Creating a Painless Paid Time Off Process – The Planning Phase
In Part 1 of our series Implementing a PTO Tracking System, we discussed why clear policies and user-friendly attendance tracking systems are a must. However, knowing you need a comprehensive PTO tracking system doesn’t make it any easier to get started.
Many business leaders and HR professionals are overwhelmed by such a large project, but don’t worry. We’ll walk you through each step. First up – what sort of time off are we talking about?
Frequently Used Time Off Categories
This list includes the most frequently used categories of time off – the ones you probably already have on the books in one form or another. From here, you can choose which components will be part of your comprehensive time off program.
- Vacation Days
- Sick Days
- State-Mandated Sick/Safe Leave
- Federal Holidays
- State Holidays
- Jury Duty
- Bereavement Time
- Personal Day
- Paid Time Off (PTO)
Did We Forget Something?
Does it feel like something is missing? You’re right. These are the most frequently used time off categories, but there are others to consider. For example, most states require you to release employees from work to vote under certain circumstances, and some states have regulations around time off for school meetings and conferences.
You may also choose to offer additional benefits to your team members to encourage activities in line with your mission, vision, and values. For example, some companies have paid volunteer time benefits so employees can contribute to their communities without risking their paychecks.
Employment-Related Time Off: Comp Time, Work From Home, and Suspensions
Not every type of time off will be part of your benefits package. For example, comp time (compensatory time) may be an option to give employees a day off in exchange for working irregular hours to support a critical initiative.
Working from home isn’t exactly time off, but it is time away from the office environment. If this is an option for your team, create a clear, detailed policy around work-from-home responsibilities and expectations. From an attendance tracking perspective, most companies choose to log work-from-home days in the same way they track sick, vacation, and other time off, so you don’t have unexplained empty desks.
Finally, you must track paid and unpaid suspensions — and not just to stay up-to-date on who is on-site and who is off. If you run into employment-related disputes, the details of a suspension will be critical to presenting your case.
Leaves of Absence
Outside of the time off included in benefits packages, it is critical to have defined policies about longer leaves of absence.
- FMLA (continuous or intermittent)
- Military Family Leave
- State Mandated Medical and Family Leave
- COVID Leave
- Military Leave
- Parental Leave
- Personal Leave of Absence
- ADA Accommodations
Which Employees Can Take Time Off?
Once you have selected the types of time off you will include in your company’s policy, the next step is pinning down the details. Who is eligible? When do new hires begin accruing benefits? Does longer tenure mean more time off?
Our next installment:
Part 3: Creating a Painless Paid Time Off Tracker Process – Preparing Your Policies
If you can’t wait for the next installment – or you want more detail – we have good news. The full Comprehensive Guide to Implementing a PTO System is available for download today.