The ABCs of Employee Time Off (and How to Track It)


In a study of more than 2,100 CFOs who were asked what employees want most other than additional compensation, 19 percent believed more vacation days and 15 percent reported more scheduling flexibility would be most reported. In the same study of over 320 employees age 18 and older in office environments who were asked the same questions, 30 percent reported more vacation days and 19 percent stated more scheduling flexibility.

The moral of this story? Time off and flexible scheduling matters to employees.

But as an employer, which holidays should you offer as vacation time? How much sick time do you owe your workers? And, most importantly, what does the government have to say about the requirements for both?

As you can imagine, it’s vital that you meet the regulations set forth, but you can’t stop there. After all, the statistics above demonstrate the importance of time off, meaning you must go beyond what’s minimally required to entice employees to remain with your company (and to do so with a positive attitude).

The question remains: How much time off should you give? We’re discussing this and more below.

Understanding Holiday and Vacation Time

Paid holidays and vacations are both standard offerings when it comes to employee benefits. And to be sure, they’re beneficial for your company as well since employees can take time off, rest, and come back to work ready to go and more productive than if they were to receive no breaks at all.

Most American employers recognize the following six holidays throughout the year, and you should do the same:

  • New Year’s Day

  • Memorial Day

  • The Fourth of July

  • Labor Day

  • Thanksgiving, and the Friday after

  • Christmas Day

Hewitt Associates, an expert consultant firm in employee benefits, reports that about 28 percent of businesses provide 10 paid holidays per year. Some of the other popular holidays include Martin Luther King Day, Presidents’ Day, Veterans Day, and Good Friday.

Of course, the amount of vacation time an employee is awarded often has to do with how long they’ve been at a company. For example, employees often receive two weeks off if they’ve just begun with a company, three weeks off after about the five-year mark, four weeks off after 10 to 15 years and so on. You can set your own schedule, but it’s important to keep these milestones in mind.

Other Time Off You Should Consider

As you can imagine, employees can and should receive more time off than for just holidays or vacations. In fact, there are several other occasions in which time off is appropriate:

  • Bereavement - When an employee loses a family member or friend, you should offer time off to allow them to grieve. If the person who passed away was a close family member, more than one day off is appropriate.

  • Sick Leave - People get sick and you shouldn’t punish them for when they do. Many companies allow for between four and six sick days per year, though more is required in certain situations pursuant to The Family and Medical Leave Act.

  • Jury Duty - Jury duty is to be expected and you should offer the money necessary to supplement the difference between the jury duty pay and their salary at work.

  • Flexible Scheduling - Flexible scheduling, as we discussed in the statistics at the open of this article, is in high demand today. Working out flexible schedules with your employees can incentivize many to remain with your company (and even attract desirable new talent as well!).

  • Personal Leave - Some companies offer personal leave, or personal days. These are days an employee can take as they wish if they need a break or have another commitment.

Track the Time Off You Provide With Flock

With the amount of individuals your organization employs, keeping track of all this time off can be difficult. If you aren’t doing it properly, you may even be missing out on time off that is costing your SMB thousands of dollars every year. With Flock, this doesn’t have to be the case.

Flock’s powerful HR software doesn’t just keep you compliant with regulatory changes in the healthcare industry, it allows you to manage time off as well. This means you no longer have to track complex accruals, carryover caps, tenure, employee milestones, and time-off. Instead, you can let Flock do it all for you. All you have to do is check the reports to see who’s out or who has requested time-off.

Get started with these benefits today by signing up for free! Offering and managing employee time off has never been so simple.

Now it’s your turn: What time off do you offer employees? How do you track and manage it? Do you believe a software solution like Flock could help? Share your thoughts in the comments below!