Most Employers Provide Paid Leave, Finds Study Conducted Jointly By Families And Work Institute And SHRM, But Not As Many Provide Leave To Caregivers, Part-Time Employees

Almost all U.S. employers with 50 or more employees (99 percent) have some form of time off with pay for their full-time employees, according to national data released by the Families and Work Institute (FWI) and the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). The study, Paid Time Off, Vacations, Sick Days and Short-term Caregiving in the United States, also found that only about one-third of employers provide at least five days of paid leave for caregiving and roughly 25 percent provide paid leave to part-time employees.

The study is based on findings in the 2014 National Study of Employers. It found no significant differences between large employers (1,000 and more employees) and small employers (50 to 99 employees) in offering any of the three types of paid leave — sick days, vacation time or general paid time off, known as PTO.

Mike Aitken, SHRM’s vice president of government affairs, said: “This study shows that paid leave is available to the vast majority of full-time employees. When employers control their own benefit offerings, there can be flexibility and creativity, which benefit both employers and employees.”

Overall, few employers offer paid leave options to part-time employees — whether they are hourly (offered by 24 percent of employers) or salaried (32 percent). Among employers with a PTO program, large employers are more likely to offer it to their part-time salaried and hourly employees than small employers.

In terms of what type of paid leave is provided, vacation time was at the top of the list, provided by 58 percent of organizations. It was followed by sick days (52 percent) and PTO (41 percent).

It’s difficult to gauge whether the number of employers offering paid leave overall has changed since 2008 because the criteria from tracking such data has changed to include PTO, in addition to sick and vacation time. A growing number of employers are using the PTO designation, putting all paid leave in one PTO bucket and giving employees the choice of whether to use the time for vacation, illness or any other reason.

SOURCE: Society for Human Resource Management.

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