How to handle unused vacation days amid COVID-19

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Usually by the fall, employees have used much of their paid time off (PTO) on spring and summer trips.

But with hardly anywhere to go during the COVID-19 pandemic, unused vacation days have piled up at many companies – a phenomenon called PTO hoarding.

Should you encourage employees to take PTO? Depending on your PTO policy, those leftover days will either be:

  • Lost
  • Rolled over
  • Paid out

By considering the impact on both your employees and your business, you can develop a strategy to address a surplus of unused vacation days that puts everyone in the best position in the future.

Your employees probably need a break.

If you have employees working from home for the first time, initially it probably felt like a vacation just to skip their commutes and perhaps stay in pajamas.

But by now, that novelty has worn off. And we’ve learned that working from home is definitely not a vacation.

Instead, it’s a new abnormal that sometimes means:

  • Spending more time in front of screens
  • Working longer hours
  • Feeling confined

Or perhaps your employees have continued going into the workplace amid the pandemic. They might feel like they’re putting their health on the line for the sake of a paycheck (and their livelihood).

Those conflicting feelings – between risk and the need to earn a living – can be taxing on an individual.

No matter your employees’ unique case, chances are they need a break.

Time away from work is always necessary for employees to avoid burnout and bring the most productive energy to their work. During an especially stressful season, it’s even more important.

You can make PTO policy changes.

As an employer in an uncertain economy, you may also be trying to conserve cash and would rather:

  • Avoid paying out employees for more unused time off than you usually do at year-end
  • Or prevent the extra days from. . .

Original: Insperity

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