companies Are Favoring PTO Instead of Paid Time Off by Type of Day

Currently, organizations are moving away from company policies that allot categories of paid time off such as paid sick days, personal days, and vacation days.

Companies are opting, instead, for a paid time off (PTO) policy that folds sick days, vacation days, and personal days into one bank of days that employees use at their discretion. Paid holidays remain separate from the PTO bank of days and are offered as a separate and appreciated benefit.

Benefits of PTO

PTO also provides these benefits.

  • Enables employers to treat employees like adults capable of making their own decisions about using paid time off for personal business.
  • Minimizes the use by employees of unplanned paid time off from work.
  • Simplifies paid time off and record keeping for both employers and employees.

There are additional benefits to a PTO policy, and some disadvantages, too. For example, employees tend to regard PTO as vacation time and use all of it, whereas time that is allotted for different purposes is thought of in conjunction with the stated reason that employees are paid for the time off.

There are no Federal laws in the US that require an employer to offer paid personal days as a benefit, but employers of choice offer employees paid personal days either alone or rolled into PTO as part of a comprehensive benefits package.

Also Known As  Paid time off (PTO)