With summer around the corner, there are many employees getting ready to take time off to go on vacation. It is the employers' and supervisors’ responsibility to be supportive and encouraging to staff to use their paid time off. In the last few years, there has been a decline in staff usage of paid time off (PTO). Furthermore, studies have shown that when parents are on vacation with their children, they spend more time on their phones working than spending time with their family.
Supervisors should be receptive and positive when employees request time off. Often times, employees may feel overwhelmed by the workload and keep pushing off using their paid time off in order to make sure they meet deadlines. This can lead to burnout and even resignation for the employee and increase the paid time off liability for the employer if they pay out unused PTO upon termination.
When setting up a PTO policy, organizations should consider that working parents may schedule time off when school is out. This could lead to multiple people being off at the same time. Therefore, the PTO policy should explicitly state that when an employee requests a large number of days off, the request should be presented as early as possible so that adequate coverage and backup can be accommodated. An effective paid time off policy should also state that employees are not expected to respond to work inquiries while they are on leave, no matter how they are contacted – email, phone call, texts or social media.
Reach out to your HR department to review your PTO policy and effective ways to encourage staff to take time off.