Paid time off (PTO) is a benefit that you, as a business owner, can offer to current and new employees. You can create a policy that includes both paid sick leave and paid vacation time. In general, you can tailor a PTO program that meets the needs of your business. You can also hire help with managing the PTO of your employees if you are not familiar with how the process works. If you are considering adding a PTO program to your benefits package, there are several things you need to know about offering paid time off.
- PTO can help you attract employees
In order to attract high quality employees, you may need to offer more than a competitive salary. One way to stand out from the crowd of potential employers is to have a great benefits package. Paid time off is a highly sought after benefit and can give you an edge in the hiring process. For example, you can have employees accrue paid time off at a specific rate each week, month, or year. In order to incentivize a potential employee, you can give them a ‘signing bonus’ of five days PTO upon being hired so they immediately have access to PTO without needing to accrue the time.
- Paid time off will encourage ‘work life balance’ in your employees
As a business owner, you have probably already experienced the struggle that comes from trying to balance a career and a personal life. It is possible to burn the candle at both ends for a time but your performance at work will eventually start to suffer if you do not have some type of balance. The same is true of the people who work for you. Even the most dedicated and enthusiastic employees need a break from time to time. PTO allows employees to take time off when needed without losing income. Hopefully the time off will result in an employee who feels rejuvenated and ready to take on his or her responsibilities with renewed energy and enthusiasm.
- You must establish clear expectations
When you make the decision to offer paid time off, it is important to establish clear expectations and processes for the program. It can create frustration for you and your employees if there is miscommunication about how the PTO program works. Make sure and outline the basics of the program to potential employees during the hiring process, such as:
- Who qualifies for paid time off?
- How is PTO earned/distributed?
- How much PTO does each employee receive?
- How should employees request time off?
- Does unused PTO roll over to the next year or is it lost?
You will also need to make sure current employees understand your expectations about paid time off. One option is to create an official PTO policy and add it to the employee handbook. This will allow employees access to the policy and avoid any problems that may come from miscommunication.
- Some states have rules about paid sick leave
As a business owner, you have a lot of freedom in how you structure your PTO program. However, there are some places with laws that require you to offer paid sick leave to your employees. Make sure and check your local and state requirements to ensure that your sick leave policy is in line with the law.
A PTO program has the potential of being a win-win situation for you and your employees. You will be more likely to attract and keep high quality employees. Your employees will enjoy the option of creating a good work life balance without sacrificing their income.