Paid Time Off (PTO): What It Is and Why You Should Be Using It

Paid Time Off (PTO): What It Is

People are increasingly paying more attention to how their jobs affect their health. They want a healthier work-life balance that includes more paid time off (PTO) and are willing to change jobs to get paid sick days and more vacation time.

What is Paid Time Off (PTO)?

Paid time off refers to planned time away from your job where you still receive pay. Your employee handbook or contract will outline how many hours you have and how this time is earned or accrued. That may depend on how long you have been with a company, your position, and so on.

What is Vacation Time?

Your vacation time is the number of PTO hours or days you can take off from your regular work schedule. Companies usually try to offer paid and unpaid vacation time to their employees. Two weeks (10 days) of paid vacation time per year is the typical standard in the United States and Canada.

What is the Difference Between PTO and Vacation Time?

PTO and vacation time are often used interchangeably but are two different types of time off that your employer can offer. What you receive depends on the structure of the company. They may have an all-inclusive PTO policy where you get a bank of hours to use as needed.

What About Unlimited Paid Time Off?

Unlimited PTO is another benefit that some employers have started to offer. This trust-based structure allows people to take time off when they need it. However, there is no cap on the number of days an employee can take.

Why Aren’t People Using Their PTO?

There are many reasons why people don’t take their paid time off work. Some are hesitant to take time off because their managers don’t support it. They are afraid of what it might do to their reputation and chances of getting a promotion.

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