Americans work long hours by the world’s standards, and take very few vacations comparatively. This trend may be motivated by American’s work ethic but it’s counterproductive; overworking hurts employee productivity.
When a company offers vacation, they have to decide on an accrual rate to use. There are a few options. Employers can offer vacation time off to match their pay periods, hand it out once a year, or provide it on an hours worked basis. The rates all have their pros and cons and one may not be the right choice for each company or each employee.
We all look forward to a break from work — a vacation that lets us relax and rejuvenate. However, in America paid time off is a privilege. There are no laws mandating that employers allow a certain amount of time off per year. What’s more, a study found that 51% of Americans do not take all their eligible time off and 61% work while they’re on vacation.
There are several ways to calculate accruals for employees. Probably the most common is to give employees the whole lump sum at the beginning of the year or anniversary date, but other accrual rates are common for certain scenarios.
According to recent research commissioned by Ricoh Americas Corporation and conducted online by Harris Interactive, 54% of Americans work while they’re on vacation. They do things like stay on top of emails, keep in touch with co-workers, and take care of small tasks. Generally, employees don’t simply trade working full time at the office for working full time at the beach, but they aren’t disconnecting either. And this, reports Rioch, is bad for worker’s relationships and their health.
Calculating paid time off can seem daunting to a busy small business owner. There are many rates to choose from and the calculations aren’t always intuitive. For this reason, most small business owners just end up using a yearly accrual rate. This method is easy – you just have to decide how many days employees should get per year and give them in a lump sum.
This might sound contradictory at first. Why would you have to pay out vacation if you don’t even have to offer vacation to begin with?
Well, if you choose to offer vacation, you have to follow some rules. You don’t actually have to offer vacation in California at all if you don’t want to (although, it is a perk that employees find desirable so maybe you should!) but if you do decide to implement some vacation benefits, you’ve got to stick to it till the end.