How To Get PTO When Your Company Doesn’t Offer It

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The U.S. stands alone as the only OECD country with no guaranteed paid leave, including holidays.

Under U.S. federal law, paid vacation leave is not mandated, and there is no city or state legislation that guarantees it. The majority of employers do offer at least some time off.

In the private sector, on average, employees receive ten paid vacation days and six paid holidays. Relative to other countries, this is not a lot of time off.

For many Americans, the amount of paid time off received is left to chance. Without laws and legislation, companies are free to create restrictions around eligibility, accrual, timing, and rationale for requests.

Most employers in the United States could stand to review their paid time off practices, and almost all could better serve themselves and their employees by revising policies and habits. A good PTO policy benefits the employer, employees and the economy as a whole.

Why it’s good for employers

Employers who provide paid time off see reduced levels of unscheduled absenteeism. Lost wages due to absenteeism cost employers $1,685 per employee, per year according to a report from the CDC.

Productivity decreases when people work long hours. Days of work with no break and weeks without any vacation lead to workers who have trouble focusing, are less motivated and can’t produce as much. For those in creative roles, their ability to think outside the box also suffers.

Prolonged periods with no rest increases the potential for burnout. When burnout becomes a problem, employers see higher turnover rates and ultimately end up spending more on training new hires to replace those that leave. With the average cost of hiring a new employee approximately $4,700, paying for some time off to retain current employees is much more financially advisable.

Why it’s good for employees

When a PTO policy is comprehensive, generous and flexible, employees feel valued and cared for, increasing their loyalty to the company and potentially boosting productivity. Increased productivity helps employees as much as it does employers. People who use all their vacation time are more likely to receive promotions and bonuses than their vacation-forgoing colleagues.

Employees are more able to strike a work-life balance that matches their priorities, values and goals in life. A report from Gallup found that 53 percent of employees prioritize working somewhere that lets them maintain a healthy balance, and another survey found that number increased dramatically among parents.

Employees who aren’t always at work tend to be happier. Getting away from the demands and stresses, and enjoying time with loved ones and doing personal hobbies is good for the soul. It’s also good for productivity, as increased happiness correlates to better productivity.

So, what can you do if your boss doesn’t encourage PTO?

Know your rights

Firstly, learn what your employer can and cannot legally do in terms of your PTO. Find out how your PTO works at your organization and how it differs from vacation time and sick hours. If the PTO policies aren’t very clear, don’t be afraid to ask.

Set boundaries

Everyone needs time in their day, week and year that’s off-limits for work, and your employer needs to be aware of that time. If your boss doesn’t respect your time off, you need to handle the situation immediately.

Recognize that it’s them, not you

Even if you notice that your manager, team, or the overall company culture isn’t very supportive of vacations, know that you have nothing to be guilty or ashamed of.

As long as your policy states that you’re entitled to days off, you can and should be able to take them.

Asking for the time you deserve is a sign that you recognize and appreciate the things (and people) that are important to help you work better: your health, your family, and most importantly, yourself.

If you’re interested in finding a job that fits, it’s time to check out opportunities with companies who recognise the importance of work/life balance. Your first stop? Head for The Hill Jobs Board to browse hundreds of jobs right now. Here are three hiring this week…

The Joint Commission is looking to hire a Media Manager to work closely with national healthcare consumer, policy, and trade reporters, with a particular focus on Washington, D.C.-based media outlets. To apply you’ll need a Bachelor’s degree in communications, public relations, journalism and/or English plus 7-10 years of experience in a public affairs or media relations role. Healthcare experience is preferred. Worth noting; This is a hybrid work role, based either in Oakbrook Terrace, IL or Washington, DC.

Mental Health America is seeking a Vice President of Federal Government Affairs, who will be responsible for advancing MHA’s legislative and administrative federal agenda. This position will be responsible for building key relationships with Congressional and agency staff, drafting legislation and administrative comments, and working with partner organizations to achieve mutual policy goals. MHA believes their team needs great support to do great work which is reflected in their comprehensive benefits including health insurance with generous employer contribution, 401(K) match of up to 5 percent of salary, dental, disability, generous PTO, flexible work arrangements, professional development fund, and a fund to improve mental well-being.

Democratic Attorneys General Association is currently looking to recruit a Deputy Director of Accounting and Finance to help support the accounting and finance functions for the organization’s three legal entities. The ideal candidate will have a Bachelor’s degree in accounting or finance with three or more years of experience in accounting and finance. Not-for-profit experience is preferred. DAGA values a truly diverse workforce and is committed to a culture of inclusivity, respect, and integrity. They strongly encourage people with disabilities, people of color, transgender and non-binary people, and people from diverse backgrounds to apply.

For hundreds more opportunities and to find a role that fits, visit The Hill Jobs Board today

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