PTO requests up 9% year-over-year in April worldwide

But accepted requests see decline: report

PTO requests up 9% year-over-year in April worldwide

Requests for paid time off (PTO) went up nine per cent in the year ending to April 2024 — but accepted requests went down by five per cent.

This is according to the latest Workforce Insights by BambooHR, which revealed a gap between the requests made and the ones accepted.

By region, Europe recorded the highest numbers of PTO requests, with 66% of employees there filing PTO requests in April. However, only 44% of them were approved, according to the report.

Nearly half of employees (48%) in the Middle East/Africa also filed a PTO request, but only 54% were approved there.

Latin America recorded the lowest percentage of employees filing a PTO request, with 31%. Despite this, the region recorded the highest approval rate with 62%.

Source: BambooHR's Workforce Insights

PTO requests a sign of 'escape'

Anita Grantham, head of HR at BambooHR, said the high number of PTO requests might indicate that employees want to "escape" from the pressures of work or roles they're no longer excited about.

"Post-pandemic workers prioritize mental health and wellbeing because it’s better understood and more needed, and time off is a critical component of rest," Grantham said in a statement.

But there is also a "seasonality element" with PTO requests amid summer breaks, and the head of HR suggested careful planning during those periods.

"With most employees wanting to get away during the same three-month period, it's important for people leaders to plan ahead and communicate early and often how the business will balance keeping shop with vacation requests," she said.

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