Employees prefer to roll over paid time off

Who’s taking the most time off? Probably your staff in California – but not if you have a rollover vacation policy

The average number of days your staff takes off can vary by nearly 500% depending on where they’re based. Data collected from more than 218,000 employees show astounding regional disparities across the US alone:

Top 5 – regions with highest annual average days of PTO
  1. Sacramento-Roseville-Arden-Arcade, CA: 13.9
  2. Washington-Arlington-Alexandria, DC-VA: 12.0
  3. Charlotte-Concord-Gastonia, NC: 11.1
  4. San Diego-Carlsbad, CA: 10.9
  5. Denver-Boulder, CO: 10.6
Bottom 5 – regions with lowest annual average days of PTO
  1. North Port-Sarasota-Bradenton, FL: 2.9
  2. Phoenix-Mesa-Scottsdale, AZ: 3.6
  3. New York-Newark-Jersey City, NY-NJ: 4.5
  4. Atlanta-Sandy Springs-Roswell, GA: 5.4
  5. Miami-Fort Lauderdale-West Palm Beach, FL: 5.7
(Source: TriNet)

But what may affect vacation time the most tends to be an employer’s rollover policy, according to the Society for Human Resource Management. Just over three in five (62%) US organizations allow staff to roll over unused vacation time, but where it is an option, employees clearly take advantage of it.

"We found that features of employers' vacation plans and the ability to roll over time off determined whether employees took all their vacation time," said Evren Esen, manager of SHRM's Survey Research Center. "Many employees seem to want to reserve vacation time, saving it for the next year, if they are able to roll over time from year to year."
  • Many employees fail to use all their vacation time 73% of organizations say their employees leave behind at least three days of vacation each year
  • But HR agrees it’s important to encourage its use 85% of talent managers at “use it or lose it” organizations agree that employees who take most or all of their vacation time are more productive in their jobs (69% of those in rollover organizations hold this view)
Thinking of switching from a rollover to a use-it-or-lose-it policy? Employees might protest, if a recent Right Management survey is anything to go by. 69% of North American workers did not intend to use all of their vacation time in 2013, planning instead to save it up for a longer break.

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