Nearly one-third of employers offer vacation time donation

The International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans (IFEBP) has released results from a new report, “Paid Leave in the Workplace: 2017 Survey Results.” The report shows that: 30 percent of employers with paid vacation allow workers to donate paid vacation days; 28 percent of employers offering paid-time-off (PTO) plans allow workers to donate paid time off; and 22 percent of employers who provide paid sick leave allow workers to donate sick leave.
A small percentage of employers, 3 percent of those offering PTO and less than 1 percent of those offering vacation time, allow employees to donate the cash value of unused paid time off to charitable organizations. Employers often consider these types of charitable donation policies in response to national disasters such as the recent Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma.
Employers are offering other options for flexibility in paid leave, including carrying over days to future years and buy/sell options:

  • 83 percent allow some or all unused PTO days to be carried over for hourly or salaried workers.
  • 74 percent allow hourly workers, and 77 percent allow salaried workers, to carry over some or all vacation days.
  • 49 percent allow workers to take PTO advances.
  • 38 percent allow workers to take vacation advances.
  • 23 percent allow hourly workers, and 21 percent allow salaried workers, to sell back unused PTO days.
  • 16 percent allow hourly workers, and 14 percent allow salaried workers, to sell back unused vacation days.
  • 10 percent allow employees to purchase PTO.
  • 8 percent allow employees to purchase paid vacation time.

The report found that 34 percent of employers offer a PTO system to their workers instead of separate banks for vacation, personal and sick time. Employers state they offer PTO plans to provide greater flexibility to workers (76 percent), followed by empowering workers (41 percent) and controlling unscheduled absences (32 percent).
“Leave donation programs can build camaraderie among co-workers who are eager to help a colleague in need,” explained Julie Stich, CEBS, associate vice president of content at the International Foundation. “Leave donation allows an employee extra time to handle a personal emergency, keeping them employed and allowing them to continue on the payroll and enrolled in health care benefits. It can also benefit an employer by reducing turnover and productivity losses.”

SOURCE: International Foundation of Employee Benefit Plans press release, September 12, 2017.
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