Unlimited Paid Time Off Is a Deceptive Ploy in Today’s Workplace
Employees may be lured by the idea of unlimited paid time off but the realityis unlimited paid time off is often an egregious fabrication that employerstell their workforce.What is usually lost in the conversation is what employees are forced to giveup when their organization decides to implement an unlimited system. There areplenty of legitimate business reasons to stop offering — and stop beingenamored by — the allure of the unlimited PTO promise.“It’s great to not have to pay out [accrued vacation] when people leave,” saidMaggie Grover, a partner at Wendel, Rosen, Black & Dean LLP in an interviewwith website HR Dive. “Because people are so connected and working even whenthey’re technically off, they tend to take fewer full vacation days. So evenif you cap a vacation bank at 1.5 or 2 times the annual accrual amount, thepayout at the end of the employment relationship can still be significant.”And just to note, not all states require employers to pay out accruedvacation.Recognizing that this is a large financial obligation, many companies arerelieving themselves from these obligations by offering unlimited policies.Employees also can’t save or accrue “unlimited” vacation time to use nextyear. When it comes time to transition from the company, the employer has noobligation to pay out the extra hours of productivity that were used in lieuof taking a break.According to outplacement firm RiseSmart, an unlimited PTO policy“significantly reduces the costs of having to pay employees for unused PTO andmay be one of the most compelling factors for companies considering anunlimited PTO policy.”Unlimited vacation is a work-around, plain and simple. By offering this perk,companies get away from tracking and accruing a liability that in some states,once accrued, is considered earned wages. And once wages are consideredearned, they must be paid out at departure or termination.Less Time Off for EmployeesSome studies show that American employees today often end up taking little orno more time off in an “unlimited” system compared to when they have a setnumber of days off each year.In a study by HR platform Namely, research suggests that employees with“unlimited” vacation actually take fewer days off (13) on average than thosewith a limited number (15).Unlimited PTO Is No Win-Win for Today’s TalentUnlimited PTO sounds generous on a job description, but employees by and largeend up getting paid less with no value attributed to their PTO while companiesgain more of their employees’ productivity.This latest benefits trend is harming the workforce and leading mass groups ofemployees to forfeit the second most important job benefit with no way tomonetize or reutilize the value of their PTO.Companies need to ask if they’re making these changes for employees or fortheir bottom line. If, let’s say, employees are using 100 percent of their PTOand a company wants to decrease expenses, then perhaps such a program makessense. However, this is generally not the case today. Employees thus leavebillions of dollars worth of unused PTO on the table.Are benefits a meaningful way to attract, engage and retain employees?Absolutely.Will unlimited PTO be a mainstay of the future of work? Absolutely not.Instead of unlimited, employers — and talent — should be thinking in terms offlexible, diverse and portable benefits to mirror the workforce today.Unlimited PTO Companies | Monster.comUnlimited PTO? Yes, please.Of all the innovative job perks popping up in the workplace, one old standbykeeps its appeal year after year: Vacation days. Nothing quite sweetens a joboffer like the promise of plentiful paid time off. Though the average full-time American worker gets 10 to 20 days of paid vacation a year, according tothe Bureau of Labor Statistics, a growing number of businesses are offeringunlimited paid vacation time (also known as unlimited PTO) to their employees,with the expectation that workers will use it responsibly.Sound appealing? Check out these nine companies that don’t put a limit on yourdays off.
Locations hiring: Multiple, nationwide Number of employees: 300,000+ What it does: GE develops and manufactures products for the generation,transmission, and utilization of electricity. Its products range from aircraftengines to light bulbs, and the company operates in industries includingautomotive, aviation, food and beverage, health care, and industrialmanufacturing. It also runs GE Capital, which offers financial services suchas loans and credit cards. Why it offers this benefit: A “permissive” approach to time off has replacedthe vacation, personal-illness, and personal-business plans for all salariedU.S. workers. “We believe GE is most successful when we trust and empower ourpeople,” says Laura Paredes, GE’s communications director. “This is a newapproach that empowers our leaders to take the time off they need when theyneed it.”Find jobs at GE on Monster.
The road to unlimited PTO starts here
If you’re interested in getting a job at these companies, you can expect somehefty competition, because who doesn’t want unlimited PTO as one of their jobperks? To help you stand out from the crowd, you need a job search strategythat keeps you ahead of the other applicants. Could you use some help? JoinMonster for free today. As a member, you can upload up to five versions ofyour resume—each tailored to the types of jobs that interest you. Recruiterssearch Monster every day looking to fill top jobs with qualified candidates,just like you. Additionally, you can set up job alerts from these companies tobe sent directly to your inbox to cut down on time spent looking through ads.The truth about ‘unlimited PTO’Good morning! Today is Wednesday, August 7, 2019. Need to subscribe? Sign upfor free here (charlotteledger.substack.com). Send to a friend.
Charlotte-area employers are looking into enhanced PTO, but there are
potential downsidesCharlotte has seen a lot of big tech announcements in the last few months.Lowe’s is building a 2,000-worker tech hub in South End. AvidXChange isbuilding a second HQ at the Music Factory. LendingTree is moving to South Endand expanding.So if tech is taking over, can some of its popular HR policies be far behind?In a time of low unemployment, there are plenty of tactics that companies inCharlotte and elsewhere are rolling out to attract tech-savvy millennials,including offering dog-friendly workplaces, providing meaningful work,including meals and fitness options and — maybe this sounds old-fashioned —paying higher salaries.But one of the most attention-grabbing is a time-off policy known as“unlimited PTO.” Paid time off, or PTO, is routinely used by larger companiesand combines sick days and vacation days into a bank of time that employeescan take for flexible purposes. Unlimited PTO takes that flexibility a stepfurther: Instead of granting you a certain number of days off, time away fromthe office is limited only by what you can work out with your boss.Some companies in Charlotte are already doing it: * LendingTree offers what it calls “unlimited vacation days.” From its website: “Yes, we are all adults here! … It means we all know that we need to get our work done and keep our bosses happy, even while we take some time off work.” * Accounting firm Grant Thornton offers what it calls “flexible time off” to its 375 Charlotte employees. “Our goal was to further enhance our culture of trust, where employees are empowered to manage their own time, allowing them to return to work refreshed, with better ideas and solutions for clients,” Lou Ann Hutchison, Grant Thornton’s managing director of People & Culture Operations, told the Ledger. * MapAnything, a tech company based in Charlotte that was bought this year by Salesforce, offers unlimited PTO to its 100 workers.While it might sound like a useful recruiting tool, it’s not right for everycompany. HR managers say there are a few potential pitfalls, including: * Uneven application. Workers taking different numbers of days can lead to resentment. * Pressure on managers. Without a policy to fall back on that limits days off, managers must take more responsibility to counteract the potential for abuse. * Perception vs. reality. People hired with visions of taking lots of vacation might become disillusioned when managers reject some of their requests. * No payout when you leave. Unlike unused vacation days or traditional PTO days, employees who leave typically receive no compensation under an unlimited PTO plan.
According to a recent survey by The Employers Association, just 5% of
local companies surveyed had an unlimited PTO policy — about the same figureas three years ago.Stephanie Dillon of The Employers Association, which provides HR support tolocal companies, says she routinely fields questions about unlimited PTO.“There are definitely more people inquiring about it than actually doing it,”she says.Dillon recommends: * Assess your company’s values. If your office values face time, such a plan might not be a good fit * Clearly define the process. Who approves days off, and with how much notice? * Consider a trial period to see if it works. * Communicate with employees when rolling out a new plan.“The company message is, by giving the gift of unlimited PTO, in return, youexpect hard work, professionalism and results.”* * *
Panthers go all-in on digital tickets
Say goodbye to paper tickets. In a blow to people with tech phobias, thePanthers this year for the first time are making all tickets digital.“Starting this season, tickets will only be digital, allowing you toconveniently manage them right from your smartphone!” the Panthers wrote in aletter to PSL holders. Tickets can be managed on the Panthers’ mobile app.The biggest losers: scalpers.* * *
Highly rated movies now playing:
* The Farewell (99% on Rotten Tomatoes) * Toy Story 4 (G) (97%) * Spider Man: Far From Home (PG-13) (90%) * Once Upon a Time in Hollywood (85%) * Crawl (R) (84%) * Fast & Furious Presents: Hobbs & Shaw (66%) * Yesterday (PG-13) (63%)
10 On-Site Chefs
Feeding your body well is essential to maintaining mental stamina, and techcompanies are beginning to realize more and more that vending machines filledwith junk aren’t the best way to ensure employee performance. They’re alsorealizing that free food results in a lot of happy people. At Airbnb,employees are treated to healthy, home-cooked meals and signature beveragesfree of charge. The kitchen provides three meals per day, and the menu isconstantly changing.Some tech giants like Google offer full-blown restaurants for their employees,and some of them become so packed that they even require reservations! Therestaurants and cafes at Google vary, but Indian food, sushi, and smoothiebars are just a few of the options. SAS Institute, Inc., a software companybased in North Carolina, has a 1-acre sustainable farm on-site, which suppliesall of the produce for its employee cafeterias. Staff who want to take thefarm-fresh food home after work can even request a “leftover” meal, which SASchefs will pack up specially for them.
8 Housecleaning Services
Working long hours often means that some tasks will fall by the wayside, likelaundry, cleaning, grocery shopping, and so on. At Evernote, a tech company inNorthern California that has designed a highly used and extremely popularnote-taking app, management wants to ensure that uncompleted household tasksaren’t distracting their employees. So, they offer to pay for a professionalcleaning crew to come to employees’ homes twice a month and get the job done.According to Evernote’s CEO, the philosophy behind this perk is simple: Hewants to get “spouses and significant others on our side.” Considering thatmany people discuss their positions with their significant others, having aperk that benefits more than just the employee is a serious win. After all,who doesn’t want to come home to a polished toilet smelling of Pine-Sol?
7 Open Vacation Policies
Unlimited vacation time sounds too good to be true, right? That’s probablybecause it is for most of us, but for those working for some of the hottesttech companies, this dream perk is a reality. At PaperG, an advertising techcompany, employees are given unlimited paid vacation, which they can take attheir leisure. Netflix introduced its open vacation policy nearly a decadeago, realizing before most that work-life balance for its employees wasessential.Richard Branson, the CEO of Virgin Group, decided to take a page from Netflixand offer unlimited paid time off as well and is planning to extend it toother subsidiary groups owned by his corporation. Though unlimited vacationmight seem nuts to some, consider that workers in the US are extremely behindin their time-off policies as it is. According to a study, workers in the EUare guaranteed at least 20 paid vacation days per year and often get more. Incontrast, around one out of every four Americans don’t even get paid vacationor holidays from their employers.
4 Fertility Assistance
At Apple, the higher-ups have decided to provide a helping hand to thoseemployees who are trying to conceive and are having a difficult time at it.How so? They will now help to cover costs associated with fertility treatment.Apple has agreed to give $20,000 to any member of their team who is undergoinginfertility treatment, freezing their ova, or seeking sperm donors. This moveis particularly clever of Apple, given that it’s trying its best to hirefemale engineers in what is a mostly male-dominated field.Facebook is also offering this perk, though it’s still quite a rare perk inthe tech world. Many companies offer insurance that will assist in financialaid when it comes to Viagra, birth control, and abortion, but fertilitytreatment remains off the table. Apple and Facebook are definitely ahead ofthe curve on this one, and by offering assistance, they ensure a higherretention rate and less stress for female employees, which allows them tofocus more on their work. The two tech giants also offer these services tosame-sex couples, whether they use a surrogate or in vitro fertilization.
3 Hobbies And Team Outings
To encourage a healthy work-life balance, many tech companies are coming upwith ingenious ways to support employee hobbies. At Zynga, a video gamedeveloper, employees are given access to a relaxation lounge stocked withvarious arcade games and video games. Workers can go in and take some time tobrush up on their gaming skills. At Insomniac Games, management offers moviedays and supplies the popcorn. The office also includes on-site facilitiesthat appeal to employees who like to unwind with physical activity, such as abasketball court, volleyball court, and a putting green.Dropcam, yet another Bay Area tech company, offers a very unique way foremployees to experience a favorite hobby of the CEO—free helicopter rides.Known as the “Dropcopter,” every employee is given a voucher that entitles himor her to one free ride with friends and family in the aircraft. If that isn’tcool enough, the CEO is the pilot. For anyone looking for a less wildexperience, don’t worry: Tumblr offers a fun, but less airborne, experience.The social networking site organizes paid team outings to fun places likeMedieval Times.